Once you have interviewed various contractors, there are some things you should discuss before the work starts. First, I prefer to get a contractor from a personal reference. If you go to Home Advisor or anyone's 'list,' talk to real people that have used them and find out what worked well and, what didn't work out so well. As part of the contract process with your contractor, get their insurance papers and license information. In Connecticut, contractors are licensed.
Now, set some ground rules:
- What days and hours will the work take place? Will they be working nights and weekends? How will the noise impact your life and those of your neighbors?
- How will the refuse be handled? Will there be dumpsters? How many, how big and for how long? How will this impact parking around the property?
- How will trash and recycling pick-up be impacted?
- Security - How will the contractor and their team get into the house? Who gets a key, or will someone let them into the property? Can you assign a temporary code if you have an alarm system to the work people? Get contact information, phone numbers and emails, for the contractor and employees that are the in charge of the various parts of the work.
- How will you get project information? How often will you get updates, who will update you and how? Do you want a daily email? How about a phone call twice a week on Tuesday/Thursday at 7PM? Make sure everyone knows the frequency and method of communications. Be specific as to who gets the info? Should all messages be to one person or more than one at a time? When are telephone calls or emails okay, versus when do you want face-to-face communications? All of this should be worked out before any work starts.
- Let your neighbors know there is work going on. It is good to give your neighbors a heads up to the work and the estimated length of the work as their lives may be impacted. A bottle of wine couldn't hurt.
- Before any work starts, make sure your contractor knows the locations of all of the utility controls and meters.
- Other vendors impacted. If you have landscapers, house cleaners, or other folks coming to the house regularly, make sure your contractor and the vendors are aware of the work.
- Pets? Talk to your contractors about how the pet will be handled during the work. You may have to confine them or remove them for a short period depending on the type of work. Noise can be stressful for some pets, there may be work or chemicals that are dangerous to the pets as well. Work it out beforehand so you can make plans for yourselves and the pet(s).
I trust you found this useful. Let me know of any hair-raising adventures you have had during construction in your home. Of course, contact me with all of your real estate needs.
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