不管你是否计划搬家, 或者刚搬进新家, you may have home improvement projects you need assistance in completing. 当你计划你的下一个家庭装修项目, choosing the right contractor for the job is a critical first step in your planning process. 作为建筑和改造项目的专家, 承包商可以管理所有必要的许可证, inspections, labor, equipment, 以及确保项目成功的材料. It’s important, however, to do your research so that you don’t end up with an untrustworthy contractor who will scam you, 或者一个没有经验的承包商,工作做得不够好. Follow these steps to ensure you hire the right person for your project.



作为客户,你正在推动这个过程. Before speaking with contractors, spend ample time outlining your goals for the project. 想象一下它会是什么样子, 你想要的设施,等等. 制定一个项目时间表和预算. If you need help developing your plan, consider hiring a project design consultant. 你的详细的项目计划也应该 包括你已完成项目的蓝图或草图, and be divided into DIY steps and steps that will require a professional.


There are several things to consider when it’s time to select a contractor, 而消除这些步骤可能是有害的. 不要迫于压力而立即做出决定 decision, and keep in mind that some contractors are specialists while others are generalists. Thus, 当你准备好选择你的承包商, 确保他们的能力适合你 project.

  • 编译本地的建议: Begin by getting referrals for local contractors from your friends and family, 然后研究你所在地区值得信赖的资源. Local contractors are easier to contact if problems develop with the work in the future, and they are more likely to be familiar with building codes in your area.
  • 进行电话面试: 一旦你完成了你的清单, make a call to each of your prospects to briefly assess their qualifications for your project. The wrong answer to a few simple inquiries can quickly eliminate the contractor from the running, 所以,提出正确的问题是很重要的.
    • 他们在这个领域有多少经验? 至少有五年工作经验者优先.
    • 他们提供免费评估吗? 大多数承包商, 但如果工程造价超过几千美元, 一些承包商可能会做好准备, and charge for, a "scope of work proposal." The proposal fee is often paid upfront and applied toward the project cost only if the bid is accepted. 你一定要意识到这一点,如果你愿意付钱的话.
    • 他们能提供参考书目吗? If the contractor you are considering is unwilling to offer contact information for previous clients, 他们很可能做得不好 work in the past.
    • 他们是否有执照、保险和保税? Do not do business with a contractor who is not licensed or does not carry the appropriate insurance coverage. If the contractor is not insured, you may be liable for accidents that occur on your property. 获取许可证和策略编号,然后验证它们是否是当前的.
    • 他们同时工作的项目有多少? This will affect the timeline of your project and is therefore critical for you to know, 特别是当你有截止日期的时候 of your own.

The answers to these questions will indicate the contractor’s availability, reliability, 以及他们会对你的项目给予多少关注.

Concept of a magnifying glass looking at Details written on chalkboard
  • 检查细节: Check in with your state's consumer protection agency and local Better Business Bureau to ensure the remaining prospects don't have a history 与客户或分包商的纠纷. Call references to inquire about the quality of their project workmanship and client satisfaction. 跟踪信号的小指示器 专业性或缺乏专业性. Were client phone calls returned in a timely manner and appointment/meeting times prompt? 如果答案是否定的,你可能需要重新考虑这个承包商.
  • Meet Face-to-Face: 根据你的研究, you should now have a short list of contractors whose track records seem clean and whose work ethic looks responsible. Schedule a face-to-face meeting with each one at the job site for further discussion and estimates, 确保你能比较不同的苹果. 得到一份详细的费用清单 building materials, labor costs, profit margins, work methods, 时间线和其他因素可能因承包商而异. 对过高或过低的估计要谨慎,不要这样做 让价格成为你的向导. A contractor who throws out the lowest bid is probably cutting corners or desperate for work. 此外,要提防任何要求你付款的承包商 现金或支付整个项目的前期. Beyond technical competence, comfort should play an equal or greater role in your decision. 承包商应该能够回答你的问题 令人满意,并且以一种让你放松的方式. The single most important factor in choosing a contractor is your rapport and communication, 因为这个人会在你家待很久 hours at a time. 此外,您还需要了解:
    • 这是个人工作还是团队工作? 一些工作将需要一个单独的承包商的工作, while others may require a few people coming into your home to do the job. 这是你需要提前意识到的事情, 因为它可能会影响你家的价格和客流量.
    • 承包商能保证他们的工作吗? A good contractor will guarantee their work if they’re serious about what they do. 如果出了问题,他们会回来修复 or redo it.


一旦你决定了承包商, it is imperative to secure a comprehensive and well-written contract before any of the work begins. 它会最小化任何 miscommunication, set expectations, and protects you from unexpected costs and legal consequences. If the project involves substantial costs, consider having a lawyer review the proposed 签保护你的合同. Your independent contractor agreement should be clear, concise, and include:

  • The contractor's name (business name), address, phone number, and professional license number.
  • A detailed scope of work listing what jobs the contractor will perform.
  • 项目时间表,包括预计的开始和完成日期.
  • 所有所需用品和建筑材料的清单.
  • 承包商的付款计划. 通过支票和收据支付增量.
  • 批准更改订单的过程. 对合同的任何变更都要以书面形式记录下来. If you and the contractor agree to any changes during the renovation, make sure they are put in 由双方书面并签字.
  • Guarantees that the work performed will be done in a professional manner, 根据所有适用的规范和标准.
  • 承包商获得所有必要许可的义务, 以及谁将为适用的许可证和检查买单.
  • Penalties for unsatisfactory or incomplete work by the projected date/within a reasonable time, 还有一项因进度缓慢而终止的条款, 不适当或粗心大意.
  • A lien release for all employees, suppliers, and subcontractors of the contractor.
  • 一项对任何索赔的赔偿和免责条款, demand, loss, liability, 承包商工作引起的损坏或费用.
  • 一份你有权取消合同的声明.
  • Signatures from both parties, and be sure you never sign a contract containing blank sections.

Any contractor you hire will become part of your life for at least the duration of the project. 确保你选择的是一个可以交流和信任的人. Reputable professionals will insist on clear written agreements in order to protect both parties. 此外,一定要:

Yellow construction helmet on table with laptop, level, and blueprints
  • Set boundaries for the job site by establishing some ground rules about parking, bathroom use, smoking, 以及项目过程中可能会涉及到的其他问题.
  • Anticipate delays, they happen and may not be the fault of your contractor. 尽管你的合同中规定了时间, 天气等情况可能妨碍这项工作 不遵守时间表. 现实一点,并准备相应调整你的计划.
  • 保存一份正在进行的项目文件,其中包括一份合同副本, contractor licenses, proof of insurance, any change orders, 计划和规格, bills and invoices, canceled checks, photographs of progress, and any letters, notes and correspondence with the contractor. These records are important if you have problems with your project either during or after construction.

Following these important steps will set you up for a successful partnership with your contractor.

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