To an avid DIY-er, there is nothing more exciting than the prospect of performing another project at home. But even if you love tinkering with stuff at home, some projects are too big and require the help of a specialist.

If you need some work done on your home, a kitchen redo or the addition of a new bathroom, your goal would be to have the project finished promptly without compromising quality or your budget. However, not all of these projects turn out well. Some property owners take pride in hiring reliable contractors who have helped them achieve their dream home while there are those who have a virtual nightmare of an experience in dealing with their chosen contractors.

Finding a reputable contractor may seem like a tedious process, with many tradesmen who call themselves experts and who are willing to take on any project for a song. However, it is always better to practice prudence and due diligence rather than pay a steep price at the end.

More often than not, these horror stories can be avoided by finding a trustworthy contractor. How do you do that? The best place to start would be to ask recommendations from people you trust – friends, relatives or even your colleagues at work. Next, draw up a list of potential contractors. It does not need to be a long list. Your goal here is to cast a broader net and not simply settle for the first contractor that comes along.

Once you have drawn up a shortlist, check each contractor’s background, including their licences, permits, insurance and references. You should also check whether a former client has lodged complaints against each prospective contractor.

Once you have whittled down your list, the next step to undertake is to meet each contractor you have retained on your shortlist and ask for a quote. During your interview, do not hesitate to ask questions. By asking questions, you can avoid confusions and ensure that you are not wasting your time with the wrong contractor.

Once you have settled on a particular contractor, you may need to make a deposit before actual work commences. When you make a deposit, do make sure that it is insured. Deposit insurance gives you ample protection should something untoward happen before the whole project is completed.

There are few other things that you can do to ensure that the project commences seamlessly. First, communicate regularly with the contractor. Should you see something that may seem a bit off, do not hesitate to tell the contractor. It is always better to set projection completion a bit further rather than pay a steeper cost to remedy a mistake.

It is also beneficial to constantly monitor project progress by taking pictures and a log. Should a dispute occur between two parties, your documentation can help you stay on top of things.

Should any changes be made to the current project plan, make sure that everything is written down.

Finally, if you are not satisfied with the work of your contractor, do not be afraid to find a replacement for him. It is always better to find a new contractor than spend more on something that you are not happy with.

Crown Designs 2017