Hints and Tips from the Renovation Experts

Posted on Monday, February 10 2014



How to choose the best contractor for your next job or project

When choosing a contractor you should look at each company specifically to match the type of work you require (i.e. wiring a plug in your house would be a residential electrical work). You should be given each contractor’s rates, areas in which they work and the hours they work. All contractors should clearly display their trade qualifications and be FULLY insured for public liability to keep you and your property safe at all times. Do they have a current health and safety policy? Always obtain more than one quote for any larger projects. All trade companies should provide written quotes. Check references thoroughly and make sure they are recent.

What should I expect from my contractor?
You should expect a response to any email, message or phone call promptly. You should expect the contractor to discuss your project with you, and to arrange to meet with you on site to review your requirements when it is convenient to you. Small jobs can usually be estimated by phone (subject to final pricing on site). Your contractor should be prompt, presentable, professional and able to help you understand the process that they will be undertaking for you in full.

Managing my contractor
Once you have engaged your contractor you should agree both the start and completion date of your project – particularly if it is a large project such as a . You should also formalise the arrangement, including any quotes, in writing where necessary. You should ensure your contractor understands any special requirements you may have, such as ‘no weekend work’, ‘access instructions’, ‘parking’, ‘materials delivery’, ‘health and safety issues’ such as ‘small children’ or ‘elderly people’ or ‘pets’. Make sure that every detail is covered and, if necessary, put it in writing for both parties – even if your contractor is a master association member.

Paying my contractor
Your contractor should discuss with you, and include in any quotes, payment for labour and materials and any other costs such as hiring of scaffolding and removal of rubbish. Never pay your contractor in full in advance for any project. Larger projects should have staged payments that both parties are comfortable with. Consult your solicitor if you feel you need to use a trust fund or security of payment Scheme Company in the process. The payment term should be included in any quotations and any changes to the schedule should be documented.

Problems, disputes and resolutions with my contractor
It’s inevitable that on rare occasions, allowing for the best of intentions – and even after following the guidelines above — disputes or misunderstandings may arise between parties. The best approach is to be up front and honest with your contractor. Talk to them calmly and in a reasonable manner, and you should expect the same treatment in return. It may be a simple misunderstanding that can be solved or negotiated to an amicable resolution between both parties. If you cannot reach a resolution, try using a mediator from the building industry. As a last resort, you can lodge a claim with The Disputes Tribunal who can settle the matter in a cost effective manner. Always keep full records and documentation (including emails) of contracts entered into. Make notes about any conversations you have had. Remember a win/win outcome is always best.

By Mark Trafford

Maintain To Profit,

Websites: www.MaintainToProfit.co.nz



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