How to Work with a Contractor

In the course of a room-addition project, it’s normal for problems to arise. Don’t be dismayed by disagreements you might have with your contractor. Clearly, he or she won’t have the same personal attachment to the project that you do. You’ll be anxious that the new addition live up to your dreams of it, and you’re likely to be a bit edgy having all those workers around your house for what can seem like years. And your understandable nervousness can magnify any difficulties.

Once the project gets going, keep a close eye on the work and the materials being used. Feel free to ask questions – it’s your house and your money – but try not to get in the way of the work. And you should try to be around home at least some part of every day so the contractor can ask you questions. Don’t give any direct instructions to the contractor’s employees or to subcontractors; always deal directly with the contractor.

Work with Contractor How to Work with a Contractor

After the job is completed, you should address a formal letter of acceptance to the contractor, who then files a completion notice with the country recorder’s office.

If you plan to hire a contractor but do some of the work yourself, be sure to check for any objections to your presence on the job. In strongly unionized communities, a union contractor might be prohibited from permitting you to do some of the work. In other circumstances it might simply be the contractor’s personal policy no to work with nonprofessionals, even if they are his clients.

Some of the most common jobs homeowners do during the construction include insulation, painting, and cleaning up. Your contract will want to be assured that your part in the work won’t delay completion of the job. Your responsibilities will be spelled out in the contract, and you’ll have to sign a written statement releasing the contractor from any liability for the work you perform.

And,. Of course, your contract may call for the contractor to do only a limited amount of the work – foundation, frame, and roof, for instance. Once that is done and the contractor has left the job, you can finish the project yourself.


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