Tackling a renovation can be daunting, but there’s one simple way to set yourself up for success: Surround yourself with the best experts out there, including a committed and talented contractor.
Jonathan and Drew Scott, authors of Dream Home and the stars of HGTV’s Property Brothers, know a thing or two about home improvement work. The two pros shared their best tips for hiring a contractor with Business Insider, and their insights are tremendously helpful, especially for first-time renovators.
“You can just turn over the keys and say, hey! Make my house pretty,” Jonathan says in the video above. But if you do that, you’re essentially setting yourself up for remodeling failure.
Here’s how to ensure you don’t get stuck with a contractor who will take advantage of you, according to the brothers.
1. Evaluate the contractor’s credibility.
Look for professional affiliations and check references, Jonathan advises. A little research can go a long way.
2. Look at previous projects.
Ask to see photos or samples of past work, Drew recommends. Don’t be shy or timid. You’re about to hand over thousands of dollars to this person, so make sure they’re worth the investment.
3. Put it in writing.
This includes quotes, the contract, payment terms and more. And if you don’t know the first thing about contracts, look at samples online. You can compare and contrast your contract with others, or use the samples to draft your own. This cheat sheet will ensure your contract has everything it needs.
4. Make sure the contractor is licensed.
This simple step is an easy way to judge his or her skill set and credibility. However, Jonathan pointed out that this is not a foolproof way to make sure they will do quality work, so check references before proceeding.