According to Tom Silva from the most popular PBS show “This Old House”, look for a contractor whose personality is a good match for yours. Of course, you’ll want one who does good work and has worked on the type of project you’re doing. However, you should also trust and like the person you’re dealing with. If you get a bad gut feeling during an interview, hire somebody else. Also, be up front with what you want to accomplish. Make a detailed list, and plan out your scope so that everyone’s on the same page. There will be a lot less chance of miscommunication. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if something doesn’t look right. You don’t have to be confrontational. You can just say, “Maybe I’m not understanding something here, but this doesn’t look like what I asked for.” A good contractor will listen and respond to your concerns.
What’s the best way to reduce the cost of a project? According to Tom Siliva, expensive materials and finishes should be the first things to go. Never skimp on the parts of your house that are hidden behind walls and under floors, the structure, an efficient heating or cooling system, insulation, plumbing. Investing in these will save you money on upkeep and repair in the long run. Some contractors will suggest cheaper options for these things so that you can get granite countertops or other niceties, but that’s probably the biggest mistake you can make. Make sure the structure and systems are solid, then use the money you save on monthly bills to upgrade decorative elements later.