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Finding a Qualified Craftsman
Paragon C&D Builders / Vallone Real Estate
Wednesday, October 13, 2010 • Posted October 12, 2010 10:00 PM

Remodeling your house is a large project in and of itself, not to mention finding a qualified craftsman to help you complete the task at hand. Working with a craftsman can be a hassle if you don’t hire the right one. So how do you go about finding a qualified craftsman?

Start by planning your entire project before you even begin looking for a craftsman. It helps to have the work outlined down to the measurements of what you are changing or adding. Once you have the plans established, do some research and create the budget for your project. Go to Home Depot or Lowes and get prices on the equipment you will be using and the general cost of the items you are adding or changing. You may find out that you can’t afford the nice granite countertops in your kitchen remodel. Once you have the project established and the budget in place, it is time to begin contacting craftsmen to complete the job.

There are a lot of qualified craftsmen out there who aren’t interested in scamming you out of more money. So how can you weed out the good from the bad?

Here are some tips to help:

Start by interviewing different contractors and ask for a written bid from each craftsman. A great place to start is by contacting friends, family members, local Chamber, and local newspaper. Once you have 3 or 4 craftsmen in mind, ask for references. References are a great way to know who you are working with exactly and what type of reputation they have.

Compare all the bids and decide who has the best price. If you like a particular craftsman over another, ask them if they would be willing to match the quote of the other craftsmen. Check for hidden costs within the bid. Some craftsmen will give you a bid, but forget to add a few minor details to the total cost, such as time and warranties.

Before you officially hire the craftsman, discuss your time frame with them. You should create a schedule together that will satisfy both of you. If the craftsman is doing a number of different projects, you will need to create a payment plan. This is generally because some craftsmen will need to be paid on a daily basis, while others want a payment when the job is completed.

Discuss warranty information with the craftsman. This is mostly for your own protection. For examples, the craftsman could rip out the tile shower, replace a cracked pan and retile your shower for a set cost. What happens if he didn’t seal the pan properly and the shower begins leaking through the ceiling or onto the floor? You need to have a clause in your agreement that states the craftsman will be responsible for fixing the shower if it was not done properly in the beginning.

Most craftsmen are honest, but here are some tips to help you know if you are dealing with a bad one:

• No references or credentials.

• The bid is significantly lower from other craftsmen.

• Daily specials. For example, they offer you a different rate if you call Monday versus on Wednesday.

• Only accepts cash payments.

• Requires payment in full before work begins.

• Inconvenient hours.

• Doesn’t offer a warranty or will not be responsible for future problems with the project they are working on.

• If a building permit is required, they ask you to obtain it.

• Needs money to purchase the supplies. Most craftsmen come ready with the supplies needed for the job. The exception is when you want specific parts installed, you will normally purchase these parts yourself and then they will only charge you for the labor.

Information for this article was taken from www.homebuilding remodeling.com

For all your real estate and building needs, call Debbie at 830-833-4249/713-818-6658 or debbie@vallonereal estate.net. Offices located in the Historic Blanco Courthouse.

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