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When it comes to renovating your home, there are some tasks you can safely take on your own. Depending on your experience, anything from installing a new toilet to renovating the entire bathroom may be in your wheelhouse. There is no shortage of news stories about water quality issues. But when you have very little skill with a toolkit, your DIY abilities may top out at changing a light bulb or painting your bedroom a new color.

Wherever you fall on this scale, when you meet your match, you’ll need a contractor to help take on bigger tasks you can’t do on your own. Hiring the right professional can go a long way to the success of your renovation, so make sure you know these three things before you hire a contractor.

  1. What do you want done?

Before you can start researching builders and contractors, you first need to know what their job will entail. Are you looking for a professional who can help you move a load bearing wall, or do you need someone who can rewire an entire house up to current electrical codes? How you answer these questions will affect who you end up calling.

p9296727 Things to Think About Before Hiring a Contractor

While general builders and contractors can do a wide variety of jobs, you may want to contact specific professionals like HVAC technicians, plumbers, or electricians when you have a very specific project in mind.

  1. How will you pay for it?

Renovations that involve a contractor are naturally more expensive than tasks you take on your own — even if you end up using the same amount of materials purchased from the same suppliers. These professionals add on the cost of labor to the job. You’ll be paying for their work as well as their insurance on the job.

It may be worth the price for when you want help with an intricate job that involves important safety checks. By paying a professional to deal with your electrical system, you can avoid potentially electrocuting yourself when you don’t know what you’re doing.

But this added cost may be a challenge for your budget if you aren’t careful. If you’re finding it hard to cover this added expense, consider looking over your household budget to see where you can cut costs — and boost your renovation budget.

A variable expense like your grocery bill is a great place to start — how much you spend on food depends on a lot of things in and out of the grocery store. Things like how well you use up leftovers (to avoid food waste) and how many cash-back rebates you use at the till can help you lower your grocery bills every week. These weekly savings can add up.

Tips like this are available online from a site like MoneyKey. Their blog offers practical financial advice for their customers, including ways to save on your weekly groceries. So if you’re ready to take on more challenges in the supermarket, click here to read more. If you’re able to take on all their suggestions, you might be able to boost your renovation budget considerably.

When tabling this budget, don’t forget to incorporate an emergency buffer. Most renovation experts suggest you add on an extra 25 percent to your expected costs to cover any repairs you can’t foresee — like if you were to find black mould behind your bathtub.

If, even with your extra savings, you can’t cover these unexpected repairs, the folks at MoneyKey also offer a way to potentially resolve these issues. They offer short term loans that are ideal for one-time bills and repairs. You should only use these payday loans in an emergency, like when you need to deal with the hazards of black mould right away.

  1. What’s an average bid?

Answering the question above will be easier when you know what the going rate is for contractors in your area. It’s a good idea to contact at least three contractors, so you can get a good feeling for the type of pricing you can expect.

The more bids you receive, the better you’ll understand the costs. Not only will you start to see what your plans will cost you, but you’ll also see the difference in quality that each level of bid offers. For example, a contracting company with the absolute lowest prices may also offer the absolute lowest quality of craftsmanship.

Once you have a good idea of what the average bid is, you can interview your top choices to learn more about the caliber of work they offer. Remember, you need to consider more than just the final product — you should also ask about their licenses, insurance, and professionalism when making your final decision.

Taking on a massive renovation is a big step. It means you’ll likely need a little help to finish whatever you have in store for your home. When you’re ready to look for a contractor, make sure you take the time to shop around and think about what you really want. If you’re able to take the time to do it properly, you’ll be able to find the best person for the job.