Thursday, July 27, 2006
More Bang for Your Buck: Contractors
Buying a house is one of the best investments a person can make. But many times even the most beautiful place needs a little make-over. In tonight's More Bang For Your Buck, we're showing how to save when hiring a contractor.
WSVN--For children, renovating a home is easy.
They simply knock it down and start from scratch.
But for Jimmy Fache, renovating his first home is anything but fun and games.
Jimmy Fache: "What worries me is any contractor that's not going to show up for week and weeks and delaying the job."
Not only is hiring a reliable contractor important, Jimmy also worries about staying on budget.
Jimmy Fache: " anticipated a 20 percent increase in budget and it's gone to 25 or 30 percent."
That's why, before sprucing up your home, you have to do your homework.
Interior designer Dyan Dahari has made a career out of renovating houses.
She says ask for multiple quotes before hiring a contractor.
Dyan Dahari : "You need to get at least three opinions from three different people."
Then, once you're ready to seal the deal, begin negotaiting by revealing only 3/4 of your budget.
Dyan Dahari : "You really should get the price before you discuss the budget."
Plan on paying in installments with at least the cost of materials and half of the labor up front.
Dyan Dahari : "I try to keep the labor costs on a timely basis. I never want anyone to keep ahead of me, I want to be ahead of them."
You'll also need to research what permits if any are required for the project.
Each city enforces different rules, so it's always smart to get a contractor familiar with the permit process.
Dyan Dahari : "You can use someone that is more localized who knows the area that he's dealing with.'
And you can always offer a five precent timely completion bonus to move the project along.
Dyan Dahari: "If someone gets the work done without any obstacles in the way you can offer a bonus if you think something needs to get down more quickly.'
Setting realistic goals is helping Jimmy keep his costs down.
If all goes well, he'll be moving into his new home in the fall.
Jimmy Fache: "There should also be a good cushion there but not go way over to where it's going to effect your pocket or your nerves."
One more note - never sign off on a job the day of completion.
Instead, try living in the place for a couple weeks and make sure everything is working.
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