Deciding who to hire

Once you have interviewed renovators, checked their references and received written price quotes from those you are interested in hiring, it's time to decide who will be doing your job.

Renovators should be allowed adequate time to prepare a bid for your project, and as mentioned previously, you must ensure that each renovator is working with the same plans and specifications. For all but the simplest projects, you should expect the renovator to present their bid in person, so that they can discuss each aspect with you and answer any question you may have.

Once you have met with the renovators who are bidding on your job, you should review each set of bid documents carefully before deciding who to hire.

Compare every aspect of their bids – the description of the work, specifications (materials and products), price and allowances, deposit and payment milestones, project schedule and any additional recommendations or ideas for your project.

If, during your discussions with prospective contractors, any have suggested to you they can provide you with a better price if you pay them cash and skip the paperwork, you should eliminate them from further consideration – they have essentially told you they cheat on their taxes and lie to the government.  You shouldn’t expect they will treat you any better.

Review the information you collected during and after your initial round of renovator interviews – your initial impressions of each renovator, and what their previous customers had to say about them.

Decide the importance of each aspect of your evaluation. While overall price is important, it is only one factor. Many homeowners who have successfully completed major home renovations speak about the importance of peace of mind – working with a renovator they trusted and felt confident in.

If you have a particularly strong sense of confidence in one of the renovators, they are probably your best choice, even if their price is not the lowest. In the end, you should choose the renovator based on your sense of the overall value they can provide to you.

In the end it comes down to trust and confidence – trust that you have chosen the right contractor for the job, and confidence that you will get what you want.