Basement Contractors: Hiring Tips and Tricks

July 26th, 2011

Basement before Finishing

By Francine Maglione

Imagine a contractor working on your basement. You hired him and gave him the down payment that he requested. The work takes weeks and you feel like nothing is really getting done. He keeps asking for more money and you keep shelling it out hoping it will motivate him to finish. Months later he stops showing up and your basement is either not finished or was hastily completed with shoddy workmanship and cut corners, leaving you helpless and broke. You’ve been had. How could you have prevented this in the first place?

One of the most difficult parts of any building or remodeling job might be hiring a contractor. With such a harsh stigma attached to them, finding a trustworthy basement contractor can be a frightening task. Follow these tips and maybe your search will get a little easier.

Get it in Writing
Any expert in building, construction, law or any business will tell you that a safe way to handle any agreement is to get everything in writing. Ask the Builder columnist Tim Carter stresses the importance of this and even recommends using email as an easy way to get a written record. Try using email to communicate important points with your basement contractor, and then save the emails to your hard drive and to a disk and print them out.

Carter also suggests taking notes during a meeting with your basement contractor. Ask the contractor if he is able to complete the job in a certain amount of time. If he says no, ask what can be done to get the work finished sooner. Once you get the answer you want, pause and write down the notes. Carter says that the contractor will see you writing and make a mental note telling him that you will not forget what was said. A paper trail will also be helpful to you if you ever need to take legal action. Keep a collection of letters, photos, emails and other paperwork, and invest in a copy of the current building codes so you can spot any building code violations while the work is being done.

Pay Later
Tim Carter strongly suggests working out a fair, timely payment plan with your contractor. He also cautions against contractors that may be using your money to pay bills from jobs they finished months ago. Don’t end up a victim! Do your research and ask questions before hiring a contractor to ensure that he is knowledgeable and trustworthy. Don’t be afraid to give him an interview beforehand, as he is trying to get a job after all. Making sure that the company is licensed and insured and even members of trustworthy organizations, such as the Better Business Bureau, are ways to help ensure that you’re going to get what you pay for.

What They Can Do for You
A trustworthy, professional, financially stable basement contractor can be a huge help to you if you decide to remodel your basement. He will provide important and beneficial advice that can only come from an expert. Doityourself.com recommends using a basement contractor to get advice on amenities you would like to add to your basement such as a bathroom or kitchenette. Just keep in mind that the more features you decide to add to the room, the more expensive the project will become. Make sure you have enough money to cover everything you want to do. Many well-established contractors – the ones you want to do business with – offer financing plans to help with the payments.

A contractor can also help you with moisture control in your basement, or even if you have a wet basement to begin with. Before starting any basement remodeling project, it’s imperative that moisture is eliminated, and a contractor can ensure that your basement is properly insulated and vented. If you want the best for your basement, go with a Total Basement Finishing contractor. These contractors will provide you with a top-quality floor, ceiling and walls to make your basement dry, clean and safe. And with dealers all over the country, we’re bound to have just what you need right where you need it. Get your free quote┬átoday and let us help you make your basement beautiful!

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