Most homeowners are excited to start their home maintenance projects when spring comes in. But that excitement fades away when they try to get quotes from tradesmen and have negative experiences.
Getting a quote from tradesmen is important because this will show the total amount you will spend on your home maintenance project. It will help you decide whether to pursue the home maintenance or adjust your original budget. The advisable strategy to get the best tradesmen for the job is to ask for a quotation from 3 or more companies. After gathering all the information, you can compare it and determine which of them gives a reasonable quote.
To ensure that you will have a stress-free experience, here are 3 simple steps when attempting to get quotes from tradesmen.
Step 1: State the job in detail
Tradesmen base their quotes per job. This is the reason it’s a must to state all the jobs you need in a detailed manner. This way the tradesmen will fully understand the extent of the job and make an accurate quote.
Here are the details that you must include when you get quotes from tradesmen:
- Materials – Aside from describing the details of the job, you should also mention if you have the materials needed for the job or not. If you still don’t have any materials on hand, it’s best to list down all the brand model and name that you prefer so the tradesmen know what to provide when they started to work. This is important to note to ensure you will only receive quality materials.
- Cleaning Task – After the job has been completed, there will be lots of rubbish lying around the house. If you don’t want to clean it yourself, you can always include this in the job details.
Step 2: Quotes
After tradesmen has read the job details, they will send you their quotes. This is what you should look for with the quotes they provide:
- Read the details carefully. This is to ensure that your requirements are included in the quotes.
- Preferred job vs. Suggested Job. There are times that tradesmen suggest another job for you. The best way to handle this is to weigh in if it is highly needed or not. If you decide that it’s not needed, just focus on the job you want and make sure to tell the tradesmen to remove the suggested job on the contract. (They may upsell you a job which you don’t really need at this stage).
- Check the materials quoted. This is to ensure that the tradesmen will only use your preferred brand or materials needed for the job. If you’re not aware of the tools and fixtures, you can always ask them for advice.
Step 3: Read the contract
After you get quotes from tradesmen and finally decide which one you want to hire, the next thing to do is read the contract carefully. If the tradesman doesn’t provide you one, it’s best to choose another tradesman, or at the very least request one.
A contract is legally binding you and the tradesmen for this project. Whatever happens during the project, it can protect both you and the tradesmen. So, it’s best to read it carefully for you to know your legal options when the tradesmen didn’t deliver what he/she promised. Also, for you to be aware of your responsibilities as a client.
Contracts usually consist of the detailed scope of the work (e.g. fencing, electrical works, concreting, etc.), the breakdown of the costs, warranty and payment terms and schedule.
The beginning of every home maintenance project is proper planning. Here are some tips on how you can start planning for your home maintenance project.
Before you call and get quotes from tradesmen, you must first make a checklist. Walk around the house and list down all the possible jobs that you wanted to be done. This will keep your mind focused on what you want and need.
- Get pricing estimates
After listing down all the jobs that you want the tradesmen to do, you can now do your research about your local tradesmen pricing rate per job. This is just for you to get a good estimate on how much you will spend on the entire project and help you build your budget.
- Prepare to be surprised
An additional and unexpected job is always part of the home maintenance project. For example, your tradesman will re-tile your floor but when he/she move the cabinet, he/she found that the wall behind it has a huge crack. When this happens, the tradesman must make a variation contract before working on it. After reading it thoroughly and all parties have agreed to the contract, all parties must sign it.
Note: The variation contract must be attached to the original invoice.
To prepare yourself for this situation, you can visit your neighbours, friends or family who have past home maintenance projects and asks for their experience.
- Making payments
This usually happens at the end of the project, but it’s good for you to prepare yourself when receiving the bill. Once you receive the bill, it’s best to read it thoroughly. This is to ensure that it doesn’t contain any hidden costs and that the tradesmen really delivered everything that is stated on it.
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