Written by Spear Builders

5 tips for dealing with contractors

So you've succeeded in getting the home of your dreams by working with home builders in Virginia. Now that the crews have packed up and left, that's the end of dealing with contractors, right? Wrong. Inevitably you will have to hire workers for a job in the future, whether it be refreshing a paint job or landscaping your property. How do you ensure that you get your money's worth without a lot of headaches? Here are five tips for dealing with contractors that will make everyone's life a little easier.

1. Do your research to find a contractor

Don't just pick up the Yellow Pages or rely on advice from a neighbor. Do your homework; there are many websites expressly for this purpose (AngiesList.com is one of them). A good source of information is the manager of your local hardware or home improvement store. Above all, make sure your contractor is licensed and insured.

2. Have a plan

Know what you want from the get go, and communicate this clearly to the contractor. Changing directions in the middle of a job can be very time-consuming and costly to you in the long run. Have a vision of the work you want to be completed and impart this to the foreman at the start of the job. Putting it in writing can't hurt.

3. Anticipate mess

Many homeowners are shocked by the amount of dust, fumes or piles of materials that accumulate during a project. You may want to consider staying somewhere else for a few nights while the work is done, particularly if you or a family member suffers from a health problem like asthma.

4. You aren't the center of the universe

Recognize that you are not the contractor's only client, and behave accordingly. Making unrealistic demands will only create resentment and a tense work environment, so be respectful of their time and workload.

5. Get ready to wait

If you spend a lot of time watching the home fixer-upper shows on television, you may be surprised that work is not completed in an hour - or even a day! TV productions fail to show all the assistants behind the scenes and clever editing makes jobs seem effortless. Lots of factors can cause delays, including the contractor's other jobs and weather may have a significant impact on your project.

If you bear in mind these five basic rules, you and your contractor will have a much better working relationship overall.