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Are you planning a major home improvement project in the near future? Then you will probably want to hire a contractor. Here are a few tips to get the job done right the first time around and get the most bang for your buck.

Regardless how big or small the task is, make sure you spell out all the terms of the project, especially the payment
Another thing to think about beforehand is to determine if you will pay an hourly rate or a flat rate. If you choose to pay hourly, it is in your best interest to create a daily time sheet used daily by you and your contractor. Also, make sure to discuss an end date with your contractor, because more than likely they have many projects on their plates and you don’t want them to forget about yours.

Most contractors mark up the price for materials they use for a job. If you provide your own tools, you will actually end up saving money. With this being said, do some shopping! Visit your local stores to find the best prices for the fixtures and finishings you want.

Know your contractors specialties and make sure to get the right contractor for the job. Also, become aware that a general contractor needs to hire a specialty contractor to perform jobs that need specific licensing.

Last but not least, understand the difference between handymen and contractors. Handymen are not licensed or specialized and are usually found on sites like, Craigslist. Contractors, on the other hand, should be licensed, have many years of experience, and work in remodeling or construction full-time. If you do hire a contractor, make sure to see an updated license as well as insurance coverage.

It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway… don’t sign a completion statement or make the final payment until the job is complete. When using contractors for home improvement projects, money is the only leverage for getting things done right, the first time around.