How To Make Sure Contractors Finish Work On Time

Performance Property Real Estate Question

Q: Hi Gerald, I need to find a good contractor to do some property renovations. The last time I hired a contractor, he took forever to do the work and never finished even though we paid him in full. I’d do the work myself, but with our new baby and the increased hours I have to work on my new job, I just don’t have the time. What should I do? Steve, Hartford, Connecticut.

A: Real estate is best done in writing rather than based on verbal agreements which can be easily misconstrued. My first piece of advice is for you to make any contractor you work with sign a written contract before any work is done or any money is exchanged outlining a detailed scope of work with a timeline and a payment schedule based on successful completion of mutually agreed upon milestones. Making sure payments aren’t made before work is completed will protect you from a contractor not finishing work. The timeline that you should include in the contract coupled with penalties that reduce payments for non-weather related delays is a way to make sure the contractor doesn’t delay and finishes work on time. What contractors often do is take on more work than they can reasonably handle and a strict timeline written down will reduce that threat to you when you pay for property renovations and repairs. Thanks for your question, Steve.

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