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10 Quick Tips for any New Contractor

Stack Of Lumber

1.When planning a job be decisive up front. Plan every phase of the project and make all the decisions before beginning. Draw on some foresight and look for possible situations that may arise and have a plan to alleviate them.

When you are up to your neck in alligators, it is a poor time to remind yourself that your initial objective was to drain the swamp.

These decisions include all hardware or building materials that require installation in a particular order of progression. Like hiring a sub-contractor to install a fireplace and the firebrick had not arrived. The sub-contractor leaves for a prior commitment causing a major delay while you wait for delivery.

Contractor Measuring Floor2. Be frugal when it comes to changing your mind. Situations from time to time may require a change. But, changes cost profits. Every change results in a change down the line which also effects scheduling. All workers involved must be informed of such change so they are not working on the old plan.

3. As a rule, leave the purchasing of materials to the builder. Check your price against his to keep him honest, but he more than likely gets a stronger discount for bulk than you.

You will find that even after he adds his profit on the materials, the price is just the same. You don’t need the extra accountability.

4. When the builder looks at the job, listen to his opinion if he notices other situations that hinder the satisfactory completion of your proposed project. If there is rotten wood, the wall is uneven from foundation sag or any such deficiency precludes using the plan, stop and access the additional work necessary to prepare the area for the proposed work. Estimate the work and pass it on to the customer as necessary preliminary repairs.

5. Never work dead on budget, always figure in a contingency fund to cover any unexpected costs. It’s rare indeed that the project comes out very close to budget.

A good builder will be aware of his cost and keep a good margin close to 5 percent.

6. If you’re doing a remodeling project, keep the children and pets from under foot. The workers should not have to work around children or pets. This just delays the work and creates a liability issue.

Bags Packed

7. Plan on retreating from your home during the remodeling, if not for the entire time, at least for a period. You will find it far less stressful than coping with the activity and mess created as the job progresses.

8. Make it a point not to interfere with the workers as it has a negative impact since they stop to address your questions or conversation. If it is necessary to relay a change or something relating to the project, make it short and sweet. Remember, you are paying them by the hour or job.

9. Consider the project request and don’t be afraid to make suggestions if the aesthetics may be less than favorable. You don’t install an ultramodern kitchen in an old Colonial home. It just doesn’t work, aesthetically speaking.

Bring this up and make alternative suggestions that would work well and they will thank you for it. If they insist you are covered.

10. Never attempt a remodel project without a definite floor plan. To gain the best results in remodeling projects, hire an interior designer or an architect.

Many things come together in a space and they will assist in making the best use of the space aesthetically. At the same time you will become aware of any problems or conflicts before you begin.

The experienced professionals at Wallboard Supply Company are always prepared to assist you with any of your building or remodeling needs.


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Photo credit: WorldSkills / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Johnny Vulkan / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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Wallboard Supply Company is a third generation, family run business that has been serving New England's building needs since 1970. Bob Filion started the company with a commitment to provide quality drywall and finishing products with unmatched customer service. The company has grown over the years, expanding its' product range, but never wavering from its' core values.