You’ve decided to go for it: you’re going to gut your kitchen or your bathroom. You’ve planned (and pinned) for what seems like EVER and you’re ready to hire a contractor to start demo!! But what questions do you ask when hiring a building contractor? Where do you start? All your overflowing Pinterest boards for “Dream Home” didn’t prepare you for finding your dream contractor!We are a husband and wife team that formed Lot 35 Homes, a construction and interior design firm to serve clients with their residential remodels and room designs. Ryan is the building contractor of this duo, and I (Morgan) am the interior design half (and blogger if you didn’t catch that).
We LOVE taking care of our clients, and have geared our business model towards the busy and overwhelmed because we see the value in handling all the billions of details that are part of a building project and even something as seemingly simple as buying furniture! All that to say, I know a thing or two about the world of a general contractor. For the first decade of our marriage, I was home, raising babies. Ryan was out, literally pounding the pavement, and coming home covered in paint, sawdust, sporting callouses and sometimes nail holes in fingers (thankfully only twice!). I would cart the kids to the job sites to say hi, take him lunch, or because I just needed to get out of the house (can I get an AMEN?), and he would show me what he was working on. I was always so impressed with the amount of details that had to be taken care of, the abundance of code compliant practices that had to be understood, the safety precautions that were followed, and the time it took to do things RIGHT.
Ryan is one of the most loyal people I know, and that really serves him well when it comes to working with clients. He builds with integrity and creativity and I’m seriously SO FREAKIN’ IMPRESSED with his knowledge and his skill set. Wowzers. I know I’m a little biased, BUT when it comes to what good, quality work looks like, I’m not naive. I often wonder what I would do if I didn’t have a handy husband, and I think about the how stressful the process would be to try to find someone to do our projects. Over the years, we’ve had people call Ryan to do projects, from large scale to something small like hanging pictures or painting a bedroom.
No matter the size of the project, I would still be intimidated to hire a contractor. And truth is, when it’s something that Ryan doesn’t do (like plumbing and electrical work),I DO worry about these things: How will I know if they’ll do a good job? How much is this going to cost? What if they don’t do what they say they’ll do? If you’ve ever been in this boat, you know that it can cause anxiety. So we created a guide to help you hire with confidence. You’ll find out what things to watch out for, what things to ask for, and how to have a good working relationship with your contractor. Win/win!
I think out of this list of 5 things, #1 is my favorite: contract! It’s the most important because it is the best way to have a great relationship with your contractor and to make sure that everyone knows what the plan is. It protects you both from any “he said/she said” and gets in writing what the road map is for your project. Click the pic below to see what the other 4 red flags are. Of course, if you’re local, we’d love the opportunity to show you firsthand how we take care of our clients and complete projects on budget with the highest level of quality work. Contact info below!