Finding the Right Contractor
8 Tips for Selecting a Contractor to Build or Renovate Your Dream Salon
“Many contractors have done various projects, but have they ever done built out for a salon?” This is one of the key questions that author Jeff Grissler encourages you to ask when selecting a contractor to renovate or build your salon. When you’re ready to invest your time and hard earned dollars into making improvements or building a new salon, it’s vital that you ask the right questions to select a contractor who will understand your needs.
From Jeff’s must read book, The Start-Up Guide for Opening, Remodeling & Running a Successful Salon, below are eight tips to select and work with a contractor.
1. Ask what type of projects they’ve done.
Do they specialize in cabinetry or are they more of a general contractor that does a bit of everything? Have they done salon projects? If they concentrate on remodeling or full build out projects and deal with a variety of subcontractors, such as plumbers and electricians, they may be a good fit for your project.
2. Visit some existing or recently completed projects.
Good builders are proud of their work. Ask to see photos or visit some of their projects. Talk with previous clients and ask for feedback on how the job was handled, and if they’re happy with the work.
3. Get a list of former clients.
Word of mouth is often the best solution when hiring a contractor or builder. If they give you a list of five clients to call, make sure you call all of them. Ask what type of project they performed, and if they would work with the contractor again.
4. Make sure the contractor is licensed and insured.
Never hire a contractor that is not licensed and insured in your area. This will help protect you against liability from accidents on the job. If you’re borrowing money to finance the project, a bank will require the contractor to be licensed and carry a policy that covers liability and Worker’s Compensation insurance.
5. Ask how long they’ve been in business.
If a builder or contractor has been in business more than five years, that is usually an indication that they can run a successful project and satisfy customers.
6. Find out who will be managing your project.
This is very important! If you build a relationship with your contractor, you’ll feel better if he is on the job every day. If he uses subcontractors and is going to manage from an office, you will not be happy. Smaller contractors provide a more hands-on approach. With larger contractors, make sure you have a project manager on site when all work is being done.
7. Confirm payment terms.
Contractors get paid in many different ways. Before the project starts, agree to terms and sign a written contract on how you are expected to pay.
8. Never pay in advance or in full prior to job completion.
If you owe your contractor for work, it helps ensure that the job will be completed. You will have deadlines for them to meet by setting a timeline for completion and stages of payment. Be sure they are present for inspections and your review of their work as it’s completed.
The Start-Up Guide for Opening, Remodeling & Running A Successful Salon provides a wealth of practical information and guidance on a wide range of topics to include: business planning, financing, sales, marketing, hiring and tips for building customer relations.