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Monday, July 8, 2013

Top 5 Problems with Hiring a Contractor to Finish Your Basement

It is easy to believe that hiring a contractor will magically transform your basement into a masterpiece of living space. 

While it is certain that professionals know what they are doing, they can burn quite a hole in your pocket. Furthermore, their work may not always mirror your expectations. So before you decide to hire a contractor and sign a heavy check, do consider the following problems that you might have to tackle:

1. Expensive
 Labor costs can exceed the total material costs by as many as three times. This simply translates to a huge cash leak of thousands of dollars. Often, people fail to realize what they could do with this extra cash that they pay for labor charges. You could utilize it to purchase higher quality materials, better lighting, plush furnishings, and much more.

2. The Trust Factor
A contractor comes with an assortment of hassles – paperwork, billing, multiple invoices, and what not. And in spite of all this, a few months later a lot of us find ourselves coping with waterproofing faults, broken tiles, and things not working as smoothly as expected. In other words, it is only foolish to trust a contractor without any references. Get references from family and friends. If that is not possible, please do check with the references provided by the contractor.

3. Constant Monitoring
 Hiring a contractor to finish your basement isn't where your job ends. From that point on, you will have to discuss the fine details, negotiate, plan the work, and constantly monitor the progress. This will take your nearly as much, if not more, time as it does to finish your basement on your own.

4. Hidden Costs
The price quoted by the contractor may not cover all the expenses that will be incurred during the finishing process. Besides the lump sum you will initially allocate to the contractor, you will also have to bear extra costs that come along the way.

5. Unmet Expectations
The finished basement may not be your dream come true. There are bound to be differences in what you had planned and what the contractor actually delivers. You may be thinking of tiles of a certain color and texture, but the ones used may be entirely different. And if you decide to do purchase the materials yourself, then the contractor isn't really helping you much except charging you excessive labor costs. In such a case, you might as well spend a little more time and finish the basement too. For those who love doing new things, this can be a great one-time experience.