An important aspect of hiring a home-based contractor is understanding what permits, special requirements, or licenses are required for each job. Once this is understood, you can know whether it is better to hire a licensed contractor or a handyman.

Be sure to ask for references and references and learn about the relationship of those parties to the contractor. Request photos of facilities in similar jobs that have been done for others, and call or visit referring parties to inquire about how the work was done, attitude during work, meeting budget, and closing on time. Find out if there are any negative comments online or with the BBB. Make sure you are qualified to handle the scope and type of work required, especially with regard to special conditions such as lead-based paint, asbestos, mold, etc.

If the house is occupied, if there are personal items stored there, or has not been verified as vacant, be sure to rate your contractor if you are not aware of them through online services such as or others. Obtain a copy of the contractor’s driver’s license and ask him to sign a w-9 to include his social security number. If you are an investor and renewals are common for you, you may want to investigate the Verify Photo ID app recommended by Inman News.

Next, execute an Independent Contractor Agreement with your contractor. Make sure you don’t have verbiage or requirements that suggest the contractor is an employee of you.

Now is the time to outline and understand the three phases of renewal. The first initial phase is paid on day 1 of the job. Subsequent Phase Two and Phase Three drawings must be paid weekly, on Monday or Tuesday. When building the phases, the contractor must budget for each item and any excess or incorrect quotes are the responsibility of the contractor, not the owner. Make sure your agreement covers things like milestones and describes the scope and sequence of work that needs to be completed. The contract must include the description of all the work and the condition of customer satisfaction, such as all items completed in a similar way to a worker, the workplace was left clean and tidy on a daily basis and no items incomplete.

Ideally, the home owner should have chosen paint colors, gloss, types for each space, cabinets, granite, and whatever materials will be used in the project at the source. Have your independent contractor pay for those materials and have the supplier deliver them to the job site, then reimburse the contractor immediately; This strategy avoids any appearance of establishing an employee / employer relationship. Don’t pay for routine tools and supplies that the contractor uses in his day-to-day business, such as paintbrushes, ladders, tarps, etc.

If you are not the owner-occupier on the job site, ask the contractor to provide daily photos and videos of each phase when it is complete before scheduling a personal inspection and before payment for that phase is released. An investor can use this in the future or in marketing.

In exchange for the final payment, the owner must sign that they are satisfied with the work and the independent contractor must sign that they are releasing all the links in exchange for the final payment.

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