Make sure you have written plans i.e. budget, designs, permits. Sometimes you will need professional plans from structural engineers, especially if you’re doing demo. It’s an expense that will save you money in the long run.
Before signing the contract and things to keep in mind.
Make sure to check all references - a small issue might be a big red flag
Check reviews – Angie’s List, Yelp, Home Advisor, BBB (note not all business is BBB Accredited) Try to find BBB contractors)
Verify licenses with the DPOR and make sure there’s no action against them.
Check with the county to see if you need a building permit.
Vet everyone – even someone recommended by family.
Make sure the contract has the “termination for convenience clause”
Make sure you receive a line item budget from the contractors before the work begins.
Do not start work until you get a signed W9 (if needed). This is a rental property and the labor will be expensed.
Try to be on site as much as possible.
Do not pay for materials without receipts. Add this requirement in contract.
Make sure your contractor knows that all changes to the original plan must have written approval or they will not get paid. Put it in the contract.
Do not do business with a company that wants all of its money up front? Even large well-known companies. Because there’s no incentive for them to complete the work in a timely manner or address any issues if they arise.
Even though you have a Fixed Price contract pay only the days worked that week. Make sure it’s in the contract to avoid misunderstandings.
Get a second opinion and/or bid, if a contractor finds issues outside the original contract. (add to contract) This might cause delays, but you will save money at the end.
Be prepared for delays, so don’t rush the process.
Don’t be a pushover, believe but verify, and get another estimate if contractor finds an issue outside the scope of the original contract.