Never Tell Your Contractor These 4 Things

couple talking to contractor

Working with a contractor can be a pretty overwhelming and confusing experience, especially if you've never done it before or you don't know a lot about home improvement in general. You might have a ton of questions and concerns and there might be a lot you don't know or need to get clarification on.

That's understandable. But when it comes to working with a contractor, you shouldn't say certain things that could end up derailing your entire project. Learn them, and you'll have a much better contractor experience.

Things to Never Say

When you're working with a contractor, there are some things you should try never to say because it will end up hurting your job. Save time and money and keep your project on the right track by never saying these things to your contractor.

Here’s the Budget

Don't tell your contractor your budget. Somehow, their price will always match your budget. Keep this information to yourself and always get a comprehensive, detailed bid from them for the project you have in mind without stating any numbers to them first. The amount you can spend is your business alone.

Just remember that realistically, the budget you have in your head should provide funds for potential overages and unexpected expenses that may arise. With many home improvement projects, there are unexpected costs for all kinds of different reasons. Whatever your budget is, make sure you have a little padding in there to cover problems like this.

There’s Plenty of Time

Don't tell your contractor that the end date for the work is open-ended, or that there's no rush, or that you aren't in a hurry. Your project may never get completed if you do this. Give them a firm deadline and timeline to work with, and they will stay within these parameters to get your work done.

If you leave things up in the air or say there's plenty of time, your project will take a backseat as other work gets prioritized.

A Handshake Is Fine

hands shaking over construction plans and supplies

Don't ever agree to a handshake agreement. Get absolutely everything in writing, no matter how small it may seem. It can be hard to remember agreements that aren't written down and everyone forgets. Make sure that once something is agreed upon, your contractor will not forget.

Even a very trustworthy and highly reliable contractor can forget a handshake agreement. It happens. Make sure it doesn't by getting everything in writing, even if it's just something you quickly scribble down.

You Should Choose the Materials

Don't let a contractor choose the construction materials. You should pick all the materials and double-check to make sure that the materials being used on the project are the materials that you picked.

You should take your contractor's advice if they tell you that the materials you are choosing are not good enough for the work you have in mind but for the most part, be prepared to choose all your own materials. Your contractor should still purchase the materials, as they will know how much to get, when to get it and how to transport it to the job site where it's needed.

various vinyl faux wood materials

Working With a Contractor

Working with a contractor can make you feel a little out of your depth. Start by having a very clear idea of the project you want to be completed and some idea of the type of materials you want to use. Having a clear idea of the work you want to get done will help you and the contractor.

Communicate clearly about what you want and make sure you understand the work they're going to do. Just remember that you don't have to tell the contractor everything.

Avoid saying the things you shouldn't say so that your project will get done in an affordable and timely fashion. Once you know a few tips for working with a contractor, the process becomes much easier.