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Getting the Best from an Independent Contractor

Posted by rafael on December 18, 2012 in Business Services

When it comes to managing an independent contractor, don’t assume that it will be a piece of cake. Remember that they will have their own agenda, hopefully it matches fairly closely to the one that you have.

Whether you desire a new bathroom or extra space in the form of a cellar conversion, careful thought should be given to the way that you set up and manage your contractor. Without this the chances of things not going according to your plan are unfortunately set to increase.

This blog post will take a look at some of the things you should do and also examine the things you should avoid. Hopefully by following some of the examples your work will go off without incident, with both parties getting the best possible results.

It’s All in the Detail

A great place to start is getting everything down. You will be looking to not only detail what work needs to be carried out but also how you want things to be done. This framework will then form the basis of your contract, helping to avoid any long drawn out disputes. You will sleep much easier in the knowledge that your wishes have been made very clear from the outset.

The contract that you prepare will confirm the exact scope of the work that is to be carried out. It is therefore important that you spell out exactly what you need doing and what you don’t. Furthermore, as well as a cellar conversion, you might want a new ceiling installed, but you might want to paint it yourself. Things like this can be cleared up from day one.

Potential Late Penalties

It makes sense to detail in the start and finish dates for the work; this will help to clear up any future confusion. Taking this a little further, you might also like to cover any penalties for late work. Whilst on the subject of payments, the contract should also tell when you will be making payment for the work. It is not uncommon for a percentage of the fee to be withheld until after everything has been completed to your satisfaction.

Site Specifics

Many people will be a little lapse with the next element that should be covered. This relates to any site instructions, some of the things that can be covered might include:

  • Site access
  • Workers parking
  • Working hours
  • Washrooms
  • Eating facilities

The thought behind this information is the same for when you start a new job. You wouldn’t be too impressed if no one took the opportunity to tell you where the toilets were or where you could eat lunch.

It is also possible to cover any health and safety issues that are particular to your job or site. Equally important is ensuring that they have been passed down to everyone who will be working on the job.

Independent Contractor

Independent Contractor

Are They Insured?

Incredibly a number of contractors don’t have the necessary insurance coverage. A simply question to view these papers should help to clear this matter up. In the event of your request being laughed off or if you request is treated with contempt, then it might well be worth steering clear of this contractor. A contractor who is open and honest won’t mind providing you with the documentation that you request.

Verbal Agreements

Whatever happens, you should never put yourself in a position of relying on verbal agreements. Even when your contractor has been recommended to you or if they are a relative of a neighbour, never ever accept anything other than a proper written agreement.  With a written contract there can be little or no room for misunderstanding, on both sides.

Some contractors come across really nice when trying to tie up the deal. Alarm bells should be ringing if a contractor is nonplussed about a written contract.

The Art of Mindreading

It might sound strange, but you shouldn’t expect your new contractor to be an expert mind reader. Even with the best will in the world it is unlikely that they will understand the subtleties of your personal taste. Very often we don’t take the time to state the obvious because it seems, well, obvious! Don’t be too surprised when that slightly off shade of salmon turns out to be closer to red. Sharing the inner most details of your personal taste will ensure that everything looks just the way you like it, rather than something more suited to that of your contractor.

Fair Treatment for All

Sadly a huge number of clients treat the people that work for them badly. Getting the best out of people will normally require demonstrating a degree of respect. In the event of you feeling that you cannot provide your contractor with this respect then maybe it is time to search for a different one.

If like me you are desperate for extra space and are interested in cellar conversions, Manchester has experts who can help you get your project started.

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