As much as you are improving the look of your house, house renovation can be one of the most stressful parts of owning a home.

Over the years, you’ve probably heard many horror stories about home buyers caught off guard by unexpected costs, lousy work, and delays. In the worst cases, the contractor would disappear with the money, leaving the homeowners high and dry.

Choosing the right contractor is a hard job by itself, but once you’ve made your choice, getting the contract right is another way to help avoid problems in the future.

Whether doing a condo remodel or any other remodeling project, here are tips to ensure you have a great time handling the project.

Avoid upfront payments

It goes without saying that if you pay upfront, contractors or designers who aren’t honest could run away with your money. If the work turns out to be bad, getting your money back will be harder.

To stay safe, pay as little as possible upfront, and ensure you have a good payment structure that works in your favor.

A great way to do it is to make payments in parts, like 10% when the floors are done, 40% when the kitchen is done, and so on. You should only pay for the work once it’s done.

You should avoid paying more than 20% to start work. If you have to pay more than that, ask your contractor why they need such a hefty payment upfront.

It will be better if you add a schedule to these milestones so that the contractor has to meet both the schedule and the standards.

Ensure all defects are fixed beforehand.

Even when working with the most experienced contractors, problems might arise. You might assume that the contractor will fix all problems before handing over, but some contracts need to be clarified.

Some contracts say a problem can be fixed within a certain amount of time (up to 30 days after the job is done), while others may not even mention the problem.

Pay attention to the fact that some contracts put all responsibility on a subcontractor.

For example, if there is a problem with the electrical work, the contract might say that you have to talk to the electrician on your own.

Always ensure that defects are fully dealt with and spelled out in the contract to your satisfaction. Don’t forget that the last payment should not be due the contractor has fixed until all the problems.

Have written proof.

Don’t count on verbal promises or confirmations because you can’t prove them later. Whatever your contractor agrees to or changes, it must be in writing.

You can do this through email, text messages, or written documents.

When things are written down, they are not only binding but also less likely to be misunderstood.

Ask about warranties

What happens if your cabinets start to bend after only a year? Or if the tiles are already beginning to lose their color?

Some materials may come with a warranty that lasts a lifetime, while others may not have any warranty at all.

Whether buying materials or working with a contractor, ask about any warranties available. You also need to know who to talk to about these warranties and how to do it.

As you find warranties, remember that cheap materials or products may not come with a warranty. If you need to replace them after a short time, this can add up to a lot of money in the long run.

Work with commercial remodeling DC professionals offering a warranty to stay on the side. The products you buy should also have a warranty.