) Outline the scope of work: Before getting quotes from a contractor, establish the scope of work to be done. For example, do you want the contractor to just remove the mold, or do you want him/her to also fix the underlying moisture problem that is causing the mold? Whether you are doing part of it yourself or not, remember that clearing up the underlying moisture problem is essential; otherwise, you are likely to be calling the contractor later to remove more mold.
This step is important so that you can get multiple quotes from contractors based on the same job.
If you are having a difficult time defining the work that needs to be done, and you don’t know anybody experienced enough to give you a hand, here is a sure method to get you the guidance you need:
Use different experts for defining the work versus the actual work. For example, invite a contractor in to take a look at the situation and give you an assessment of the work to be done, telling him/her up front that you will not be hiring him/her for the actual work. You just want a consultation.
This removes the conflict of interest of telling you what is needed, knowing that he/she is going to get paid for all the work that he/she just recommended.
This may cost a little extra for the consultation, but for the piece of mind that you are getting an honest opinion with no self-interest attached, it will be well worth it.
2) Inviting contractors to place a quote. Once you are comfortable with the job that needs to be achieved, type up an outline of the tasks. For example, a basic description might be like this:
- Apply detergent or bleach product to mold area, scrub mold from surface. (Do not to mix bleach with any product that contains ammonia!)
- Clean and wipe down all exposed surfaces in the work area.
- Repair broken faucet and pipes near the bathtub.
- Properly dry work area.
- Clean up area
- All work to be completed in same day
- Make a follow-up observation in 14 days to ensure problem is resolved. Area should be free of moisture, mold, and mold odor.
- Along with estimate, submit 3 references from previous jobs
- Along with estimate, submit proof of insurance document
- Once you have the outline, you are ready to distribute it to the various specialists in your area.
So with your outline, you can call up the contractor and ask if they would be willing to give you a price based on the work needed. They will likely want to inspect and assess the problem themselves, which is fine. If you followed step one above, you will already have a non-biased opinion on the scope of work, and will be able to detect if the contractor is trying to upsell you on non-needed tasks.
At this point, give the contractor your description of what you think needs to be done. The contractor may have a different opinion on what ought to be done, and at this point you will need to use your best judgment whether to go along with him/her or to stick to your scope. Remember if you change your scope of work, you will want to make sure you are still comparing the other estimates on the same thing.
Its OK to tell the contractor that you are gathering multiple estimates on the same work, and then ask him/her to submit their quote in writing.
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