How to Work With Your Contractor on Selecting Products and Materials
Avoid common pitfalls of selecting replacement products with tips on how to manage your budget, conduct research and communicate with your contractor.
One of the most important parts of any home repair or restoration project is selecting products. Home repair products include any type of product or material related to your project. For example, if you’re restoring your kitchen, you may need to make decisions on fixtures, appliances, countertops and even flooring. We know these are big decisions for you, so we put together a quick guide on how to work with your general contractor during the product selection process.
Align on the Budget
Before you begin researching or shopping for any products or materials, be sure to talk to your contractor about the project budget. It’s important to make sure everyone is on the same page regarding how much of the total project budget is allocated for labor and how much is available for products. That way you know which products fit into the budget, and which are likely too expensive.
Many repair and restoration jobs start with a settlement check from an insurance company, which are typically calculated based on the products and materials in the home prior to the loss. For example, if you had laminate countertops before and would like to install granite countertops, your check will only cover the reinstallation of laminate countertops and you may need to sign a change order verifying you’d like to purchase the more expensive countertops.
Do Your Research
Talk with your contractor about the types of home repair products you’d like him or her to use. One of the first questions you’ll be asked is if you’d like the materials to be an exact replacement of what you had, or if you’d like to make some upgrades. If you’re looking for exact replacements, your contractor will simply go out and source products and materials that align with what you had in the home prior to the damage.
If you choose to make upgrades, your contractor will need direction from you regarding the products and materials you’d like to use. If you aren’t completely sure, try to think of any images of completed projects you’ve seen lately that you liked. Maybe you have a favorite DIY blogger or you saw something you liked on Pinterest® that you’d like to show your contractor. Even if you don’t know every single product you want to use, showing your contractor the style you’d like to emulate can help them recommend products that fit within the budget.
If you’re working with Resolve on your project, take a look at the “Explore Products” section of your project dashboard. It’s a great resource to use when browsing for products and materials. We’ve curated thousands of products from your local Lowe’s store including anything from cabinets and dishwashers to vanities, ceiling fans and shingles. If you see something you like, click the “favorite” button and Resolve will save your selections in a separate list that you can send to your contractor.
Discuss Who’s Going to Purchase
When you’re ready, talk to your contractor about who is responsible for purchasing the products and materials. Keep in mind your contractor may be eligible to get discounts that you can’t get so it’s important to discuss this beforehand to ensure you’re being as cost-effective as possible. If your contractor is going to be the one purchasing the products, make sure to ask when they need your final selections by. Keep in mind some specialty order items like cabinets have long production times which can cause delays in the overall project timeline.
Put It in Writing
If your contractor is purchasing the home repair products, he or she will ask you to sign a selection sheet verifying your choices. The selection sheet is a formal document that lists all the products you would like to purchase for the project. Think of it as an agreement between you and your contractor to make sure the products and materials you selected are purchased for the job. Once you sign the selection sheet, your contractor will purchase the products and materials for the job.
The information and advice contained in this article is intended as a general guide for informational purposes only. It does not take into account your personal situation. While we at Resolve have significant experience and history operating in the home restoration industry and working closely with construction contractors, we are not licensed as a general or specialty contractor. We encourage you to consider the information we’ve provided but urge you not to rely upon it in place of appropriate professional advice from a licensed, experienced construction contractor.