The Fine Print - You CAN negotiate a contract when hiring a contractor!

I've mentioned on this blog several times that I


don't like hiring people to do work on our house. A growing arsenal of tools, coupled with hard-won, battle-tested confidence (over-confidence?) gained from years of DIY makes me want to take on anything and everything. I've been pretty damn successful too, ... well, mostly successful.

Of course, I am


smart enough to know that taking on "anything and everything" is technically stupid. Still, I stretch myself further and further with what I'm willing to do myself. After all, it's my thing, part of the AZ DIY Guy tool-wielding, bad-ass persona, right?

Every intrepid DIY'er is faced with projects perhaps better left to the pros. Of course, we usually do it anyway. We are a hearty breed, we warrior poets of the tool box realms. Often it goes really well, and we leave the field of battle victorious. Other times,.. ahhh hell...

Yeah. Other times.

Sometimes, we have to accept that fact that we are suffering from a lack of knowledge, skills, proper tools, time, safety, licensing, or just plain mojo to take on a beastly project. The smart move is to begrudgingly pry some cash out of the bank and fork it over a contractor. They usually do great, and they certainly get it done quicker. Unfortunately,the speed and expertise come with a substantially higher price tag. There's also the fear of getting hosed. Everyone's heard stories about people getting taken by shifty contractors (slimy bastards). 

You can take steps to chose a great contractor, lessen your risk, and get a fair price.

When that estimator / salesman dude shows up in his shiney pickup truck, with his clip board, measuring instruments, and calculator, you still have

all the power.

 Until you sign that contract, you have the ultimate weapon,

the ability choose someone else

to give your hard earned money to.

Recently, I was invited for my second visit to the

Thumb and Hammer Home Improvement Podcast


Doug and I had a great discussion about my recent adventures in hiring a pool remodeling contractor to completely re-do our aging pool.

I'd written about the pool remodel previously, but on this podcast, we focused on the steps I used when choosing the contractor and negotiating some key terms of the contract.

This discussion has tips that can be helpful, regardless of what type of project you are hiring a contractor for. I used the exact same approach when I hired a roofer, before I launched the AZ DIY Guy Blog.  

Listen to the episode here:

012: The AZ DIY Guy returns to discuss contracts, contractors and pool repair

I had a great time visiting the podcast. I always love a good home renovation discussion. Give it a listen and let us know what you think. Check out the rest of Doug's episodes as he interviews other DIY / Home Improvement bloggers and shares his hard-won lessons with his own money-pit of a home.

Have a great week!