1. One of the best ways for a client to protect himself or herself when starting a new project is to request a detailed quote from the appointed contractor. For maximum protection, ensure this quote is a combination of both a quotation and a bill of quantities, as this will allow for complete transparency on the project.
The client will be able to see what amounts are allocated to what parts of the project, making it easy to track their payments against the progress made by the contractors. This will also help to manage when a dispute comes up regarding what needed to be done and what was allowed for on the quotation.
2. A building project can turn very emotional, very quickly for both parties. Always ensure that a building contract is signed before work commences. The contract will guide both parties on what their responsibilities are and what the agreed payment schedule is. The contract is also an easy tool to refer back to on what the next step in the project is.
3. Always request at least 3 references. This will give the client the peace of mind that the contractor he appointed is the correct contractor.