“Better save than sorry”; this applies to all contracting jobs you consider to assign. Whether it is a building contract for your own private residence, a simple remodelling job, renovation or interior decoration. There are many so-called contractors out-there and not all of them are as good as they say.
It is good to check their portfolio with references they can show you of previous jobs with their involvement. It always helps if you find a contractor that communicates in English, so he understands what your intentions are. Credibility and reliability are crucial; if the contractor has been established in the region for many years, you might be better of than when he just started. We have heard from cases whereby the contractor disappeared after the first contract payment was made. Asking and checking for his home- or office address and requesting a copy of the contractor’s ID-card always helps.
Any job you need to have done should commence with proper and clear instructions or, even better, detailed plans. Material specifications or material allowances need to be sorted before any job starts; if the specs aren’t clear at the very beginning of any project, you might end up paying a considerable bigger amount of money than you anticipated. Contractors not able to present their quotation in a detailed BOQ-format (Bill of Quantities) are often not that experienced.
Presenting a lump-sum quote allows for many loose-ends and questions to be answered; those questions often come-up during the project, which is than too late. Keep your cool if things go wrong; Thais often feel offended if you loose your temper.
If you require arbitrage during the project you might as well consider changing contractors. Even if you introduce ‘experienced’ arbiters. If worse comes to worse you may find yourself in a lawsuit which is not a pleasant and definitely not a fast experience here in Thailand.