What to Consider Before Hiring a Building Contractor
September 28, 2017
Completing a home remodeling project can be either stressful or satisfying depending on the contractor. There are several considerations to help you narrow in on the right contractor. Look at the search process as a time for you to build a relationship with someone who could make the next few months blissful or stressful.
Communication assessment begins with the first phone call. A good contractor will have proper phone etiquette, and will always follow up the conversation with an email. If your contractor takes too much time with the follow-up email, this could be a warning sign. Other things you need to look for are their availability on the phone, their response to emails and the time they take to respond to emails or send you the documents you need.
Find a contractor with experience relevant to your needs. For example, if you need a roof fixed, find someone with experience in the area as opposed to someone who has experience fixing floors. If you need multiple jobs done, find a full-service contractor who has experience in multiple areas. Start by doing extensive interviews and asking for recent photos of jobs similar to the job you need finished. If you are looking to have your floors done, you may need to rethink a contractor who produces landscaping pictures.
Referrals from Previous Clients
Ask your family and friends to refer you to a trustworthy contractor they know who has experience in that area. Alternatively, you can check in with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry for a list of contractors working in your area or ask the building inspector to recommend you to contractors who understand local building requirements.
Once you have a shortlist of potential contractors, ask them to refer you to previous clients you can contact to check on their work ethic and professionalism; this helps you eliminate contractors who might waste your time.
Licenses and Insurance
Ask your contractor to have their insurance provider email you their insurance card, plus insurance cards for every person working on the property. Walk away from the deal if there is no proof of insurance, otherwise, you will have to take responsibility for any accidents that happen during the construction. Additionally, ask your contractor to get all the necessary permits needed for the job. While this may cost you money, the inspections will save you from low-quality workmanship and help you make sure the work is within your area building codes.
Getting a great contractor begins with building a relationship. During the search process, you can pick out small habits such as their ability to keep their word, their reputation with other clients, their behavior towards their employees and their availability. Other cues you can look out for is the condition of your contractor’s car; a clean car with organized tools is a good indicator that they pay attention to detail.
A construction contract is a good starting point before engaging anyone to work on your property. The contract should cover general information and specifics such as the time the job will take, the scope of the work, materials they will use, cost of the job, payment plan and insurance. Make sure you go through the contract together to ensure all the work you need is included in the original quote. If your contractor expects surprise expenses along the way, they should include them in the contract with figures on how much they are likely to cost.
Choosing a contractor can either slow down your construction or make it successful. Take time to find a contractor in your area with the right attitude, experience, and reputation. While the search may seem lengthy, look at it as an experience that will save you time and energy in the long-term. Consider talking to the team at Community Renovations for a stress-free remodeling of your home.