The Key to Choosing a General Contractor

When it comes to getting construction-related tasks done, it makes sense to hire a professional instead of taking on the job yourself. But you also shouldn’t hire just anyone around because working with the wrong contractor can lead to delays, poor work quality, and sometimes legal issues as well. That’s why we always want to hire top professionals with impeccable reputation in the industry. 

Hiring a general contractor either for a new building project or for a renovation is always a tricky job as there are so many companies out there offering services in your area. Asking the right questions and considering all the important factors is the best way to hire a reliable and professionally skilled contractor for your project. 

In this article, there are some guidelines and key bits of information that can help you choose the right general contractor to ensure a good working relationship.

Know What You Want a Contractor to Accomplish

Before you talk to professionals, you should decide on what you want them to accomplish. When you are clear about your expectations and needs, you can get estimates and project scopes with greater accuracy. So, determine what you precisely want to get done and provide a potential contractor with as many details as possible so they can understand your needs clearly and provide you with competitive pricing details and quality services to meet your specific project needs.

Hire Contractors that are Licensed & Bonded

A general contractor must be offering services with a necessary license to operate in a particular state and company registration with local authorities to be reliable and credible. Some states and countries may not require contractors to hold a license. But you must check for them if it is a legal requirement for contractors in your area. The contractor you are considering for your project must also be bonded. It means the contractor must have a surety bond that protects you in case if services are not delivered as agreed in the contract. 

Is the Contractor Properly Insured?

You as a property owner can be held liable for anything bad that occur son the project site if the contractor is not insured properly. That’s why it’s important to check the contractor has a general contractors insurance policy. It helps you ensure that you will not be liable to pay for accidents, property damages, or worker injuries if any. Obtain proof of insurance and check if it is valid and in good standing. You can also verify the contractor’s insurance by visiting the official website of the insurance provider. 

Ask for Recently Completed Project Samples

Asking for and checking recently completed projects allows you to see the contractor’s work quality and may also spark new ideas for your construction or renovation project. Work samples also help you get an idea of how creative the contractor is. In this way, you can also check the variety of work performed by the contractor if he is offering multiple services like construction, siding installation or bathroom remodeling, etc. 

Talk to Several Contractors and Get Multiple Quotes

First, make a list of popular and reliable contractors in your areas and then start talking to them one by one. Let them know your expectations, ask the right questions and get appropriate project scopes and quotes. It will help you check the variety of services they are offering and what they are about to charge for your project. When it comes to get quotes or estimates, get them in writing to prevent any issues or problems in the future.

Communication Skills

The value of effective communication cannot be underestimated when it comes to hire a general contractor. You must work with a contractor who is better able to communicate with customers and subcontractors. It is something most important to keep your project running smoothly. The contractor should also be an expert at helping clients get their individual requirements and ideas out of their mind and get them onto paper. Once ideas are written down, it is very easy and effective to communicate those ideas and project scope with project team members and subcontractors to meet the client’s needs. 

Set Clear Payment Terms

Another important thing to consider when hiring a general contractor is to set clear payment terms and schedule before starting the project. Working out on payment schedule ahead of time can reveal the financial status of the contractor. If your contractor wants a 50% upfront payment, he may have some financial problems and will be using your money to make payments to subcontractors or for materials. According to professionals, you should start a project on a payment schedule with 10% upfront at signing the contract. Also, get the payment schedule in written to make it legally enforceable by law.

Put the Contract in Writing

Once a reliable and professional contractor is found, be sure to put important things in writing by drawing up a professional-looking contract. Write a contract that points out every important step of the project like the scope of work, materials and products to be used, payment schedule, worker’s compensation, proof of liability insurance, start and completion dates, and list of subcontractors, etc. A detailed contract also clearly mentions the rights and duties of both parties (contractor and client). 

Post Construction Warranty Service?

Having a general contractor who offers post construction warranty services even after years of construction shows that how they value their clients and build strong relations with their clients. Make sure to check if the contractor if offering post construction warranty service as it can help you save a lot of bucks in terms of getting minor issues fixed even after completion of the project. 

Final Words

Working with a professionally skilled general contractor will ensure that your construction or renovation project is completed successfully, on time, and on budget. Above mentioned process of hiring the right contractor will take some time and proper research but will allow you to get the job done in a timely fashion without spending extra bucks. As a result, you will be able to find a contractor that is the right fit for your specific project needs and requirements.