Making improvements on your home? If so, you might be interested in hiring a general contractor. A reliable general contractor is responsible for the coordination of your project and are often involved from start to finish. However, not all contractors are created equal. Before you allow someone to tear out your bathroom, remodel your kitchen, or add a room, you’ll want to make sure they’re going to complete the project to your satisfaction. Builder Boy offers tips on how to find a general contractor who will share your vision for the finished product, work diligently towards your goal and maintain a safe and clean workspace in between.
1. PROTECT YOURSELF FROM LAWSUITS
It should go without saying, but this is the most important thing you should look for in a contractor. Any work done by an unlicensed contractor is illegal, and could put you at risk of a lawsuit if a worker is injured and the contractor doesn’t have workers compensation insurance. Another reason to make sure your general contractor is licensed is that carrying a license means they have been subjected to examination by a licensing board. An unlicensed contractor may not provide work that is up to code.
2. MAKE SURE THEY OFFER A CONTRACT
And make sure the contract spells out what work will be done, and how much the work will cost. It’s not a bad thing if the work changes as the project progresses (if this happens, your contractor should issue what is called a change order, which reflect changes to the original estimate and the subsequent cost differences), but your contractor should offer a legally binding document for you to sign that you both can refer back to in case any issues arise.
3. DON’T EXPECT WORK TO START IMMEDIATELY
You definitely want to find someone who works quickly and completes project milestones within their estimated time frame. However, be wary of contractors who aren’t working on several other projects. It might mean they aren’t receiving a lot of interest in their business.
4. FIND OUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE HAVE TO SAY
Each project is different, but if your contractor’s past customers have generally had positive experiences, it’s a good indicator that your contractor is committed to client satisfaction. Word of mouth from friends and neighbors is always helpful, but there are several great online resources that don’t allow businesses to alter or edit reviews. Yelp is a popular online directory that allows you to find local businesses and hear about your neighbor’s experiences, and it’s free. Angie’s List is another directory that allows you to find local businesses. It isn’t free, but it does offer customer service support and complaint resolution, which means they’ll advocate for you if something goes wrong. Home Advisor is also a great resource for finding pros, and the best part is you can see photos of previous projects, collaborate with your contractor and get advice from other customers on their discussion forum. Choosing the right contractor shouldn’t be a snap decision. Even if you’re in a hurry to get your project started, take the time to make sure your contractor understands what you want, can be held accountable by a third party and can complete the work safely and legally. You’ll be glad you did.
Contact the professionals at Five Star Home Remodeling today! 856-829-4900