The Guide To Hiring A Contractor
Hiring the right general contractor for your renovation job will be the most important part of your entire project. You will want to hire someone who possesses a large assortment of proven skills and great communication. If you are utilizing an architect to help you complete your project than they will hire your general contractor for you. However, if you are on your own for the hiring process and do not know where to start then begin by asking friends who have previously performed renovations for their suggestions and recommendations.
Personal recommendations and references are key. Working with a contractor that you know has previously performed quality work for a friend or relative is almost foolproof. Make sure to ask the referrer for an assessment of the work performed. Inquire if the work was finished on time, if the budget kept within the price range, and if they would use that contractor again. Alternatively, having a friend with construction knowledge accompanying you when interviewing potential contractors can be just as productive as they can adequately measure a contractors knowledge, skills, and qualifications. It is best to stick with hiring a local contractor with an established reputation in the construction business.
Another way to avoid scams of the contractor is to ask your local lumber yard for suggestions. Lumber yards, not hardware stores, are in constant contact with contractors as they are the bulk of their business. They will know which ones are reliable. Lumber yards have records of contractors who pay bills on time or are completely unreliable.
Once you have located a couple of contractors that you are interested in hiring, you will want to first have an interview like meeting with them. Have a plan ready to show the contractor of what you are looking to construct. Listen to the potential suggestions they make upon examination. This is also the time when each contractor will be able to prepare an estimate for you. Once you have received each estimate and checked all references you can ultimately decide which contractor is the best fit for you.
It is vital that you check all references each general contractor provides for you. If at any time a general contractor is histant in providing references you should automatically disregard them as a candidate for your build. For those that do agree to send you references, they should be including full names and telephone numbers. Once you attain all references it is time to get to calling.
When calling references you should make a list of questions to ask. The list should include if the contractor finished the job on time, if they were satisfied with the job, how big the price varied from beginning to end of the job, and/or how big the mess of the renovation was at the end? If possible ask to inspect the job yourself. This way you can take a first hand look at your potential contractor's work.
It is also a good idea to call your local Better Business Bureau and ask them for the files on the contactors you are seriously looking at. Their files will reveal if they have any complaints filed against them and how well their professionalism truly is. An additional call to the local credit bureau is also not the worst idea. This way you can ask about facts like how long the company has been legitimately in business and if they have had any lawsuits against them. You do not want to deal with a contractor in litigation or in a legal battle.
Lastly, we suggest to always treat the contractors and workers you are looking at hiring with the utmost respect. Remember they are not your employees, they are legitimate businessmen whom you are purchasing services from. They need to be treated with the common courtesy you give anyone you hire business from. Your basic consideration will be rewarded. However, do not become too friendly with any of your contractors as it is important to keep the relationship strictly professional. Just make sure to have a respectful business relationship with your contractor and you will be just fine!