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How To Find A Construction Contractor: Most homeowners don’t find the hard part of a home renovation difficult. It’s finding a reliable and competent contractor to complete the project. It’s easy to install kitchen cabinets or knock down walls, but it can be difficult to find a reliable contractor who will do the job at a high standard from start to finish.
How To Find A Construction Contractor
- Before You Get Estimates, Know What You Want
- Ask Friends, Relatives, and Co-Workers
- Interview With At Least 5 Contractors
- Be Realistic About Availability
- Ask Subcontractors About The Work They Will Do
- Select The Right Contractor For The Right Project
- Verify Licenses, Complaints, and Litigation History
- Check References
- Read Online Reviews
- Sign A Detailed Contract
- Get The Proper Permits
- Do Not Pay More Than 10% Of The Total Before The Job Starts
- Budget For Unexpected Costs
- Negotiate Ground Rules
- Speak To The Contractor Often
- Check Your Insurance Coverage
- Receive Lien Releases and Receipts For Products
- Do Not Make The Final Payment Until The Job Is 100% Complete
Before You Get Estimates, Know What You Want
Start with a plan. Talk to contractors before you start. If you are specific about the work you need done and the materials that you wish to use, you will get a better estimate.
Ask Friends, Relatives, and Co-Workers
Your neighbor can be a great resource for information. They have experience with similar projects. Ask your friends and family if they are in the building trades. Local hardware stores might be able to refer contractors.
Interview With At Least 5 Contractors
Ask lots of questions to get written proposals with estimates from each. Compare bids to ensure that they include the same materials and perform the same tasks. Smart home strategist recommends reaching out at least 10 contractors. However, a detailed conversation with five or more contractors will give you the confidence to make informed decisions and compare options. It is so valuable from an educational perspective and experience standpoint.
Be Realistic About Availability
The year and your location can affect the availability of contractors. However, the best contractors are consistent workers so you should expect to wait several months before your project starts. Three months will allow them to finish their current projects and start yours. It’s better to plan six months ahead.
Ask Subcontractors About The Work They Will Do
Subcontractors may be needed for large-scale renovations. It is important to find out when workers from outside will be coming into your home. You also need to know how the contractor will supervise them. Homeowners should not have any contact with subcontractors.
Select The Right Contractor For The Right Project
A person who tiled the bathroom of a neighbor isn’t necessarily qualified to build an addition to your house. You should look for a company that does similar projects to what you are looking for. You don’t want them using you as a Guinea Pig.
Verify Licenses, Complaints, and Litigation History
Although licensing is required for general contractors and subcontractors, the process varies from one state to another. For problems, check the state disciplinary boards and Better Business Bureau. Ask the contractor to provide a copy of the licenses of all subcontractors involved in the project.
Ask clients and subcontractors to find out if the contractor is paying them on time. Ask past clients whether the estimate was accurate, how friendly the project manager was and if closeup photos of the completed work are possible.
Read Online Reviews
To make sure that the contractor you choose is right for the job, read reviews on websites. Remember that reading reviews does not replace checking references. A series of negative reviews for a prolonged period of time should be a red flag. However, one negative review or a particularly negative comment might not give a complete picture of the company.
Sign A Detailed Contract
Your contract should clearly outline what you will do, from the deadlines to payment and the payment schedule to the exact materials used, down to the model number, and who will supply which materials. Write your own contract or addendums if the contract provided by the builder isn’t detailed enough. You should submit a written order for any changes to the project, including any product or feature requests.
Get The Proper Permits
Nearly all home renovations require permits. Some contractors and fly-by-night firms will claim that permits can be obtained for a cheaper job, while others may deny the need. This could mean that you are not only violating local ordinances but also subject to fines. When it comes time to sell your house, unpermitted work could also be a problem. Do not allow contractors to ask for permits. That’s the job of the contractor.
Do Not Pay More Than 10% Of The Total Before The Job Starts
Contractors shouldn’t use your money to complete another job. To ensure that you don’t pay for work late, the contract should contain a payment schedule. You may need to pay a larger deposit upfront for expensive materials that are not yet in stock. However, this should be clearly stated in your payment schedule.
Budget For Unexpected Costs
No matter how meticulous you and your contractor are about preparing for the job there will always be unexpected costs. Contractors can’t see through walls. You can expect to spend between 10% and 15% more than the contract estimates.
Negotiate Ground Rules
Discuss the hours that the contractor will work in your home, the notice you will get, the bathroom that the workers will use, the parking location, and the cleanup at the end.
Speak To The Contractor Often
It is common to have regular conversations with your contractor. You may even meet daily to discuss a change order. You should immediately raise any concerns about the work. It will be more difficult to correct something that was done incorrectly after the contractor has left. You don’t want your contractor to be micromanaging
Check Your Insurance Coverage
If you are a victim of weather-related events or accidents that damage your home, make sure to check your homeowner’s insurance. Also, be aware what is covered under your contractor’s insurance. Request a copy the company’s insurance policy.
Receive Lien Releases and Receipts For Products
Your house can be placed on the mechanic’s list if your contractor fails to pay his suppliers or subcontractors. Before you pay, you will need copies of all receipts and lien releases from the general contractor and subcontractors. If you are making payments for subcontractors’ work, you can request copies of these.
Do Not Make The Final Payment Until The Job Is 100% Complete
Contractors with less reputation could complete the majority of the work and then move on to the next stage. You should not make the final payment until your satisfaction is 100%. This should be stated in the payment schedule.
Homeownership comes with a lot of responsibility and a variety of unique tasks. A general contractor can help you with everything related to home improvement, including painting kitchen cabinets and installing roofing. As construction experts, general contractors will oversee your home projects to ensure the job is done correctly and efficiently. Knowing how to hire a contractor, and how to find the right one for you, will help make your project a success.