In some cases, it will make sense to hire a professional instead of taking on the task all by yourself. However, if you choose the wrong contractor you’ll be looking at costly delays, substandard quality of work, and perhaps even legal issues later down the road.
The following tips will help you understand what to look for in a professional contractor to ensure you’ll have a good working relationship with the person you select.
#1 – Always Trust Your Instincts First
Keep in mind that the contractor you pick may be around your family working within your home for weeks or months on end while they begin to modify the way your home looks and functions. So, if you get the sense that you don’t like a contractor for whatever reason, we recommend that you will probably want to avoid that person.
If someone says something that you would even remotely consider an embellishment, that could be reason enough not to trust that company and you should move on to the next contractor on your list. You really need to trust this person 100 percent, not just 95 percent.
#2 – Ensure a Contractor is prepared to Work in Your Area
Any contractor worth their salt will have both a professional license as well as insurance that demonstrates that a person is both credible and knowledgeable. A license itself is proof that a contractor has taken an exam and proven that they understand building codes and appropriate building procedures. Once you see a license, you can probably start to let your guard down a bit, as this will minimize the risk of getting ripped off. If you want to be completely sure, write down the contractor’s license number, many of them can be searched online to verify their existence.
If a contractor does not have insurance and a worker happens to gets hurt on your project, you could be held liable for damages. The same goes for any accident that damages your next-door neighbor’s house. So, step two would be to verify the contractor’s insurance.
3. Pick a Contractor w/ Experience for Specific Project
We recommend you do some research contractors to determine who has experience with your specific type of project. There are many projects that are highly regulated and even code-specific, so you’ll want a person who knows the exacting details of what is required.
If you plan on asking more than one contractor for a bid, you should send each one the same set of specifications and plans, as the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) advises on its website. You won’t be able to effectively compare the estimates from multiple contractors if they plan on using different plans or brands of building materials.
4. Don’t Start Work Without a Detailed Contract
Any building contract should cover the costs, specific brands of items being used, the approximate starting and finish dates, as well as the complete set of drawings being used alongside the written specifications. You can never have too many details in a contract. If a certain brand for a part hasn’t been agreed upon, the contract might create an allowance instead, like having a maximum of up to $500 for the front door.
Many homeowners choose to speak with multiple contractors to get bids on their job, but then they can’t remember which contractor told them what. The contract needs to spell out every detail. A contract is really all about expectation setting, right down to what color the hinges are. If everything can be agreed upon upfront, then there will be far less surprises later on.
Contact Craig’s Building Services today to get an estimate on your next building project. We have years of experience in our field and would be happy to help you create the home of your dreams.