Let’s face it, not all contractors are good. Have you been in a project where you feel stressed and dissatisfied instead of feeling excited about the outcome? This is exactly what you will always encounter if you do not know how to look for a good contractor.
But just like in any other things, if there are bad contractors, there are also good ones. It is just a matter of how you find them. There are several factors you need to consider before you rush into hiring a construction contractor. We have gathered these factors together to help you with your contractor hunting process to ensure that you will only hire the best.
Tips To Follow When Looking For A Construction Contractor
The first factor that we put together for you is the tips on how to find the best contractor that can work on your construction project. The more tips you follow, the higher your chances of finding the right contractor that can provide you with high-quality service.
Ask For Referrals
The best way to know if a contractor is the best is through the word of mouth. You can ask families or friends if they know a contractor who can provide you with high-quality service. Chances are they know someone who can provide a quality result and refer it to you. It can come from their personal experience or see it from someone else’s project and love the outcome.
Ask For References
Once you consider someone to do your construction project, the next step is to ask for references from the contractor. Even though someone you know is satisfied with a contractor’s work doesn’t mean you do not need to investigate further. A good contractor can provide you a lot of references and once they do, make sure that you follow up on them and confirm if the claim is true.
Ask As Many Questions As Possible
Asking questions is important if you want to hire the best contractor for your project. It is best to compile a series of questions and make sure that it is tailored specifically to your needs. This is also the part where you can filter all the contractors in your list to only the ones who can meet your requirements.
If you have already chosen a contractor, never jump into the contract signing before you check their license. Construction contractors or subcontractors should be licensed for them to be able to perform their services.
However, every state has different procedures when it comes to licensing which is why it is best if you check your local legislation regarding construction contractors. Ask for a copy of the contractor’s license as well as the copy of the licenses of the subcontractors that will be involved in the project.
Do Your Research
It is still important to do your research about the contractor. Check for complaints and litigation history from your state’s disciplinary boards, the Better Business Bureau, and from your local courts if there is a history of complaints or lawsuits against the contractor.
You have to keep in mind that when it comes to constructing any structure, safety is the top priority. Substandard buildings can cause serious damages, injuries, and sometimes death which is why it is vital to know the history of a certain contractor.
Good vs. Bad: What Are the Tell-tale Signs to Look For
Identifying a good and a bad contractor is fairly simple. However, if you wanted to make sure that you are making the right judgment it is best to be familiar with the signs that will help you identify a good contractor from the bad ones.
Signs Of A Good Contractor
- Provides a written cost estimate of your project
- Complete paperwork (i.e. licenses, written contracts, etc.)
- Has a clean record
- Consider your ideas
Signs Of A Bad Contractor
- Not Responsive to any means of communication
- Always late on every meeting
- Lawsuits or complaints from previous clients
- Irregularity in licensing
- Shun away from building codes, zoning, and even permits
- Speaks negatively about previous clients or work associates
You must make a checklist of all of the tell-tale signs of both a good and a bad contractor. You do not want to be in business with someone who is not professional and has many anomalies as you will just become one of their unsatisfied clients.
Things To Remember When Hiring a Construction Contractor
Once the selection process is over and you already have chosen the contractor that you think is the best for your project, then you must start the hiring process. Once again, there are various things you must remember before you sign the contract so that you will be aware of what you are dealing with.
Talk About The Cost Not The Price
You have to understand that price and cost is an entirely different thing. The price is the amount you are paying upfront for a particular product or service. Cost, on the other hand, is the long-term amount of money you will be spending throughout the service.
Knowing the cost of the project is important so that you can have an idea of how much it will cost from start to finish. This way, you can prepare a specific amount as a budget for the entire project. This is why your contractor must provide you with a written estimate of the project cost.
Confirm Insurance Coverage
Some situations are out of our control such as accidents and natural weather events. In instances where your structure gets damaged while the construction is still ongoing due to accidents or natural weather events, insurance can be a huge help.
Check your homeowner’s insurance if you have one and identify what is covered and what is not. Additionally, the contractor also has their business insurance for events like this which is why you must also discuss it with your contractor. It is best if you can acquire a copy of the contractor’s company insurance policy.
Discuss Ground Rules
Talk with your contractor about the work schedule and how they can notify you regarding anything about the project. It is also important to discuss the do’s and don’ts the contractor’s team must follow during working hours.
You can negotiate with the contractor until you reach a mutual agreement regarding the ground rules. You can also take this opportunity to talk about additional concerns you have in mind that are related to the project in general.
To Sum It Up
Finding the best contractor for your construction project will take time and you must be willing to go through the process of carefully selecting a contractor to achieve what you want. If you rush the process then do not expect that you will hire the right person for the job.