A general contractor can make or break a project, so it’s important that you hire the best one.
But how do you make sure that you have the right contractor?
There are a few steps you can take to ensure you hire the right person, so make sure that you keep reading to discover what steps to take.
Check Their Credentials
You should start by doing some early research to find general contractors. When you narrow your list down, you should ensure that you check the credentials. You can do this by visiting their website or calling them.
The contractor should have all of the licenses that they need to legally run their business in the state and city. They may also have designations from professional associations. For example, if you’re looking for a home remodeling contractor, you might want to find someone who has a certification from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.
You also want to see if the contractor has done tests and coursework to pass certifications. Keep in mind that not all certifications are necessary or a sign of a good contractor, so you’ll still need to do your homework.
Ask for Referrals
Another way that you can narrow down a list is to ask for referrals. Ask your friends and family who they would recommend when hiring a contractor.
It’ll be an even better referral if you could find someone who had a similar project done. Ask them if they did the work in a timely manner and how the quality was. Ask them about their communication style, budget, and overall thoughts on the contractor.
You may even be able to go to their home and see the work of the contractor for yourself. Make sure that you ask the people you trust and see if you can look at recent samples that they’ve done as well.
Look At Their Portfolios
Some general contractors have portfolios as well, showcasing some of their best work. This helps to give you an idea of the scope of work that they could do for your home.
If they don’t have a portfolio or examples of previous work, you should keep looking for another contractor. You also want to be able to find a contractor who can show a wide range of skills for their projects.
For example, if you want to do some tile work, you should find a general contractor who has some tile work in their portfolio. This doesn’t mean they have to specialize in everything, but your project will go faster if they have all the experience needed to complete the project.
Ask a contractor for recent jobs in their portfolio as well. They may have a physical or digital portfolio. But when the portfolio is recent, you’ll see what their current abilities are.
Some red flags that would signal that you shouldn’t hire that contractor is if they don’t have enough completed projects or any photos. If the photos are low-quality, this could also mean that the general contractor may have not done a good job.
If any of the completed projects aren’t up to what your standards are, it’s likely that they won’t do a good enough job for your project either. You should keep searching for a contractor.
Check Work History
Check their recent work history as well. Some of them are specialists, and some of them do a little bit of everything. Regardless of who you go with, make sure that you take time to match their abilities with your project.
There are three main factors you’ll want to consider when you look at their work history:
- Project similarity
- Client satisfaction
- Quality workmanship
When you’re also communicating with them to learn about their work history, you also need to pay attention to how they communicate. Take notice of if they answer your phone calls and respond to you in a timely manner.
Do they come on time to all of your appointments or consultations? Do they seem professional? If they’re careless in this aspect, they may not put as much effort into their job either.
Interview the Candidates
Once you’ve narrowed down your list to three candidates, set up consultation meetings and get a free quote.
Keep track of the communication style and develop questions that you’ll want to ask the candidates. Tell them your idea for your project and take notes of if they would be capable of performing it.
Figure Out the Payment Structure
Before you sign any contract with a contractor, you need to iron out the contract details. You need know to know what you’re expected to pay and what payment or fee structure the contractor operates on.
For example, some companies will give you a free estimate and quote for how much the project will cost. If it’s going to be an expensive contract, then they’ll likely write up a proposal that details the scope of work.
It’ll also break down the budget into different line items. This will break down the materials, fees, and labor. You’ll have to pay an upfront fee for the proposal as well.
Some contractors work on a fixed bid, and others work on a cost-plus basis. You may also be charged overhead fees, so you should fully understand all of this before you hire a contractor.
Discover More About How to Choose the Best General Contractor
These are only a few factors to consider to choose the best general contractor, but we can make it easy for you to hire the right general contractor.
If you’re looking for a general contractor, we’ve got you covered on the western coast.
Check out our services to discover how we’d be the right fit for your job!