4 Things To Keep In Mind When Hiring A General Contractor

Are you planning a construction, remodeling or renovating project? You must be overwhelmed with the things that need to be done. Anything that has to do with construction is always time-consuming and unnerving, especially if you try to do it alone.

Thankfully, today, there is a big choice of general contractors, who do the majority of work for you. It’s up to you to give an extensive description of the task. It’s up to them to turn it into a reality.

However, the quality of work, as usual, depends on the contractor. How can you find the best one for your needs? Let’s find out.

1. Ask Around

The best way to find a perfect contractor is to ask around. Talk to your friends, family members, and coworkers, who have recently revamped their homes. A genuine review is always the best way to find someone for the job.

If nobody comes recommended, you can take advantage of National Association of The Remodeling Industry search. This organization can help you find a remodeling professional, who follows all the federal and state regulations and has proper license and insurance.

Another resource to turn to is Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). AGC members are usually highly qualified contractors, who deal with numerous commercial and residential projects.

2. Check For Insurance and License

All contractors should be insured and licensed. Even though it seems to go without saying, some of them fail to have either. Any problem or failure along the way can turn into a disaster if the contractor is not insured properly.

When making up a list of candidates, call them up and ask for a contractor’s license number. You can check if it’s valid on your state’s licensing board for the general contractors’ website. These services are available for every state.

Expert Florida contractors at AFSGeneralContracting.com notice that asking a contractor to see the insurance policy is a perfectly natural thing to do. When you see the policy, don’t hesitate to call the insurance company and check if it’s valid. It will only take a couple of minutes but could save you millions of dollars in case something goes awry.

3. Call Them Up

Once you have the list of potential contractors, call each one of them for a quick phone conversation. More often than not, you can narrow the list down substantially just by talking with the contractor for a few minutes.

Ask the following questions:

·         Are they ready to take a project like yours?

·         When can they start?

·         Are they licensed, insured, and bonded? Can they provide the documents to prove it?

·         How long have they been collaborating with their subcontractors?

·         What are their fees?

·         Do they have experience working on projects similar to yours?

·         Can they provide a portfolio or a list of previous clients?

4. Evaluate The Cost

Once you have a list of the best contractors you are ready to work with, start thinking about the price. Whoever gives the best bid, wins. Ask the contractors to break down the cost of the materials, labor, and other expenses.

The materials should make up about 40 percent of the total cost.  The contractor’s fee may vary. Usually, it’s about 15% of the total cost of the job.

Ask the contractor about the payment schedule. Usually, a client has to pay about 10 percent of the estimated cost up front. If the contractors ask for much more, they may have financial troubles.

Don’t let the cost be your guide when choosing the contractor. Make it a final step when you are sure all the candidates left on the list are perfect for your needs.

Choosing a general contractor may take some time. However, failing to select a respectable company can lead to substantial problems.  

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