Helpful Tips for Finding and Hiring the Right General Contractor

Is it time to hire a general contractor? If so, most people know it is important to hire the right person for the job. When it comes to hiring the right contractor, it is important to know that not all services are the same. Take some time to find the right general contractor by using the tips and information found here.

Get Recommendations

A good place to start when searching for recommendations is by asking friends and family. While it is possible to go directly to the source, which is a smart move and can be done by looking over at Henkleman Construction, there are other steps to take as well.

It is also a good idea to check with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. This can provide a list of the members of the organization in the local area. It is also possible to speak with a building inspector, who is going to know what home renovation contractors is regularly meeting the code requirements. Even visit the local lumberyard for more information, because this individual is going to see the local contractors on a regular basis, and they will know which ones are purchasing the highest quality materials and which one pay all their bills on time.

Conduct Phone Interviews

Once a list of potential contractors has been created, it is a good idea to make a quick call to each one. While on the phone, be sure to ask plenty of questions. Some of the questions to ask to include things like if they take on projects the same size as the one that needs to be done, and if the contractor can provide financial references from banks or suppliers.

It may also be a good idea to get a list of their prior clients. Speaking to people who have used the services of the general contractor in the past is a great way to find out if they are up to the challenge of the project that is going on. If the general contractor uses subcontractors, make sure to find out how long they have partnered. The answers they provide to these questions will provide information about the reliability and availability of the company, along with how much attention they can give the project to ensure it moves forward smoothly.

Schedule a Face-to-Face Meeting

Based on the information found during the phone interviews, it is a good idea to choose three or four contractors to meet with, face-to-face, to get estimates and have a longer and more in-depth conversation. Contractors should have the ability to answer all questions in a satisfactory manner that puts the person hiring them at ease.

Know the Signs of a Good versus Bad General Contractor

A good contractor will have a relatively clean record, as long as it is within reason -; some issues may arise. A quality contractor is also going to be both punctual and responsive, listen to the ideas a person has, and ensure that everyone hired has a written contract in place. It is also essential that written estimates are provided.

There are also signs of a bad contractor. For example, are there contractor licensing abnormalities present or do they fail to return calls in a timely manner? Does the contractor avoid the zoning requirements, acquiring the proper permits, and meeting the set building codes and regulations? It is also necessary to find a contractor that does not speak poorly of their associates or clients, as this is not a good sign.

Take Time to Define the Scope of the Project

Before calling or contacting any general contractor, it is important to define the project in very precise terms. For example, if someone plans to install an addition in the house, it is a good idea to get more specific about the details to ensure the right contractor is found. For example, is a homeowner planning a smaller addition, like a bump-out for a room? Or do they require an addition that is full-scale including living areas, bathrooms, and bedrooms?

A general contractor will have specific areas of expertise or interest, which are usually apparent when researching photo galleries, portfolios, along with before-and-after images. Also, the general contractor may also have a website that features this type of information or a third-party site that features the contractor that is being considered, too.

Red Flags to Watch for When Hiring a General Contractor

It is possible to get information from the state licensing boards, which create and maintain lists of contractor licenses. This information is going to let someone know if the contractor is in good standing. It is also possible to see any details related to specific administration actions that have been taken against the specific contractor in question.

If someone opts to use an online contractor-matching service to find the right general contractor, these services are typically going to have some type of background screening option. The contractor will have to pass this before they can be listed on the page. As a result, the person hiring the contractor can feel confident that they are hiring someone worthy of the job.

Remember, many contractors are very busy, having to juggle several balls all at once. Remember, if a contractor arrives late to a single appointment or does not return a call in a timely manner, it does not mean they should be completely disqualified from being hired. It is important to look at other factors, too. This is the best way to help ensure that the desired results are achieved and that the right contractor is found and hired.

When it comes to hiring a general contractor, there are several factors to consider. Be sure to keep this in mind, and use the tips here, to find a general contractor who can handle the job and who has the previous experience to handle the job -; regardless of the scope of the project. Keep this in mind to make the right decision.