Whether you are planning a basic remodel of your master bedroom, adding a family room or building a house, one of the most important aspects of the job is hiring a competent, reliable, and trustworthy contractor.
When you hire a contractor, it is vital that it be someone you feel comfortable with, since you will likely be spending a fair amount of time discussing the work to be done. Keeping this in mind, you will want to take your time choosing a general contractor.
Talk to those you know for recommendations, contact your local home builders association or make inquiries at your home improvement store to get a list of the contractors in your area who meet your needs.
Before Hiring a Contractor
Once you have made some inquiries and have a list of contractors, you will want to do a little research before you schedule the first interview.
Verify that the contractor is registered with your state’s contractors association.
Check out the contractor online with sites like Angies List; call your local building department or the BBB to find out if there have been any reports about the contractors you are considering.
Find out how long the contractor has been in business and if there are any pending or past actions against a contractor’s bond.
As you make the calls, be sure that you have a clear idea of what the project will be. After all, if you don’t know what you want to have done or are unable to clearly explain it to the contractor, it will be much more difficult to find someone willing to work for you.Queries for Interviewing a General Contractor
Once you have the scope of the project determined, you will want to start talking to prospective contractors. As part of the interview, there are several items that should be discussed.
Ask for references and then check them out. If at all possible, ask the other homeowners if you can see the work. Also, see if you can drop by a current jobsite to see work in progress.
Ask for references of suppliers that the contractor works with and check out their payment record. If they are behind on any bills, find another contractor!
Ask for a copy of the contractor’s insurance policy and make sure you understand what is covered.
Ask that the contractor post a performance bond for the entire cost of the project if it is more than $6,000.
Try to anticipate any inconveniences, variables, potential weather concerns, etc. and come to an agreement, in writing, on how they will be handled. A good contractor will include clean up of the job site as part of the job as it their responsibility to leave your property neat and clean!
Evaluate all aspects of the job-scope of work, product, and material warranties, references, time frames and price- get everything in writing and do not sign anything until there is agreement on all aspects of the job.