Steps in Hiring a Good General Contractor

15/08/2012 Posted in Blog

Avoid the misery or commercial or residential construction projects by hiring the right contractor for the job.

Without a doubt, finding a general contractor for your residential or commercial remodeling project causes more anxiety and fear than any other phase. How do you know that you have hired a reliable and trustworthy contractor who stands behind his/her work? Yes, there are no guarantees but with a little research, you can improve your chances of hiring a contractor that does a good job. Whether you are looking for general contractors Westchester or NYC contractors follow these helps in finding a good general contractor that will satisfactorily complete the job.

Step 1: Compile a list of contractors in your area.

Ask neighbors, family, friends, and colleagues about their experiences with general contracting services. Write down the names of contractors recommended by your social networks. Ask questions about a contractor’s reputation and their experience in the business. Aside from that, you might want to ask how much they charge and if they stand behind their work. You can also browse through your local Yellow Pages for general contractors in your neighborhood. Don’t forget to look through online resources for general contracting and home remodeling services.

Step 2: Do a comprehensive background research on potential contractors.

Prequalify the names on your list by finding out if each one is licensed and insured for workman’s compensation, liability, and property damage. You can check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for legal issues and complaints against a certain contractor. The Internet is home to hundreds of review sites that will give you first-hand customer comments about a certain company. Perform background checks on each contractor and mark off names that don’t make the cut. You should end up with a list containing three to five professional contractors.

Step 3: Gather bids from your chosen contractors.

Ask each remaining contractor to submit bids and estimates for the job. Get all the bids in writing, and be specific on the work that needs to be done, project time frame, materials, and payment dates. Choose the best estimate that meets your project requirements. Always remember that cheaper doesn’t always been best. Find a reasonably priced bid that ensures high quality materials and workmanship.

Step 4: Meet your potential contractors.

Schedule an appointment to meet general contractors and ask questions about the business. The night before your appointment, prepare a list of questions that you want to ask. How long has the company been in business? Does the contractor have the experience for the job? Does he have previous clients that you can call?

Step 5: Review your contract.

Find a knowledgeable person that you can trust to review the contract. Make sure that the agreement contains every detail about the project, including hidden extras that may add up to the cost. The building permit secured by the contractor should also be included in the contract. The following information should be included in the contract:

  • Name, contact information, and business address of the general contractor
  • Written description of the work that needs to be done
  • Bid based on the job
  • Price breakdowns for both materials and labor costs
  • Start and completion dates
  • Payment schedule
  • Contractor should get the building permit
  • Written statements reiterating any oral promises made by the sales person or contractor (warranties on labor and materials)

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