How to Choose a Building Contractor
Planning on a new home construction? It can be quite complicated, but long as you begin the right way, everything else will follow. Of course, when you talk of great beginnings in terms of home construction, you talk of a great contractor. Question is, how do you tell who’s good for you?
License and Insurance
First off, a good contractor is licensed and insured. A license is proof of a contractor’s knowledge and credibility, and that he has the right industry experience and qualifications. A good contractor is also adequately insured, protecting you from financial liability in case there are defects in the construction or if somebody gets hurt on the job.
Specific Relevant Experience
There are lots of experienced contractors today, but you need someone with experience that is specifically relevant to the type of project you have in mind. For instance, if you’re the type of person who is meticulous about bathrooms, get someone who has a reputation for building excellent ones.
Certainly, you should also find someone who is open to your ideas and will gladly explain anything you may have trouble understanding. At the same time, they should make expert recommendations in terms of functionality and affordability.
The contractor should also be willing to work around your reasonable preferences. If, say, you only want the workers in your property from 8am to 4pm, there should be no issues with that. You always want to be on the same page with your contractor if only to prevent conflict.
Before you choose a particular contractor, ask them for client references and talk to these people or even personally check out the contractor’s work (of course, with permission). This is probably the best way of gauging the type of job that this professional is capable of. If you approach a contractor and he refuses to give references, that can only mean that he’s not confident about his work.
Detailed Written Contract
This document should cover all material and labor costs, including project start and end dates, and specifications. It’s a must to have a contract for your own security. If, for example, your contractor promised on the contract that he would do something and he doesn’t do it, you can take him to court and do it.
Finally, hire a contractor you can be friends with. Building a home takes months, which means that’s how long you’ll be putting up with a contractor you don’t like. If you both hardly get along with each other, that can cause issues with the project itself. Picture yourself in disagreement with your contractor and having a heated exchange of words. That can delay the progress of the project and even increase your labor costs. For your own project’s sake, choose someone you’ll be glad to befriend.