The most important part of building your new home or doing a home remodeling project is hiring a reputable contractor to do the job. We’ve put together these five tips that will help in the hiring process.
|1. Get Recommendations
Start by asking friends and relatives, then searching online reviews for the contractors they’ve used in the past and trusted. You can also talk with a building inspector, who’ll know which contractors routinely meet code requirements or pay a visit to your local lumberyard, which sees contractors regularly and knows which ones buy quality materials and pay their bills on time.
|2. Meet with Several Face to Face
Ask the following questions when meeting with a potential contractor:
– How long have you been in business?
– Are you a licensed contractor?
– Who will be working on my house?
– Do you have job site visitation limitations?
– May I see proof of liability insurance?
Refer to our document “30 Questions to Ask Your Contractor” for more on this topic.
|3. Investigate the Facts
Call up former clients and ask what it was like working with the contractor and how they feel about their finished project. You can also take it a step further and visit current job sites to make sure the information the contractors are giving you is the truth.
Refer to our document “Checking Your Contractors References” for more on this topic.
|4. Get Bids
Once you have a short list of contractors you trust ask everyone to break down the cost of materials, labor, profit margins and other expenses. Make sure these bids all meet the same requirements for your project. (This means that you are comparing Apples to Apples, and not Apples to Oranges the lowest bid.
|5. Put it in Writing
Now that you’ve decided on your contractor draw up a contact that details every step of the project: payment schedule, proof of liability insurance and workers compensation, a completion date, materials and products to be used, and a requirement that the contractor obtain lien releases from all sub contractors and suppliers.