How To Vet A Contractor

 Make the right choice before starting your renovation

After weeks of decision-making and planning, you’ve decided to go ahead with a home or business renovation. Whichever the case, you want to hire a General Contractor who is going to care about the work going into the renovation as much as you care about your home or business.

Quality is never an accident with the right contractor. Choosing the right one will make the difference in how successful the renovation is, the cost, and how happy you are once the renovation is complete. So, what do you look for when choosing a General Contractor?

First impressions

  • Trust your gut. If you get a bad feeling from a contractor or feel uncomfortable during any part of the quoting phase, move on.
  • On time. If the contractor shows up late, that could be a red flag. Being punctual and able to plan is one of the most important aspects of being a General Contractor.
  • If the contractor presses you to sign anything or agree to terms, walk away.

Low Balling: They provide the lowest quotes or estimates

  • Providing a low estimate is a sneaky way to get business. Some unprofessional contractors will intentionally provide a low quote so they get the job. However, once the work starts, they will then provide you with a list of extras that can quickly and dramatically increase the price.
  • A quality Generator Contractor will provide an itemized list of the work being done and exactly what you are getting. They will provide you with a proper contract and this will keep your contractor honest.

Large up-front deposits

  • Most professional contractors will only ask for 30% up front in order to cover material costs.
  • If a contractor wants more than 40%, chances are that they are in financial trouble or need money to finish their last job. This could indicate that they don’t plan well and are not well organized.

No insurance

  • Always check to see if the General Contractor has a current insurance certificate.
  • If there is damage to your property or, even worse, someone suffers bodily harm as a result of the work being done, you could be on the hook for damages if your General Contractor does not have insurance.

Make sure the cleanup is included in the contract

Some contractors will spring an extra cleaning fee on your bill at the end of a project.Make sure their initial quote includes cleanup, debris removal and all other associated costs.

References

Ask for references that you can verify and check their online presence and reviews.How long have they been in the industry? Look for someone who has years of experience.

Communication

  • How responsive are they? Has it been easy to get a quick response via email or on the phone?
  • One of the biggest complaints in the industry is clients having trouble getting a response from their General Contractor and being left in the dark on the status of their project. You’ll want someone who will keep you informed and be communicative.

Expected Presence

  • Projects require hands-on management, so even if there are subcontractors specializing in electrical or plumbing, your General Contractor should be there frequently to ensure every detail is going according to plan.
  • A proper General Contractor should also be there often to spot mistakes before they become costly.

Remember that you are in control of the hiring process. The General Contractor should be out to impress you and make you feel confident in your decision. Following the above tips should help you feel better about whoever you choose and most importantly, result in a successful renovation!

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