Choosing a Building Contractor
Planning a home construction? It can get very complicated, but as long as you begin right, there will be less issues along the way. 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.
Of course, you’ll also want someone who will listen to your ideas and provide explanations when necessary. At the same time, they should give you professional recommendations with regard to affordability and functionality.
The contractor should also be willing to work around your reasonable preferences. For example, if you them to keep within a specific daily time schedule – say, 8am to 4pm – they should not have an issue with that. The idea is that you and the contractor are on the same page, or conflict can arise anytime.
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 a contractor even slightly hesitates to provide references, that means he doesn’t trust his work and you shouldn’t too.
Detailed Written Contract
This document should cover all material and labor costs, including project start and end dates, and specifications. A contract is a must, if only to protect yourself from unanticipated issues. For example, if a contractor promises to do something on the contract and he fails to fulfill it, then you can legally force him to do it.
Lastly, you need a contractor you can actually get along with. Home construction projects take months to finish, and that’s also how long you’ll need to put up with a contractor you dislike. If the two of you don’t get along, that could even pose problems for the project. Imagine disagreeing with your contractor on something and ending up yelling at each other. That can delay the work and increase your labor costs. For the sake of your own project, pick someone you’d be happy to have as a friend.