Choosing a Building Contractor
Planning a home construction? It can be quite complicated, but long as you begin the right way, everything else will follow. Of course, when you talk about home construction, the only good way to begin is to hire a good contractor. The question is how to tell one.
License and Insurance
First and foremost, a good contractor will have a license and insurance. 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 insured, which means you will be protected from financial liability in the event that accidents occur on the job or there are construction defects.
Specific Relevant Experience
There are many experienced contractors out there, but what you want is someone who has experience that is specific to the type of home construction you have in mind. For example, if you’re very meticulous with bathrooms, choose someone who is known 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 make expert recommendations in terms of functionality and affordability.
The contractor should be willing to accommodate your reasonable special requests as well. 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 point is to have you and the contractor on the same page in order to avoid future conflict.
Before hiring a contractor, ask for client references, talk to them, and pay their home a visit (with consent, of course). The is the best way to know what kind of job you can expect from this professional. If you meet a contractor who refuses to provide references, it can only mean one thing: he’s not proud of his work.
Detailed Written Contract
This contract should include all material and labor costs, and project dates and specifications. Having a contract is necessary 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. 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 you two can’t get along, that can even cause concerns for the project. 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.