Here are a few tips to help before hiring a contractor:
- How long have they been in the building business? It usually takes three to five years to establish a financially sound business. If not ask for references for similar jobs, lets face it we were all new at something once. You want to know they will be around after the construction is complete to service any need labor warranties?
- Does the builder/remodeler have sufficient general liability insurance? This does add to his overall prices but if not, you may be liable for any construction-related accidents on your premises.
- Does the builder/remodeler have the proper building licenses, city licenses, and permits for your area?
- Will the builder/remodeler provide you with names of previous customers? Ask them if they would hire the builder/remodeler again.
- Have you seen the builder/remodelers work, both completed and in progress? Today many established contractors have a website that will have photos of their work. Facebook is also growing in popularity for contractors and is a good place to see project photos and customer comments.
- Are you able to communicate with the builder/remodeler, is he personably? Remember you will be in close contact with them throughout the construction process and afterward as you live in your new home. Communication is key to any successful project. Limited contact information or personality differences could be a potential red flag.
- Will the builder/remodeler provide you with a complete and clearly written contract? The contract will benefit both of you review it carefully. If you see anything that has been left out as him to make needed changes.
- Be cautious of unusually low-priced bids. If the builder/remodeler is unable to pay for the materials and labor as the project proceeds, this may indicate a potential problem. Make sure you have given each builder/remodeler the same information to get the best price comparison possible.
- When deciding which builder/remodeler to hire, go with your instincts… The builder/remodeler may not be the lowest but he has the proper insurance and licenses, he has bid all the things your requested and is experienced enough to make sure he is providing the best work and amount of materials needed for the job. If you’re not comfortable before you hire your builder/remodeler take time needed to consider other options.