How To Choose The Best General Contractor
For Your Home?
The most difficult part of any home renovation project for most homeowners isn’t the work itself – it’s finding a competent and reliable contractor to do the work. Installing kitchen cabinets, knocking down walls, or retiling floors are simple tasks when compared to the difficulty of finding a quality contractor who will deliver from start to finish.
Everyone knows stories of horrendous contractors who tore apart the kitchen and never returned or projects that ended up costing three times as much.
Even with good contractors, home renovation can be stressful and involve unpleasant surprises.
Here are some tips to find the right contractor while keeping your budget under control:
- Before you get estimates, you should know exactly what you want
First and foremost, “start with a plan and some ideas.” Don’t begin by speaking with contractors. If you can be specific about what you want done and the materials you want to use to make it happen, you’ll get a more accurate estimate.
- Request references from friends, family, and coworkers
People in your neighborhood who have completed similar projects can be invaluable resources. Inquire with anyone you know who works in the construction industry. Employees at local hardware stores may also be able to recommend contractors.
- At the very least, 5 contractors should be interviewed
Ask many questions and obtain a written proposal with an estimate from each. When comparing bids, make sure they all include the same materials and tasks, so you’re comparing apples to apples.
- Be realistic in terms of availability
The availability of a contractor can vary depending on the time of year and where you live, but the best contractors have consistent work, so expect to wait a few months for your project to begin.
- Inquire about the work that will be performed by subcontractors
A large renovation may necessitate the use of subcontractors for specialized work like electrical, plumbing, or detailed carpentry. You’ll want to know when outside workers will be present, as well as how your contractor will manage and supervise their work.
- Choose the Right Contractor for the Right Project
Someone who did a good job tiling your neighbor’s bathroom isn’t always the best person to build an addition to your house. Aim to find a company that routinely does the kind of project you want done.
- Examine the Licenses, Complaints, and Litigation History
General contractors and the majority of subcontractors are required to be licensed, though the process varies by state and municipality. Check for issues with state disciplinary boards, the Better Business Bureau, and local court records. Request a copy of the contractor’s license as well as copies of the licenses of any subcontractors who will be working on the project.
- Examine the References
Speak with both clients and subcontractors to find out if the contractor pays them on time. Inquire with previous clients if the contractor’s estimate was close to the final cost, if they got along with the project manager, and if closeup photos of any completed work are available.
- Examine Online Reviews
Remember that reading reviews is not a replacement for checking references. While a string of negative reviews over a long period of time should be cause for concern, a single negative review or particularly venomous comment may not provide an accurate picture of the business.
What is A General Contractor
A general contractor is a construction manager who is hired by a client, typically on the recommendation of the project’s architect or engineer. General contractors are in charge of overall project coordination and may also serve as building designer and foreman (a tradesman in charge of a crew).
A general contractor must first evaluate the project-specific documentation (referred to as a bid, proposal, or tender documents). A site visit is required for renovations to gain a better understanding of the project. The contractor will submit a fixed price proposal or bid, a cost-plus price, or an estimate, depending on the project delivery method. The general contractor takes into account the cost of the house.
Are You Looking for a General Contractor You Can Trust?
If you’re considering a whole house, kitchen or bathroom remodel, New Key Construction, based in Walnut Creek California, is here to serve you. Our passion is to be the home for talented craftsmen who deliver beautiful projects to clients throughout the SF East Bay Area! Choosing the right general contractor for your project can be difficult, but we make things easy by focusing on Your Experience, Client Communication, Cutting Edge Technology and Pushing Our Design and Build Limits! If we could have one goal, it would be that when someone you know is looking for a contractor you highly recommend our company because of the experience we deliver for you! Check out our website, our portfolio and our reviews to learn more – or give us a call today.
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