What to Ask a General Contractor
If you have a plan to remodel or repair a room in your home, there are a few important things to consider before making a final decision on which remodeling contractor you will hire. Choosing the best remodeling contractor for your project requires that you understand the basic job description for each individual involved in the process. A general contractor, remodeling contractor or main contractor is in charge of the day-to-day supervision of a construction site, coordination of trades and vendors, and the regular communication of details to all involved parties during the course of an ongoing construction project.
A general contractor will have years of experience dealing with numerous different types of clients, from big-name retailers to independent homeowners. You can benefit from their wide range of experience, but it’s also essential that you hire a contractor who has the experience and background required for your specific home remodeling needs. To ensure you hire the right contractor, ask for references from past jobs they’ve done and ask for photos of any home improvements they have completed. Most home remodeling contractors have multiple pictures of their work on their website or readily available in other outlets, so be sure to check them out. You should also ask for a list of references, and talk with these contractors to see if they have any recommendations for you.
A remodeling contractor with more than five years of experience is preferable, because they should have the expertise and resources necessary to finish your project on time and within the budget. Unfortunately, most new contractors don’t have this type of history and experience, because they have started out working as subcontractors or vendors for larger construction companies. Because of this, you’re often put on a fast track and pressured to complete work as fast as possible. To avoid this problem, you should ask for referrals from friends or business owners who have recently hired a remodeling contractor, or you can go online to review the contractors’ websites.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when hiring a remodeling contractor is thinking that you can get away with lower prices by doing the work yourself. Some homeowners think that hiring a professional contractors will save them money in the long run because they will be able to complete the job in-house and avoid having to pay additional fees. This is simply not true, especially in today’s economy. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to complete major projects like roofing, flooring, painting, remodeling, or remodeling an entire house without hiring a professional contractor. You’ll end up paying more for materials because you did it yourself, you’ll probably have to pay a company or individual to install the materials, and you may have to hire employees to oversee the project and help you every step of the way. Keep in mind that professional contractors have to charge more to keep their overhead lower, and that means they will usually take on more jobs than homeowners would.
Another mistake that homeowners make is not specifying exactly what they need in a home before they begin looking for a contractor. Many homeowners make the mistake of asking a remodeling contractor if they are interested in doing a home renovation or remodeling project only to find out later that the contractor needs to know a lot more about the project before he can provide any estimates. Some construction contractors often work from a “book” of sorts, which may include a series of sketches and floor plans. While these can provide an idea of the project, they are still only a rough estimate. If you want to receive an accurate price quote, you’ll need to work with a remodeling contractor who custom designs and constructs remodeling projects. A professional contractor understands that every project is different and that remodeling projects take time, money, and a lot of planning to complete.
Once you have found the right remodeling contractor, it is important to clearly define your expectations before you start the renovation. Do you want to pay a lower price but a lower monthly payment? Will you be receiving any guarantees or will your general contractor provide 100% satisfaction? Always make sure that you ask the right questions when you hire a general contractor to complete a renovation project.