How to Hire a General Contractor

Being a homeowner comes up with a lot of responsibility and a series of tasks. Whether you’re thinking of new house construction or renovating the current house, there’s always a lot on the plate, from handling the household stuff to the remodeling or plumbing tasks. However, you can make your life easy by consulting a good general contractor. But, wait, what’s that? 

What is a General Contractor?

A general contractor, also known as a direct contractor, is a party that a homeowner hires to oversee the entire construction project. That includes everything from scheduling, procurement of the material, equipment, and labor to managing day-to-day activities of the construction project. Some other services a general contractor can handle include:

  • New construction
  • Renovation
  • Remodel
  • Painting
  • Electric
  • Plumbing
  • Woodworking
  • Flooring
  • Basement 
  • Roofing
  • Siding
  • Garden 
  • Driveway 

So, no matter what type of construction taking place at your home, you can hire a general contractor for it to get complete peace of mind and excellent services. However, the hard part is, finding the right one to make your renovation or construction project successful. So, how can you find the best general contractor for you? Well, here are some important considerations that can help you to find a good contractor. 

How to Hire a General Contractor?

The searching for a good contractor begins with you. You need to find someone that is well suited for you and your construction project. Some other steps include

1. Defining a Project 

Defining your project is vital before you go on searching for a general contractor or hire anyone. For example, are you thinking of a complete home renovation or constructing a new house? Or do you need just a painting job? It’s important because several general contractors have specific expertise, and hiring a relevant contractor with a research portfolio before and after images of your project would ensure excellent work. 

2. Lookup for online contract matching services 

You can start searching for good general contractors by searching the phrase “general contractors near me” to help you locate all the contractors in your neighbourhood. The good algorithm does the job very well and provides you with a good number of contractor websites.

3. Checking the Licence 

Now that you’ve landed on some sites check the valid license and registration of contractors on the site. Again, all good sites should have mentioned these things, or you can also call or use the chatbot to ask for these details. 

4. Look for the Experience 

A good contractor is someone with years of experience in serving clients successfully. Ask them how long has the company been in the business. How many projects have they completed? Select the one with a verifiable history.

5. Recommendations from People

Word of mouth is a very reliable source to hire a good contractor. Everyone around your neighbour or in your friends and relative must have hired a contractor for any project. You can simply ask them about their experience and get a good recommendation for a general contractor around your neighbourhood. 

6. Insurance and Coverage 

Remember, while hiring any contractor, you must ask the company if they have any insurance policy to cover the possible damage in the project. Some property damage and even injuries are very common during home renovation and construction projects. Therefore, a good general contractor must have a good insurance policy for the safety of their labors, equipment, and everything involved in the project. 

7. Cost Estimates 

A good contractor will provide you with a free quotation about the total cost involved in the project. So when you’re looking for a general contractor, make sure to keep that in mind. 

8. Timeline for the complete project

A good general contractor completes the project on time. Before starting a contract, companies provide timelines and cost estimates in writing. That’s a vital consideration while hiring any contractor. That encourages the workers to finish the project in time. That’s why we recommend hiring a contractor that provides a timeline in writing before starting the project. However, the company should send a team of experts to the project site for inspection for giving any estimate or timeline.

9. Payment Options 

It’s crucial to discuss the payment options with the contractor before hiring. There are many companies, each contractor’s payment options can vary. However, you must not hire a contractor that asks for full payment in advance in cash. It increases the chances of scams. Instead, select the one that accepts the down payment through banking. The bank payments are secure. Also, try to ask the company for payments in different parts. In this way, you can release a percentage of a full payment upon completing each part of the project. 

10. Signs of a Reliable vs Bad Contractor

Now that we’ve explained everything that will help you hire a general contractor, here are some signs to differentiate between good and bad contractors. 

Reliable Contractor

  • Verifiable record 
  • Good customer support 
  • Quick services 
  • Good communication with the customers
  • Keep a document of every hiring that takes place during the project
  • Provides timeline and cost estimate

Bad Contractor

  • Abnormalities in the licensing
  • Poor customer support 
  • Bad website 
  • Several lawsuits from the past clients in the record

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