Hiring A General Contractor: The Dos And Don’ts Of The Whole Affair
Building your own home is an important event in your life. That home is where you’re going to live and where your children will grow up. Hence, it stands to the reason that you will hire the best of the best for the ensured protection of your family and yourself. So hiring the best general contractor is a must.
General contractors are responsible for all the processes related to the construction of a new home. From planning to management to permits, it is them who will handle all the responsibilities. This is why it is necessary to hire a capable one, as you are not just trusting them with your property, but essentially with your life.
List Of Services Provided By General Contractor:
General contractors provide the following services.
- New construction
Here are some tips and points that you should follow and avoid when hiring a general contractor.
Ask your friends, colleagues, and relatives for a reliable general contractor. If that doesn't work, then ask your neighbors. In short, you should only hire those with whom someone had working experience in the past.
Ask For Reference:
If you find a suitable one, search their history and review it online. Also, ask them for any references they can provide. Their past clients will give you a lot of information about their work and the quality of their services.
Don’t Settle On First Contractor You Come Across:
Like we said earlier, building a home is an integral part of your life. So hiring the best is warranted.
You have started searching for general contractors. Good. However, don't choose the first one you come across. It's just like choosing the first wedding dress you find in the shop. Search for reliable companies, read their reviews, ask questions from their previous clients. Ask the contractors about the time frame and budget of the project. If something goes wrong, then move on to the next one. To summarize, keep the option of at least 5 to 6 general contractors when searching for them.
Hire Local Contractors:
That one goes without saying. You should always choose local but reliable general contractors for construction or renovation. That is preferable over hiring a much more famed but faraway contractor. The reason why this is necessary is that the local contractors will be punctual and will not spend much time lugging necessary tools and items from far away. They will also be able to respond faster in case of any mishap.
Hope For Best, Prepare For Worst:
You have chosen a contractor, good. However, that does not mean that you will be able to hire them or get the work started immediately. Weather, season, location, and many other points also factor in. Also, mentally prepare yourself for any unexpected delay. If they say that they are going to complete the project in 6 months, prepare for 9 months.
Budget For More:
It is a good thing that the general contractor will give you an estimated total cost of the entire project. But don't limit yourself to that amount. Always prepare a budget that will allow you to spend more than the estimate. The construction process is a bit unpredictable, so you might need to prepare more in cash at any time. Hence, prepare yourself for one such possibility that might be best.
Ask For Permits:
General contractors are supposed to apply and get any permits that might be needed before the start of the project. This is a necessary step that should never be skipped over. General contractors are legally obligated to acquire most of the permits. But if they don't get some permits, ask them to give you enough information so that you can do it yourself. But in the end, it is their responsibility.
Ask For Updates:
It is true that they will be responsible for everything construction-related. But that does not mean that you can just hand your money over to them and wash your hands of the entire matter. You are the owner of the property, so you should know what is going on. Ask them to keep you updated on the progress. Also, compel them to tell you about any incident or mishap that might have happened on the site. This way, you can rest assured that there is no problem with the whole project.
Have Face To Face Interviews:
Sure, technology has made it possible so that you can talk to anyone over a long distance at any time you want. However, avoid doing everything through phone calls and emails in this case. Have a face-to-face interview with the contractor. Communicate openly, and hammer out all the necessary details in the person. This matter requires your utmost attention, so be sure to give it just that.
It is your home. You have the right to have a clear input in the design of the property. General contractors are not minded readers, so you need to communicate openly. Tell them what you want. Share your concerns openly. And most important of all, don't hesitate to ask questions. If you stay silent in the beginning, the chances are that you will be living in a future home that you don't even like.
Hiring A General Contractor With Spotty History:
Modern technology has proven to be helpful in many ways. One of the ways a handy laptop or phone with an internet connection can do is to dig up the relevant history of any business. So you can easily search for the history of the general contractor you intend to hire. Specifically, it would help to search for any lawsuits the contractor might have faced in the past. Thoroughly search the history, and only hire them when you are sure they are reliable.
Hiring Uninsured General Contractors:
Hiring insured general contractors is not strictly necessary, but it will save you from a whole lot of trouble. So here is the thing; if you hire an uninsured contractor, and any accident happens on-site, you will be the one shouldering responsibility. This means that you have to compensate for any property and bodily damage that might have happened to anyone on the site of construction. This is dangerous, so hiring an insured contractor is much better. In any case, they will be the ones compensating the victims, not you. So be sure to demand an insurance policy copy of the general contractor.
Hiring Unlicensed Contractor:
If a contractor has the proper license, they are qualified and knowledgeable. They have passed all the relevant tests and exams and are capable enough to handle the project, as mentioned earlier. If you hire one with no or suspended license, well, be prepared for some sort of problem in the future. Because that is what happens in these cases, problems occur in the case of unlicensed, unqualified contractors.
Giving Payment In Advance:
Never, ever agree to make a down payment of more than 25%. In fact, some claim that you should not agree to even one penny above 10% of the entire cost of the project. The reason why experts recommend it is that if you pay them off in the beginning, they will not be as punctual and focused. They already got the payment, so what do they have to fear about. But if you agree to pay after the completion of work, they will try to complete the construction work as soon as possible.
Don’t Shove Your Ideas On Them:
It is understandable that you want your home built just like you have wished it. While that is a worthwhile pursuit, shoving your nose where it belongs is not; we are trying to stay here that you should be flexible. It is not possible that all of the ideas you come up with could be implemented in the construction process. General contractors and workers are more knowledgeable and experienced than you. Share your concern and wishes, but bow to their expertise when they tell you that something is impossible.
Sealing The Deal In A Rush:
Your future home is essential. So why take a risk by rushing everything? Take your time. Search the histories that have face-to-face talks. Only sign the agreement when you have negotiated all the essential terms. Otherwise, you might be stuck in an unpleasant situation in the near future.