When looking for a home construction contractor for any project, it’s essential that they are reliable. Before you choose a company, ask yourself these questions.
Taking on any large home improvement job is nerve wracking. When you’re done, you’ll have a beautiful new bathroom, or kitchen designed just for your family.
In the meantime, you’ll be dealing with construction contractors in your home. That means you need to be able to trust them.
Before you hire someone on for the job, you’ve got to know if they’re reliable.
How can you tell?
Here’s some ways you can check out a home construction contractor, before signing on that dotted line.
1. Be Specific In What You Want
Before going out and talking to contractors, sit down and think about what it is you actually need from them.
Many homeowners make the mistake of going to contractors first, to talk about what they need from them.
When they do this, they won’t get an accurate estimate as they’re not entirely sure of what will need to be done.
When they get an accurate estimate later, it won’t match up to what they were expecting.
Instead, think carefully about what will need to be done.
If you go to your contractor with a solid idea in place, they can give you a much more accurate quote right away.
2. Ask Family And Friends
You will never get a more honest opinion of a company than from your family and friends.
Before talking to anyone, ask for recommendations from them, especially if they’ve had construction work done recently.
They’ll be able to tell you exactly what they thought of the companies they used, and what they liked about what they did for their homes.
As a bonus, you’ll be asking only about local contractors.
You’ll have a great idea about the contractors that are close to your home, so you can ensure you hire local workers for your construction job.
3. Check Online Reviews
If you’re new to the area, or don’t have anyone to ask about local services, try looking up reviews online.
You’ll find many reputable review services that will give you a good idea of what a service is like.
Try sites like the Better Business Bureau to ensure you’re getting impartial and practical advice on who is the best contractor for the job.
Keep an open mind when you’re reading reviews.
Be aware that often, people leave reviews when they’re unhappy with the service they’ve received.
This may lead to you seeing more negative reviews than positive ones.
Pay attention to what the reviews are saying, rather than just the star or point system, to get a good feel for the company.
4. Ask About Payments
You will, of course, need to pay your home construction contractor in order to get the work done.
However, good contractors understand that you don’t want to pay the full amount until the work is done.
When asking around for prices, look for contractors that offer a partial payment before work commences, and ask for the full payment after completion.
This gives you the chance to ensure you’re happy with the work before you finish paying, so you know the work will be finished to your satisfaction.
It also avoids contractors that may disappear before the work is done, leaving you with a half finished project.
5. Interview Your Potential Home Construction Contractor
Remember, you’re the person doing the hiring in this work relationship.
You’re the person in charge, so you’ll need to interview your potential contractors and see what they can do for you.
Get written quotes from them, and compare them.
Are they using similar materials? Are they quoting similar time frames?
If you see any discrepancies, don’t be afraid to ask about them. Don’t just go for the first price quoted to you.
6. Check Their Work History
Not every contractor is the same, so don’t just settle for the first one you come across.
A contractor who tiled your bathroom last year may not be the best person to build an addition onto your home.
Be sure to ask about the projects they’ve worked on in the past, and ask to see pictures.
The best contractors will have portfolios, so you can see what they’ve done. Pick someone who’s worked on similar projects in the past.
This will ensure that you’ve got a contractor with the right kind of experience.
7. Ask To See The Right Papers
Depending on where you are in the US, your contractor will need to be properly licensed and insured to work on your home.
This keeps you both protected, should anything happen during the building work. When you’re looking around, ask to see their licensing and insurance papers.
Any reputable contractor will have them to hand, and will be happy to show them to you.
It’s important to know they have them, as less reputable services could be operating without them.
8. Get The Permits First
You’ll need the right permits to get any work done on your home.
Do your research and find out what permits you will need, and get the paperwork in order. When you’re talking to contractors, see if they ask about the permits that are in place.
Good contractors won’t start work until the permits are ready for you. If they suggest getting started right away, or even doing it without the permit to save money, be wary.
9. If You’re Not Sure, Don’t Sign
Finally, you’ve got to be certain that the home construction contractor is right for you.
They’re going to be working in your home for an extended period of time, so you need to be comfortable with them.
If anything is raising warning signs for you, do not sign a contract with them. There are many contractors out there and they’re always looking for work.
You’ll never be short of contractors in your area to choose from.
These tips will help you find a contractor who’s reliable and good at what they do.
Make sure you’re asking questions, look at their past jobs, and ask others who they would recommend.