Hiring contractors to build your home is a big job. You need a general contractor to oversee everything as well as subcontractors to manage each of the trades. Before you choose a contractor, learn the tips you should use to ensure its success.
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Do you Need a General Contractor or Subcontractors?
First, decide how you will handle the process. Are you the general contractor? Will you oversee the entire project or will you hire someone to do it for you? If you hire a general contractor, you’ll need explicit plans for your home. You want every GC to give you a bid based on the same plans. If you leave something out, you won’t know what each GC will charge for the extra work. The GCs may make assumptions too – which could lead to an unhappy process.
If you’ll be the general contractor, you have to get bids from each subcontractor. This is a lot of work. Again, have everything in writing that you need. This way subcontractors can give you accurate quotes for their work. You’ll need to schedule the subcontractors work around one another, especially if one project must be completed before another can start.
Get Multiple Bids
Don’t jump at the first bid you receive. Even if it comes in much lower than you anticipated or you just love how it sounds – don’t do it. Get at least three bids, if not more. This way you can compare each bid to one another. Look closely at what each contractor includes as well as what they don’t include. Is everything in specific detail, or does the offer leave you guessing? There shouldn’t be any guesswork involved when building your home.
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Do Your Research
As you receive bids from contractors, research the ones that you think maybe a possibility. The internet makes it easy to learn a lot about each contractor. Read the Better Business Bureau reviews and search for the contractor’s license online. You should also be able to find any complaints tied to the license, if applicable.
Ask About Insurance
Don’t hire any contractors that don’t carry the proper insurance. At the very least, they should have workmen’s compensation insurance and a general liability insurance policy. If they don’t have at least these coverages, you could find yourself financially liable for anything that goes wrong during the building process.
Ask About a Warranty
Each contractor should warranty his or her work. Don’t assume, though. Ask specific questions about what they cover and for how long. This should play a role in who you choose. For example, you may be willing to pay a little more for the work in order to have the peace of mind of the warranty a specific contractor offers.
Most importantly, take your time when deciding. This isn’t a decision to rush into. Let each contractor provide their bids in writing and then you take the time to think about them. The combination of your research, asking questions, and comparing quotes should help you choose the perfect contractor for the job.
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