How to find the right General Contractor

Here are some tips that will help you find the right contractor while keeping your budget and sanity under control.

Have clear expectations

First, be clear about what you want to achieve. Don’t start by talking to contractors. You will get a more precise estimate if you can be specific about what you expect and the materials you want to use.

Interview at Least 5 Contractors

Don’t assume anything and ask for a written proposal with an estimate from each contractor. When comparing bids, make sure each one includes the same tasks and materials, so you compare oranges and oranges.

Consider a delayed project

A contractor’s availability change depending on the time of the year, but reliable contractors have consistent workflow during the year, so expect to wait a few months for your project to start. Set your timeline to the worst-case scenario and prepare yourself.

Ask for the jobs to be done by Subcontractors

A renovation may require the contractor to hire in Subcontractors for specialized work such as electrical, plumbing, or detailed carpentry. You will want to know when outside workers will be in the business. The Contractor here will be the one responsible for the outcome of the project.

Not all Contractors are good at every job.

Not all Contractors are the same; make sure that the one you choose has previous experience with a project with your demands. Look for a company that routinely does the kind of project you want to be done. Don’t be the test project.

Check Licenses, Litigation and complains records

Always look for licensed General Contractors and most Subcontractors, though the procedure varies by municipality and state. Ask for information at the state disciplinary boards, Better Business Bureau, and local court records for issues.

Ask the contractor for his license and from the Subcontractors who will be involved in the project.

Check References

Talk to both clients and Subcontractors, for instance, ask if the Contractor pays them on time. Ask previous clients if the Contractor’s estimate was close to the final cost, if they got along with the Project Manager, and if it’s possible to see photos of the final project.

Sign a Detailed Contract

Make sure your contract specifies what task will be done, including deadlines, payment schedule, the same materials used down to the model number, and who will provide which materials. Any change should be done in writing

Get the Proper Permits

Nearly all renovations projects require permits. Many irregular companies and some licensed Contractors will suggest that the job can be done without permits to save money.

Doing a job without permission violates the law. Beyond the monetary penalties, you would be putting your business in jeopardy because the work will not be inspected by the city or county to make sure it’s up to code. Unpermitted work can also cause problems when it’s time to sell your home or business. Be careful of Contractors who ask you to obtain the permits – that’s the contractor’s job.

Be Prepare for Unexpected Costs

No matter how much planning you do, there would be surprises that add to the cost. Contractors can’t predict the future. Expect to spend at least 15% more than what is estimated in your contract.

Verify Insurance Coverage

In the case of weather or accident events that may cause damage to your business while the work is in the process. Know what is covered by your business insurance and what is covered by your Contractor’s business insurance. Ask for the company’s insurance policy.

What does a General Contractor do?

If you are confused, don’t worry; in this article, we’re going to give you the General Contractor definition in the context of the construction industry and help you understand what to expect from them.

What does a Contractor do?

A General Contractor’s role is to oversee the daily operations of the project and act as the contact for all parties involved. They have 100% control of a construction project and are the ones to hire the specialists (subcontractors) to fulfill different assignments and schedule and plan out the various project stages.

A General Contractor can be either an entire company or a single person operation that we hire for commercial and residential projects. Experienced contractors will have a robust understanding of all parts of the business and will be able to answer your questions with clear answers and show you previous jobs they had done.

is The General Contractor is also responsible for providing all the material, labor, equipment (such as construction vehicles and tools), and services necessary for the construction of the project.

A General Contractor hires Subcontractors to perform specific parts of the construction work in their specialized areas.

What is the difference Between a General Contractor and Subcontractor?

In a more significant remodeling or construction job, there are typically two types of Contractors: a General Contractors and Subcontractors.

As mentioned earlier, a General Contractor’s job is to oversee the daily operations of the project and act as the primary contact for all parties involved. They lead the construction project, hire Subcontractors to complete different tasks, and schedule the various project assignments.

A Subcontractor is hired by the General Contractor to complete a specific task. They are the ones who complete the smaller projects that are part of the whole project. Subcontractors can be both an individual and a business as General Contractors.

The General Contractor gives you the guarantees needed for a successful project; it’s his responsibility to face the result from the work their Subcontractors have done.

How to select a General Contractor

Here are some questions you must ask when choosing a general contractor.

Can you give a written quotation with the cost breakdown?

A written quotation is the most crucial part of your contractor relationship. Your quote must highlight the costs of labor and materials and should include an estimated timeframe for project completion.

“What is the timeframe for project completion?”

Be sure to make a contractor aware of your essential deadlines before signing a contract. Ask the potential contractor to provide an estimated project schedule in writing.

“How long have you been in the industry?”

Experience is vital in the contracting industry; at IDC, we have more than 40 years of experience. You should seek contractors with at least ten years of proven industry experience. Be careful of new contractors with low-ball quotes if you hire a contractor with little experience before realizing the cost overruns due to lack of experience would have cost you more.

What is the reputation of the contractor?

Excellent reputations goes along way; ask previous clients their experience.

“Will subcontractors be involved?”

We recommend finding out who will be involved in your project. If possible, ask for a brief meeting with all the parties involved.

“How do you hire and qualify your sub-contractors?”

Subcontractors are a critical reflection of a contractor when being represented on their sites. Will subcontractors be professional in appearance and attitude, or will they have low communication ability and lack good customer service skills?

“What health and safety protocols does the contractor have?”

Safety considerations are critical when hiring a contractor. Ensure that your contractor and all workers have the necessary PPE. Be sure to requestOSHA 30 from all employees.

Do you have references from previous projects?”

Do not just ask for references in your area. Make sure you reach out by phone and ask the customers to tell you the strengths and weaknesses of the contractor under evaluation.

“What are your payment terms?”

Be sure to clarify payment arrangements before signing a contract.

“Is your business licensed and insured?”

Choose a contractor that is licensed and insured to avoid potential legal issues. Does your candidate have liability insurance?

“Do you offer a Post Construction Warranty Service?”

Having a contractor who continues to serve their clients for years well after the construction is completed and the warranties have expired, a great sign of a strong client/contractor relationship.

“Why should I choose IDC over other contractors?” 

Allow contractors to tell you what gives them an edge over the competition. Be wary of contractors who are unable to provide any concrete details in their response. A contractor’s answer to this question will often help you finalize your hiring decision.