Finding a contractor is easy.......Finding a reputable, professional contractor is another story !!
Here are Integrity's tips on hiring a contractor.
Get Recommendations - Start with your friends and family. If they have had a positive experience with a contractor, there recommendation will be a trusted one. A little known premier resource for contractor recommendations is your local lumberyard, as they deal with contractors as part of there business, and know which ones buy quality materials and pay there bills !!
Do Phone Interviews - Once you've assembled a list of possible contractors, we recommend that you make a quick call to each of your prospects and ask the following questions;
Do they take on projects of your size ?
Are they licensed and insured ?
Are they willing to provide financial references from there suppliers ?
How many other projects would they have going at the same time ?
The answers to these questions will reveal the companies availability, reliability, how much attention they'll be able to give your project and how smoothly the work will go.
Meet Face to Face - Based on the phone interviews, pick three or four contractors to meet for estimates and further discussion. A contractor should be able to answer your questions satisfactorily and in a manner that puts you at ease. Its crucial that you two communicate well because this person will be in, or around your home for hours at a time.
Make Plans, Get Bids - You have your short list of contractors whose track record seems good and whose work ethic looks responsible. Now its time to stop looking back at past work and start looking forward to your project. A conscientious contractor will want not only a complete set of plans, but also a sense of what homeowners want out of a project and what they plan to spend.
Set a Payment Schedule - Payment schedules can speak to a contractors financial status and work ethic. If they want 75% of their bid up front, they may have financial problems or be worried that you won't pay the rest after you've seen the work. Depending on the size of the project, never give your contractor more than 50% down.
Don't Let Price Be Your Guide - "Throw out the low-ball bid". Typically lowball bids suggest cutting corners, inexperience or worse, desperate for work !! Hardly an encouraging sign in a healthy Minnesota economy. Beyond technical competence, comfort should play an equal or greater role in your decision. The single most important factor in choosing a contractor is how you and he communicate. All things being equal, its better to spend more and get someone you trust, and are comfortable with.
Put it in Writing - A professional contractor will have a contract that details every step of the project:
Proof Of Liability Insurance
Proof Of Being Appropriately Licensed
Projected Completion Date
Insisting on a clear contract isn't about mistrust....Its about insuring a successful renovation !
Finally, remember that as soon as a change is made or a problem uncovered, the price just increased and the project just got longer. The four most expensive words in the English language ? "While your at it......"
Use these tips in hiring a contractor for your 2015 projects.
Integrity Construction & Exteriors Inc.