How To Find and Choose a General Contractor
For most homeowners, the hardest part of any home renovation project isn’t the work itself… It’s finding a competent and reliable contractor to do the job. Choosing the right contractor can make the difference between a successful home renovation project and a disaster. But even for experienced renovators, finding the right contractor can be a challenge.
Whichever way you go, there are steps you can take to find the right contractor while still keeping your budget – and your sanity under control. Here are steps & tips to help you find a contractor who will get the job done right.
1. References & Recommendations
Start with your friends and family. You can also talk with a building inspector in the Fraser Valley, who’ll know which fraser valley home renovation contractors routinely meet code requirements, or pay a visit to your local lumberyard, which sees contractors regularly and knows which ones buy quality materials and pay their bills on time.
2. Do Phone Interviews
Once you’ve put together a list of contractors, We recommend that you make a quick call to each of your prospects and go through these questions to ask a contractor:
- Are they able to take on projects of your size, small or big?
- Can they give you a list of previous clients?
- Are they willing to provide financial references, from suppliers or banks?
- How long have they worked with their subcontractors?
- How many other projects would they have going at the same time?
The answers to these questions will reveal the company’s availability, reliability, how much attention they’ll be able to give your project and how smoothly the work will go.
3. 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. It’s crucial that you two communicate well because this person will be in your home for hours at a time. A good tip is to check in with Better Business Bureau before you hire a contractor to make sure they don’t have a history of disputes with clients or subcontractors.
4. Reference the Facts
Now that you’ve narrowed your list, put your research to use. Call up former clients to find how their project went and ask to see the finished product. You shouldn’t rely on results alone. Even more important, visit a current job site and see for yourself how the contractor works. Is the job site neat, safe, and structured? Are workers courteous and careful with the homeowner’s property? There is a lot to think about.
5: Don’t Let Price Be Your Guide
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 well you and them communicate. It’s almost always better to spend more and get someone you’re comfortable with when hiring a contractor.
6: Put It In Writing
Draw up a contract that details every step of the project: payment schedule; proof of liability insurance and worker’s compensation payments; a start date and projected completion date; specific materials and products to be used; Insisting on a clear contract isn’t about mistrust. Remember… It’s about ensuring a successful renovation.
Following these steps, you’ll likely have no problems finding a successful candidate. If you’d like any further advice you can contact Pedro at Trilogy Contracting for further information.
Trilogy Contracting is a home renovation company in the Fraser Valley, servicing client’s in the Tri-Cities, Surrey, Langley, Maple Ridge and everywhere in between.