Hiring a general contractor is a big decision, and it can be stressful. It’s important to find someone who is skilled, experienced, trustworthy and professional. You also want to make sure you hire the right person for your project and budget level.
A GC handles the overall management of the building process, from sourcing materials to managing and scheduling subcontractors. They often work directly with the property owner, which allows them to keep the construction process moving smoothly and within budget.
There are many ways to choose a general contractor, but the most important factor is experience. Look for a company that has done several similar projects and can provide you with references. Ask for at least four or five references, and call each one to learn more about them.
If possible, have the contractor do an in-person inspection of the home or apartment to see what needs to be done. This will ensure that the contractor has a clear idea of what to expect and can prepare an accurate estimate of cost.
In addition, the contractor should be able to give you an estimate of the amount of time it will take to complete the project. This will give you an idea of how much time you can devote to the project and whether you’ll need a temporary solution if the work takes longer than expected.
Check to make sure that the general contractor is licensed and insured. In addition to state licensing requirements, some contractors also require insurance that covers injuries to workers on the job. This can be a good way to protect yourself and the contractor if an accident occurs.
You can also check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints against a contractor. Read through their reviews and ratings to help you decide if they are the best fit for your project.
Communication is key to getting the job done right, so you’ll need to talk to your contractor frequently during the build. They should be able to answer any questions you have and be able to explain things in a way that’s easy for you to understand.
It’s a good idea to get quotes from a few different contractors, so that you can compare the rates and services they offer. Some general contractors charge a flat fee and others a percentage of the total cost. The difference is usually minimal, and the latter option can be more flexible if the project changes significantly during the course of the build.
The contractor should be willing to provide you with a contract that’s clearly written and outlines the scope of work. It should cover the entire project and provide an overview of estimated costs along with a schedule.
Lastly, the contractor should be able to supply references that can verify their work and quality of service. They should have plenty of satisfied customers and suppliers, as well as satisfied subcontractors, that you can contact to learn more about their experience working with the general contractor.