If you’ve decided to start a home renovation project that you don’t want to undertake on your own, chances are you’re on the lookout for a good general contractor. You shouldn’t trust just any old strangers in your home. Many of us have heard horror stories about homeowners that naively trusted the wrong person and were left with a very expensive unfinished mess in the middle of their homes. Picking the right general contractor can make or break your next home renovation. Here we give some tips on selecting a general contractor you can trust to get the job done right.
- We recommend getting a minimum of three estimates, preferably from someone who’s actually visited your home, and stay away from the low bidder when possible. Cheapest doesn’t always mean the best. In fact, it can often mean the opposite. Remember, you get what you pay for.
- A signed contract is a must for any home renovation list as it protects both the homeowner and the contractor. The contract includes details as to what work must be done, deadlines and materials. It should explain payment timelines. For example, the contract might say “the general contractor will receive x-dollars when this task has been completed.” Too many people let a friend or family member work on a project based on a handshake or verbal agreement and when problems arise, they are left without any recourse.
- A legitimate contractor with satisfied customers will be happy to provide you with a list of references. Just as you wouldn’t hire an employee without references, don’t hire a contractor that can’t provide glowing references.
- Ask the contractor to provide a regular schedule for when work will commence and stop each day, as well as a back-up plan if an emergency arises and a worker can’t be there. Also, ask how they plan to keep your home safe and clean during the project.
- NEVER select a general contractor who isn’t insured and licensed. Never, never, never!
The overarching theme in picking a general contractor is finding one who can back up their promises with more than just words. They will be happy to provide you with previous happy clients, a contract that protects your investment and insurance in case anything goes wrong. If you have any questions about picking a trustworthy and experienced general contractor, feel free to ask us here.