Choosing The Right Contractor
It pays to find the right contractor. Below are some tips to get you started so that your project will be completed to your complete satisfaction!
1. Where to start and what to look for
- Ask friends and family, search Google, BBB, Yelp, and Houzz on the internet, and/or call on signs in your neighborhood. These are all good starting steps.
- Look at the contractors’ website for their specialties and expertise.
- Check BBB and Google for contractor’s ratings.
- With your short list, start contacting contractors either via their website or by phone.
- Schedule a time for the contractor to make a bid when you have enough time to communicate your vision for the project and ask all your questions.
- Ask for a copy of their liability insurance, workman compensation coverage, and a bond. You want to know that if something goes wrong, you’re protected.
- Set a schedule with an expected completion date leaving enough flexibility to allow for unforeseen circumstances.
- Discuss any advance they might need to cover initial costs.
- Get at least 2 or 3 solid estimates to compare.
- Compare the bids, taking into account quality and durability of materials.
- You should like whoever you choose because you will be interacting with them and their crew a lot. You need to be able to trust them since they will be in your house!
- Ask contractor for the last three jobs completed, not three references. (Don’t let contractor pick and choose).
- Change orders are a bummer for builder and homeowner. Minimize negative aspect.
- Discuss change orders that might occur and the cost of them.
- Walk through the job each evening making a list of things that you have questions about and put the list where contractor can see it or discuss it with contractor. Start the list with “I love what you have done so far” (if you do). Start with the positive to keep good working relations.
- Only pay the full amount after everything is completed to your satisfaction.
- Finally, some days get donuts and coffee for the crew (Olsen’s 10th & Hickory or Gerda’s 53rd & Leavenworth). The people working on your project will really appreciate your thoughtfulness.
- Remember a happy crew will go the extra mile for you!