Are you building your dream home from the ground up? Or is a major home renovation going to transform the property that you own? Either way you will need the services of general contractors to guide you through the process. One of the most important decisions you will make with this scale of home renovations is hiring the best general contracting firm. It will take time and some research, but the result will be well worth the work.
What To Do Before You Start Looking
While it's not necessary to have any plans drawn up before you hire a general contractor, having a good idea about your project is important. Sketch out and list the details of the renovation or make some notes on the chosen floor plan for a new build.
You certainly don't need to have all of the decisions made at this point (it's actually better not to, since the contractor is likely to have suggestions and solutions), but a basic outline of the project will help you to choose wisely. You'll present this information to each general contractor contacted, giving them enough info to quote accurately and allowing you to assess the compatibility between yourself, your dreams and the contractor.
Gathering a Few Names
You will need to have at least three experienced and reputable companies quote on your project. In order to gather that many names you'll need to spread your net fairly wise. Ask around your office, in the neighborhood and within any family you have nearby. Find out what types of experiences those you know have had with certain contractors.
When you have those three (or more) names, give the companies a call and book a meeting. They will need to visit the site and should be on time for the appointment, professional at all times and not pushy. Disregard any companies who fail to live up to this initial test and get some references from those you are interested in.
Comparing Quotes and Checking References
The best way to compare quotes is by offering the exact same information to each contractor that visits. That way you can expect that their quotations will be similar. Don't be shy about asking if you find any discrepancies on the estimate sheets.
What you need to compare between the contractors is the level of detail on the quotation sheet, any warranties offered and of course the price. Outside of that written estimate, you should be also be weighing each contractor on their personable skills. Did you get along? Did he/she listen well and offer suggestions? Can you see yourself trusting them with this substantial investment? This stage is often more important than comparing prices and will allow you to make a sound decision.
Here is where you can also check out their references. General contractors who cannot or will not provide you with a current reference list should be avoided. Otherwise, give a few of the past customers a call and ask them some questions to help you form a more accurate image of each contractor.
When you are building a new custom home or planning extensive home renovations general contractors play a major role in the project. The decision of which one to hire is a vital one. After you have drawn up a rough plan of your project and gathered a list of potential candidates, contact a few and set up estimates. Comparing the quotes is next and the last step of checking references should never be skipped. If you take the time and do the work involved, hiring a general contractor can be a simple thing with amazing results.Posted by: TrustedPros