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General Contracting

When employing a general contractor to do work on your home, there a few important matters to consider first. Most homeowners in general would like to save money by hiring what they can afford in their price range, and can easily forget about the 'petty details' of 'documentation'. Like, are they actually licensed and insured; and, can you actually see and inspect their stated credentials. Read for yourself, or have them tell you what their liability insurance covers and what it doesn't. If they don't know, ask their insurance agent if you have to, but get the facts. The bigger the job the bigger will be the liability. Keep in mind accidents happen; it's your home and not theirs; who's ultimately responsible?

An in person meeting is a must with any potential contractor candidate; being able to comfortably ask them about their work, their ideas for your home, and their passions. It is important that you get a feel for their inner creativity, and how they speak of quality, and not just by pushing that word around in conversation. Hopefully, they can also willingly provide you with references, photos and videos of their work; including, testimonials and recommendations. Yes, you will need a checklist of questions and items to cross off in your search for your ideal general contractor.

The main things to consider are the number of years they have been in business; have they done any recent work in your neighborhood; did they come highly recommended by friends or family; are they a specialist in  their field; do they perform quality work; do they take pride in their work; and finally, price? One can only find the answers by asking the relevant questions; while making sure one is also getting straight answers.

It is important to note that not all licensed general contractors are actually licensed for each particular trade they may represent. They can be considered a “general”, but, obligated to hire licensed trades to do their work. This is where you need to see and inspect their sub-trades license and insurance; especially, if the contractors insurance states that it doesn't cover sub-trades!

For guaranteed success, every homeowner and general contractor need to establish a trusting and working relationship, based on mutual likes, and dedicated to the work to be performed. They must share the vision and be totally committed to reaching their targeted timelines together!

Regardless of the size of the job, keep in mind that you control the final outcome of any work. If you don't like something say so; if you want something else, say so; if you are not happy with anything at all, say it now; rather than wait for later, after the fact, when it may be too late!

If you have a good feeling about a general contractor, like if they seem easy going and fair, then by all means get this person working for you in your home. Good contractors are the ones that are usually the busiest, so be patient till they get around to you.

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