Hiring A Contractor

Dated: November 26 2013

Views: 3257


                                                                          Hiring a Contractor
 Reasons to hire a contractor vary, from remodeling, repairs, additions and maybe just trying to get your home on the market.
1.     Ask for referrals. Ask friends and family members for recommendations.  You will also find contractors on newspaper ads or online.  A minimum of 3 should be reviewed and if you are still not satisfied, keep looking.  Once you identify potential contractors, meet them in person and try to get all relevant information that will apply to your scope of work.  Are they subcontracting some of their work?  Are the subcontractors also certified and licensed?  Will they be working on other jobs at the same time?
2.     Ask them to give a list of prior customers and ask if you may contact them.   Ask prior customers what they liked and disliked about the contractor.  His/her work ethics, employees, satisfaction of overall job.  Try to see completed work when you contact the contractors’ references. Ask to see photos of jobs similar to the work you want to have done. Do a little reputation research. Check for complaints online, with the Better Business Bureau and with local chambers of commerce. If the contractor has jobs in progress, go by the site and check out how the project is being managed.
       Choose a specialist. Look for contractors who have experience specific to you project. They will be familiar with the current code and permitting requirements. A specialist will likely know how they get quality materials at the best price and pass the savings on to you.

3.     Check them out – Do a little reputation research. Check for complaints online, with the Better Business Bureau and with local chambers of commerce. If the contractor has jobs in progress, go by the site and check out how the project is being managed. 
 
4.     Do your own research before calling contractors – Not getting the right permits can cause major problems. The contractor should take care of getting the proper permits before starting the job. However, you will want to do your own research. Make some phone calls to find out what permits are required for your particular project.
5.     Are they licensed, bonded and insured – Verify that contractors have current and valid licenses, as well as being bonded and insured. Ask for a copy of their license or the license number and proof of insurance. Contact the appropriate agencies to confirm validity.
6.     Get a signed contract – Always! Before signing, make sure you have a complete contract that details the scope of the project, specific materials to be used, itemized costs, payment schedules and projected timeline. The contract should also include information about insurance and liability, mechanic’s liens, and complete copies of the plans to be used. You’ll want to make sure any changes are also put in writing and signed.  Pay attention to boxes that may have to be checked and do not leave any blank spaces.  Use N/A if it does not apply.
7.    Do not pay total amount upfront.  25 to 30 percent at the start. Half at midpoint.  Then once all work is completed, pay remaining amount.  Of course, these percentages don’t have to apply, just use them as a reference.
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David McKay

I have been with Exit West Realty since 2010 and prior to that have had 14 years of sales experience. I have a BBA and an MBA from the University of Texas at El Paso and have lived in El Paso all my l....

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