It’s no secret that there have been horror stories regarding our Industry, and this can lead to the question, “How do I choose the right contractor?”. We would like to outline some key points to help you make an informed decision.
How to choose a general contractor
It is easier than ever to research a potential contractor online. Focusing on their reviews and project portfolio can give you the quickest idea of a contractor’s reputation and quality.
Taking advice from people you know and trust is priceless.
Did they respond back to you in a timely manner? Are they friendly? Did they make you feel comfortable? If not, don’t hesitate to find somebody else.
Were they knowledgeable? Could they answer your questions without hesitation? Could they offer useful insight?
This offers you insurance on your investment. Most importantly, it means they stand behind their work.
Meeting in person and reviewing the proposed project face-to-face, offers substantial benefits for you and the contractor.
This is such a basic primal instinct, yet such a useful tool.
Any professional business such as ours will take the time to procure a proper estimate based on current market conditions, creating the most fair and accurate real price for your project. Basing pricing from TV shows, other people’s projects, or even other contractors may be able to give you a ballpark figure, but can also be very inaccurate. Your region, along with current labor and material costs, are just a few things that affect a project’s real cost.
Taking the lowest bid can offer several disadvantages.
First, this could be a sign of a new business trying to get their foot in the door. This may seem like a good thing, but it could be a disaster. Ninety percent of new construction companies are out of business after the first year due to financial difficulties. This means that there may be no money to cover warranties, if any were even offered.
Second, you can end up with a contractor who may cut corners to make up costs, resulting in shoddy (and sometimes illegal) work. “You get what you pay for” applies here.
Third, you can get a contractor who comes in with a low price to get the job, knowing he will charge you much more through the process to make up the difference, or even end up charging more than the accurate bids you turned down. This is dishonest and unethical. Do you want to work with that type of person?