Executing home renovations or remodeling is not always as easy as it seems. There are factors that arise such as bad weather, material transportation delays and structural cost underestimation. A remodeling project is a significant investment to one’s home, and to avoid a stressful experience, a long-term high cost and a trustworthy solution to fix a problem that arises in future; it is advisable to choose a quality contractor.
The following are factors to consider when choosing a general contractor.
Planning Your Project
Clients are advised to make a detailed plan of their desired project before approaching contractors, to provide them with a work scope.
Moreover, a more accurate estimate is obtained when one knows what he/she wants to be done and the materials he/she wants to be used.
Ask Around for References
Households in the neighborhood who have done the same project could be the most reliable sources. Additionally, friends, relatives and co-workers could come in handy in providing useful information.
Reputable contractors always leave a lasting impression in people’s minds, hence their names will appear frequently in references.
Ensure you have the Proper Permits
Most state laws require that home renovation projects have permits. This ensures your work is inspected by the county to ensure it is up to standard. Most below-par contractors avoid getting permits for jobs to save more. For clients this is risky as unpermitted work causes problems when it comes to selling.
Signing a Clear Detailed Contract
The contract should state exactly what will be done from the terms of payments, the project deadlines, exact materials needed and their shipment. It should also take care of any unexpected changes be it in products or additional projects. This helps to avoid any crisis between the parties in future.
Check Licensing, Certification and Litigation
Contractors should have the requisite license for breaking ground as per the state or county laws. Contractors are also required to have some form of certification in specific areas. For example, contractors working in a pre-1978 home must have a lead-safe certification, according to the Environmental Protection Agency as the training enables them to check for lead-based paint and safely handle it if they are going to work there.
Must be Insured
The firm should have an insurance cover of workers and liability coverage for their clients. There should be valid certificates to prove this.
This boosts the clients’ confidence as they are assured that part of the cost of the materials and other services provided are protected with the security of coverage.
One should also get a copy of the company’s insurance policy to know what it covers in case of any accident.
Payment should be Progressive
Contractors have a notorious habit of simultaneously handling many projects. Hence paying the overall cost at once may lead to inadequate materials in the course of the project. This is because the contractors may use the funds for other clients’ projects.
Clients are also advised to avoid paying 100 percent of the cost before the job is satisfactorily completed, as contractors most of the time finish the job and move on before getting to the final details.
Questioning and getting written bids from at least three to four contractors offers one a chance to compare them based on same materials and tasks. One is also able to learn a particular thing from each bidder negotiate for a better deal.
Written by Kent Murdock, owner of Randy Adams Construction in Columbia, MO. Randy Adams Construction is one of the premiere commercial construction companies and general contractors Columbia, MO has to offer.