When you finally decide it’s time for a renovation or addition to your home, selecting a reputable contractor is the most important factor. Whether you are adding a solarium, outdoor patio or sprucing up your outdoor space, a reputable contractor can make all the difference in the world.
The Responsibilities of a General Contractor
When you hire a general contractor they are responsible for providing the expertise, materials, equipment and labour to fulfill a build or renovation. General contractors’ responsibilities may also include:
- Arranging the contract with the client
- Applying for building permits
- Managing personnel
- Keeping the client advised of progress and timelines
- Securing the area of renovation
- Hire subcontractors when necessary
- Providing site surveying
- Providing site engineering
- Disposing of construction waste
- Recycling appropriate construction waste
- Monitoring cash flows
- Providing temporary utilities if necessary
- Keeping accurate records
Guidelines for Choosing a Reputable General Contractor
Utilize all available resources when researching a reputable general contractor. Traditionally the best resource is word of mouth from family members or friends that have had previous work done by the contractor. Secondly, the internet can be a great resource for finding a great general contractor. You can check local licensing agencies, resources like TrustedPros and read many reviews on several general contractors.
Meet Your Contractor In-Person Before Signing a Contract
It is very important to meet your contractor face to face for several reasons. First and foremost, ensuring you will have a solid working relationship is extremely important. If you have a personality conflict, things will not go well. Generally, you will have a good idea and feel for the contractor when you meet in person. This also ensures you will have an open form of communication throughout the renovation.
Licencing and Certification
It is the law that all contractors have a business licence. Also, request the contractor’s licence number and verify it with your local licensing office. When contacting your local licensing bureau you can also find out pertinent information like the length of time the company has been in business and whether there have been any complaints filed against the company. Ensure that all the general contractor’s employees and subcontractors are fully licenced in their field of expertise.
When interviewing the contractor ask about their property damage and public liability insurance coverage. Also, verify they have Workers’ Compensations Coverage for all of their workers and subcontractors. Never hire a contractor that does not have insurance coverage. You can verify coverage by contacting the insurance agency.
Pricing and Contract Negotiations
Once you have found the contractor you are comfortable with hiring, it’s time to discuss your expectations, the cost, and the timeline for completion. Once this is complete, sign the contract and enjoy your completed renovation.