Tips For Hiring a General Contractor for Home Remodeling Projects
No matter what the size of your project, there is a possibility that you will need the services of some type of remodeling contractor. The definition of a remodeling contractor may be very different from the one you might have in mind. A general contractor, subcontractor or prime contractor is in charge of the day-to-day oversight of an individual construction site, coordination of trades and vendors, and the dissemination of information to all interested parties during the course of an ongoing construction project. General contractors, subcontractors and prime contractors are often involved in different phases of the project but usually perform the same tasks. There are some differences, however, between these three types of contractor and some factors become more important than others when comparing them.
General contractors are typically involved in the initial planning stages of any remodeling project. They are typically responsible for coordinating the bids from various trades and vendors, preparing the detailed contract for the job, and communicating the expectations of each party. This is the “paper work” part of the process. The general contractor is ultimately responsible for determining the best course of action and is the individual who makes final decisions in regard to any issues that come up during the construction process. This is why it is so important to find the right general contractor for your project.
On the other hand, remodeling contractors must work with individual trades and vendors, coordinate and keep accurate records, and meet deadlines as set by each client. These are all part of their job. A good remodeling contractor should have experience in all aspects of construction, including carpentry, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, mechanical, painting, landscaping and mechanical, among many others. It’s important to work with someone who has made a lot of construction projects and/or who has been successful in the past. Working with remodeling contractors who have built a reputation for being good at what they do will go a long way towards ensuring that your project is completed to your expectations.
Another aspect to consider is the contractor’s ability to obtain all required permits. In the remodeling industry, having a license to operate means that the contractor has met all state and local requirements. Along with obtaining a license, these contractors must also be able to secure a permit to work in the area where you live. A great contractor will have several references and work well with both local and state officials in obtaining necessary permits.
The process of hiring a general contractor can be a very tedious task in itself. The good news is that there are a number of sources available to help you locate qualified remodeling contractors. Check out your local business council and/or contractor association for consumer information and referral resources. You may also check out the website of your state contractor association for a list of recommended contractors. Another excellent resource is your local phone directory – many home improvement and remodeling companies list their contact information on their website.
Once you’ve narrowed down the list of possible contractors, ask about the cost and timeline of the work. Make sure that you are comfortable with all aspects of the proposed renovation. It’s also important to check and see if the proposed budget meets any of the homeowner’s needs. Before committing to a specific home remodeling contractor, take some time to meet with them to discuss the job in detail. Asking questions is an important part of hiring any professional service, and when it comes to a home remodeling contractor, asking questions will save you plenty of time and hassle later on.