Good question. We hear this question a lot at Welby Construction. So we’ve taken the liberty to write up a list titled the “ 12 Tips for Finding a Good Contractor.”
1. Typically a good referral from friends or family is the best place to start.
2. Call your local BBB or builders association for a list of its members.
3. Solicit two or three bids for the work you need; do not automatically accept the lowest.
4. Beware of an unusually low bid or low advertised prices.
5. Make sure all bids are based on the same set of plans and specifications.
6. Discuss the bids in detail with the contractor to make sure you understand the reasons for any variations in price.
7. Ask if they have general liability and workers’ compensation insurance.
8. Make sure they have a permanent business location and make sure you know where it is.
9. Call the BBB to find out how long the company has been in business and whether there are any unresolved complaints against them.
10. Always insist on a written contract, written change orders, and a building permit.
11. Ask if they incorporate any warranties or guarantees into their contracts.
12. Select a contractor you are comfortable with—one who understands your tastes and needs and with whom you can communicate easily.
When making a decision to hire a contractor, it is important to first interview the contractor by asking the following questions. We’ve helped group these by category of experience, cost, scheduling, and personnel.
1. How many years of experience do you have?
2. How many and what kind of projects do you do each year?
3. In how many of these have you used the materials I’d like you to use?
4. May I talk to some of your previous customers about the work you did for them?
Quality and Cost
1. May I see examples of your previous work, either in person or in photographs?
2. May I have a written estimate, and how long is it good for?
3. What sort of payment schedule do you request?
4. What is your policy on refunding a deposit?
Planning and Scheduling
1. Will there be a preconstruction conference?
2. When do you expect to start work, and how long do you estimate it will take?
3. What hours and days of the week do you work?
4. How do you ensure minimal disruption to the home during the project?
1. How much of the work will be subcontracted?
2. How regularly do these subcontractors work with you?
3. Will you or a foreman be on the job every day?
4. Who will be my contact during the job, and how regularly will I have access to him/her?
By asking these questions, you will gain the information you need to confidently hire your contractor.