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How to Hire a General Contractor

There’s a lot more to hiring a general contractor than just needing a little help with your latest renovation project. You have to recognize just how much you can do on your own and, perhaps even more importantly, what you can’t. Professional contractors are often required for safety reasons, for the protection of your home, and for their expertise and qualifications. Safety should always be the most important concern on any work site, and following relevant codes and laws is right up there with it.

You can look to your general contractor to take care of these factors, and to be responsible for maintaining the time lines and your budget. A great contractor will oversee the entire project, arranging all the labor and managing every stage of work. He or she will also organize all materials for your renovation, unless you have discussed otherwise. Your contractor will keep your project on track using his or her professional, organizational and leadership skills.

You can look to your general contractor to take care of these factors, and to be responsible for maintaining the time lines and your budget. A great contractor will oversee the entire project, arranging all the labor and managing every stage of work. He or she will also organize all materials for your renovation, unless you have discussed otherwise. Your contractor will keep your project on track using his or her professional, organizational and leadership skills.

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He or she is also responsible for delivering high quality work, which is easier said than done! That’s why it’s important to take the time to find the right contractor for you, someone who communicates clearly and professionally, has the knowledge and skills to do the job, and respects your needs and wants. .

It cannot be emphasized enough: picking the right general contractor is the most important choice you will make for your home renovation project. Start by using the great resources available online and asking for referrals from people you trust or whose homes you admire. Once you have some good candidates in mind, it’s time to meet each one and narrow down your choices.

What should you ask at those first meetings? Here we offer some of the best questions for weeding out the ideal contractor for you:

  • 1. What details do you include in your estimate?
  • 2. Can I contact some of your previous clients?
  • 3. Can you provide financial references from your suppliers?
  • 4. Do you have the required contracting license, insurance and bonding?
  • 5. How long have you been a contractor?
  • 6. Who are your subcontractors and how long have you worked with them?
  • 7. How many projects are you currently working on?

Your comfort level with each contractor is a great indicator of suitability. Did they ask you questions, listen to your answers and make you feel at ease? If so, you’ll know you are on the right track to an open and respectful relationship with your new general contractor.

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