What To Look for When Hiring a Contractor
Check out their website. You should be able to get a feel for the range of services that are offered by different companies and what they specialize in, if anything. Do you need design? Are you working on a tight timetable? Are there materials purchases that will need to be coordinated? It may be obvious that certain companies don’t do certain things you may need.
Do you have a process for making a decision? After you’ve done some looking around, you might have a sense of your own decision making process or you might speak with companies about how they would propose to handle your situation. How does their process work? Are you comfortable with it? Do your expectations for timing, quality and price seem reasonable for this company. If you can figure out the type of outfit that is going to serve you well, you’ll save yourself significant time and trouble. For information on our Pre-Construction Services click here.
Do you have a budget? Is there a limit to what you’re willing to spend? You might spend a lot of time pursuing a project and a contractor that are not a match for you. There is a huge range of companies providing very different levels of service and quality. Your budget may be realistic for one type of contractor, but the services and quality you need may not be available. If you have a limit as to what you’re willing to spend, most contractors can let you know pretty quickly if it’s in a ballpark range if you’re willing to share your budget. This is a big time saver if it’s not!
A Clearly Written Contract
Every residential construction project should have a contract, no matter the size. A detailed work description about the project, along with plans, sketches, materials specifications, a close out policy and payment terms are all things that should be clear. A complete contract should have a starting and finishing date, and possibly a work schedule as well. Materials allowances or “undefined” project costs should be transparent and how to reconcile them should be understood. And of course, what happens when unforeseen work comes up, or something needs to be added? You should not be surprised by how it works if or when that occurs. Be sure to check out HTR Construction's Fixed Price Proposals.
Think beyond price
You’re going to be spending a lot of time with your contractor, so think about whether you feel comfortable with their personality and communication skills. Is everything clear? Is everyone on the same page? If not, you could end up frustrated and end up paying far more than what you budgeted for.