Are you planning on building a home from the ground up? Did you purchase a fixer-upper that could use tons of TLC? Or, did you decide to remodel the house you currently live in? Whatever your situation, you need to work with a great general contractor to ensure the project is completed on time and within the specified budget. Here are three things to keep in mind when looking for a general contractor that should help you achieve this.
- The Lender Gets the Final Say
If you plan to fund your project out-of-pocket, then you can skip to the other two pointers. For everyone else, note that your contractor must be lender-approved before they can work with you. Usually, approval criteria include at least a few years of experience, a portfolio with a few successfully completed projects, licenses, insurance and no outstanding judgments against them.
- Check for Insurance
Even if your lender doesn’t specifically ask for a contractor to have insurance, you should. You want them to have liability insurance to protect your home from any errors the contractor and its workers may make. Insurance to protect their employees and independent contractors in the event of an accident or injury is also important. Remember that construction work, especially roof work, is one of the most dangerous jobs in America. You don’t want to be held liable for injuries because it occurs on your property.
- Review Prior Work
Most contractors will have pictures of the final projects they completed, but nothing beats a drive-by of the real thing. In addition to this, if the contractor has ongoing projects nearby, ask to visit the site. This will give you an idea of how your own worksite would be managed by them if you chose to work with the company. Finally, ask for references. If after building a home for clients to live in none of them will refer the company, something is wrong.
Know what you want from a general contractor before hiring one. This can help you to narrow down your options with far more important criteria than just cost.