How do I Choose a Good General Contractor?
If you’re planning a property improvement project, it is imperative to find the best contractor for the job. Before you sign any agreements, you’ll want to make sure that your chosen contractor can complete the job in a timely and professional manner.
Here are the key characteristics to look for when trying to find the best possible general contractor.
The contractor has strong all-around experience
You want a contractor who knows what they’re doing. That means hiring someone with up-to-date knowledge and experience to ensure you receive high-quality work.
Even if the contractor hires subcontractors, they should still know how and when every part of the job will be done. It’s their responsibility to keep the project on schedule. A general contractor should have experienced every step of the way, and be prepared to lay out a detailed plan.
The contractor has a strong reputation
A general contractor’s reputation says a lot about their ability to provide consistently excellent service. If a contractor does good work, their clients will speak well of them.
Before hiring a general contractor, look for online reviews and ask former clients about their experiences. You can also ask family, friends, and neighbors for recommendations. Once you have a few candidates, be sure to ask for references. They should be able to provide several recent examples of successful projects.
They have a service attitude
A contractor’s job is to help you. That means they must have the humility to listen to your needs rather than pushing for something you didn’t ask for. While they should tell you if your idea is structurally impossible and offer alternatives, a good general contractor will otherwise follow your wishes.
In addition to demonstrating strong listening skills, a good contractor asks questions to ensure they know how to meet and exceed your expectations. These questions help everyone avoid confusion and miscommunication. Additionally, asking questions shows that the contractor values your perspective.
They are communicative
Strong communication is crucial to any contract work. To ensure the project is going the way you want it, a general contractor should be in regular contact with you.
You’ll likely have a central point of contact who ensures everyone understands what is needed and keeps you updated on progress. This person should be transparent about any problems they encounter so there are no nasty surprises on your invoice.
They take proper safety precautions
You’ve probably heard horror stories of injuries at construction sites. While some of these injuries can be prevented with safety practices, even the most experienced contractor can make a mistake. If the contractor doesn’t have good insurance, you could be held liable for injuries or damages that occur on-site.
Ensure that your contractor has personal liability, worker’s compensation, and property damage coverage. They should also take steps to prevent employee injuries from occurring in the first place.
They do what they say they will
The best general contractors have integrity and the self-awareness to know their limitations. That means they can give you an accurate estimate of the work needed and the cost. You want someone who will stand behind their work, keep the site organized, and maintain top-notch communication.
They’ll be on time
Part of a contractor’s trustworthiness comes down to their willingness to do what it takes to complete a job on time. Ideally, they should have an accurate estimate of the project timeline, based on previous experience with similar projects and your unique needs.
However, unexpected barriers may come up. When challenges appear, a good general contractor will work to get a project done on your time frame if at all possible.
CPM has been helping clients in the Pacific Northwest for over 30 years. With our others-focused service, we are committed to doing the right thing to ensure our clients and their residents have a better experience.