Thursday, January 8, 2015

How to Select a Contractor

There’s lots of contractors and lots of ways to find them, however most people begin by asking their friends for recommendations. But as important as a good reference is, there’s even more important questions that should be answered before making your selection.
Do your candidate contractors belong to trade associations? How solid are their relationships with local building inspectors, and do they have a reputation for buying quality materials and paying their bills on time at local building supply companies and lumberyards?
Depending on the size of your job, it is best not to leave any of these questions unanswered. Take the time to call around to satisfy yourself that the business practices and skills of your prospective contractor are up to your standards. And don’t minimize the importance of the following questions!
Ask for and expect to be given a list of satisfied customers you can contact. Call them to make sure their experience was as good as you’ve been told. Find out how many jobs your candidates will be juggling while on your worksite, and who the sub-trades are that they intend to work with.
Once you’ve found at least two good suppliers to ask for quotes, go through all of your plans in detail, outlining the full extent of your expectations and needs. And most importantly, remember your reactions and comfort level with each contractor once you’re reviewing their bids.
A good supplier will give you a proposal that reflects the issues and opportunities raised during these early conversations. Be wary if the quotes you receive don’t address to the issues raised, and remember, price is only one dimension of a successful job.
Most importantly – remember to listen to your gut instincts at every point in the process!

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