Do your homework before hiring a residential general contractor

It’s a good idea to hire a residential general contractor if you want to build a new home, add on to an existing one or even renovate a room.

A residential general contractor can be a homeowner’s best friend during a large construction project or his or her worst enemy.

To find the best residential general contractor to handle your job, it’s absolutely necessary to do some homework about those available first.

Here’s some things to consider when looking for a residential general contractor:

What do the contractors say they will provide for the price? Will they handle every detail from getting the plans finalized and purchasing the materials to scheduling all of the subcontractors and even the inspections?  You should know what you’re buying before you sign a contract.

· What job experience have they? While residential general contractors are almost a must on any big construction job, some “superintendents” who oversee projects are “green.” This means they are new to the industry and may not fully understand the process. You should absolutely ensure that the person who oversees your job or project understands the construction process from start to finish.

· Ask for references then check them out. Even check into past jobs and see the quality of construction yourself.

· Licensing, bonding, insurance. Reputable construction companies will have all of these things. Ask about them.

· Guarantees and payment schedules. Make sure you understand the costs – all of them – before you sign a contract. It’s not a bad idea to have a lawyer check out a contract before you sign, especially for a costly project.

Hiring a residential general contractor is like hiring any other professional. Quality people are out there, but it’s up to the buyers to find them and take steps to ensure those they hire know their trade and know it well. Don’t be fooled by fast-talking. Take the time to interview and ask questions and check out the answers before choosing a residential general contractor.

Sometimes finding a residential building contractor before finding the lot you want to build on just might save you some trouble in the long run.