Whether you’re remodeling your house or putting up a barn, chances are you’re going to need someone to help you out. And because most people aren’t experts when it comes to building and construction, it’s usually necessary to hire a contractor. Of course, these days there is no shortage of people claiming to be contractors. So what exactly should you keep in mind when deciding on a contractor? Read on for four things to do before hiring one.
What Is a Contractor
A contractor is simply someone how overseas all aspects of a construction project. After taking all aspects of the project into consideration, this is the person who should be able to provide you with the big picture in terms of cost and scope. The contractor is the person you go to when you want definitive answers about what’s going on with your project.
Gauge How Big the Job Is
The type of contractor you hire will depend on how difficult the job is and on how much expertise will be required. If you’re building a simple outdoor shed, chances are a qualified contractor who doesn’t have the breadth of knowledge of someone who’s been in the business for 30 years will be able to handle the job.
However, if you want a contractor to take on something as complicated and important as the complete remodeling of your home, you may want to hire a more knowledgeable contractor, someone who has the skill and experience to know what subcontractors will be best for jobs such as plumbing and electrical work.
Check Contractor’s Project History
There are different kinds of contractors for different jobs. You’ll want to make sure that the contractor you choose is right for your job. If you’ve contacted a contractor about building a barn, ask them how many barns they’ve built. If they answer that yours will be the first, chances are you’ll want to find a different contractor. You want some who’s experienced in the type of build you’re doing.
If a contractor has never worked on the type of build you’re looking for they may not be familiar with the types of materials, equipment, and even trucks needed for the job. Just as doctors specialize in certain areas, so do subcontractors. The contractor needs to know about the particular type of build you’re interested in in order to bring on the best subcontractors.
Check the Contractor’s Credentials/Licensing
You’ll also want to make sure that the contractor is licensed. This means that they have met the state’s qualifications when it comes to construction work. Some people may not realize that there are licensed and unlicensed contractors working in the construction industry since in some states it isn’t against the law for anyone to hang up a shingle and say they’re a contractor.
As you’d probably imagine, unlicensed contractors are generally cheaper than those who are licensed and registered. However, there are some drawbacks to using unlicensed contractors. Using an unlicensed contractor could lower the value of your property, and you may be required to pay medical costs for onsite injuries.
Get More Than One Estimate
You wouldn’t accept the first estimate you received on getting your car repaired. Or at least you shouldn’t. Chances are you would speak with other repair shops about what they would charge you for the work. The principle is similar when choosing a contractor. Contractors are not a monolith. Different contractors will give you different estimates for the same job.
Of course, you’ll want to weigh the reputation of the contractor and their experience level. It could be that their prices are higher because their expertise and the quality of their work are superior. You’ll want to consider these things when deciding on a contractor. You may not want to go with the cheapest estimate just because it’s the lowest.
Many people need the services of a contractor from time to time to complete construction projects. Because these projects can vary widely, there are certain things you want to take into consideration when hiring a contractor.
You’ll want to gauge the type of project you need to be completed, know the contractor’s project history, check the contractor’s credentials, and get more than one estimate. Never choose a contractor without doing your homework.