What to Look for When Hiring a Residential Contractor

4 Things to Look for Before You Hire a Residential Contractor

Homeownership offers exciting opportunities to create your own dream home – whether that’s by building it from the ground up or by renovating an existing property so it better suits your vision and needs. If you find yourself looking for a residential contractor for a renovation or addition to your home, it’s important to do your homework ahead of time so you save yourself headaches and added expense down the road.

When hiring a residential contractor in South Florida, be sure you feel completely confident about these four things:

The Residential Contractor’s Background, Experience and Credentials

Make sure the person you hire has experience with the type of residential remodeling project you are hiring for and get in touch with references to ask about the quality of work and service the contractor provided. It’s also imperative that your residential contractor is licensed and registered and carries the appropriate insurance. If the contractor is not credentialed, he or she will not be able to pull the necessary permits to get your job done.

The Depth of the Residential Contractor’s Bid

As you gather a few bids, look for similarities and differences among them and trust your instincts if somethings seems off. Don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions, and be wary of any low-ball offers. As the adage goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you want to dive deeper into it, ask the contractors to go into more detail about their bid – why are they saying this is how much it will cost? What are they taking into account? Compare notes and you’ll often see why two bids are coming in with different numbers — and why the higher bid on paper may actually have a lower cost when your project is completed.

All the Intangibles

These are things that can’t be put as a line-item on a bid – do you deem the contractor responsible and reliable? How is their communication style and does it jibe with yours? Depending on your home’s project, you will likely be spending a lot of time with the contractor you select. You want to be sure you’ll work well with the person and that your expectations will be met.

The Contract’s Fine Print

Before committing to a contractor, make sure you fully understand the contract. What are the payment terms, timeline, and project schedule? What materials and fixtures will be used? This is again your opportunity to ask questions — and don’t be afraid to ask every single one. If they don’t take the time to answer your questions now, are you comfortable that they will answer it when your bathroom’s walls have been ripped out? Once you’ve got the details ironed out in the contract, things will move pretty quickly.

Have any specific questions you’d like answered (or like a second opinion on a project you’re planning right now)? Feel free to contact us.