How Can I find a reputable contractor?
- Contact local builders associations and ask for recommendations
- Ask for references
- Check with the Better Business Bureau for complaints
- See work that the contractor has already completed
How many bids should I get?
Get a minimum of three bids
How do I differentiate between bids?
Start with the price and then search out why there is a difference in price. Check to see if the contractor's time schedules are based on working days (Monday to Friday) or Calendar days. Check to see the subjects and allowances. Check the quality of materials. Call your contractor and ask about differences in included items on a bid. Far too often a contractor will underbid a job because he or she has forgotten something, opted for cheaper materials or not allowed enough time for the project. All of these issues can lead to problems during the construction phase.
What should be in a construction contract?
- The contractors name, address, phone number
- Verification of insurance or bonding
- A clear description of the work that is to be performed
- A description of the materials, products, and equipment to be used
- A start and estimated completion date
- Procedures for changed orders
- A request for all written warranties from any appliances, equipment or materials used
- The payment schedule of the project (Usually a down payment and installments)
- Final payment contingent on satisfaction of the work performed and verification, via lien releases, that the subcontractors and suppliers have been paid
- A method for settling disputes
- A written statement of your right to cancel the contract within three business days if you signed it in your home or at a location other than the sellers permanent place of business
What else should I consider when hiring a contractor?
- WCB Insurance
- Personal Liability or Business Insurance
- Property Damage Coverage
All of these items are important. Make sure that your contractor provides you with a proof of WCB coverage and business insurance. Call and make sure that they are up to date with their payments as you could be liable if they are not.
Do I need to pull permits for a job?
We recommend having permits because they can lead to delays in the construction process due to a stop work order.