The Ultimate Guide To General Contractor Near Me - Bbb: Start With Trust®

Published Feb 13, 23
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As a general guideline, interview three to five contractors total. Any less and you’ll miss out on a strong comparison. Any more and you could get confused. While you can start with phone interviews, be sure to interview the finalists in person. Do not sign anything, however, until you’ve met with all of your potential contractors and made a final decision.

For smaller projects, you can price out the job yourself. When interviewing your contractors, share your plans with them and ask for an estimated bid on your project. Be sure to request an itemized bid so you can see the breakdown of what they expect to charge for different aspects of the job and what their markup is for supplies.

You’ll want to do a little research yourself before selecting a bid so you’re familiar with the wholesale price of materials and the average cost of your project. If replacing a sink usually costs $500, for example, you don’t want to be charged $2,000 for the same thing. Before making your final selection, ask the contractors on your shortlist for references, then check them.

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This is the best way to find a reliable contractor in your area whose work you can trust. When you’re learning how to find a reliable contractor, every detail matters. Be aware of how long they take to provide an estimate and if they itemize it as requested. This could be an indication of how long they will take to complete your project.

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Is it organized? This may seem small, but if they put enough care into formatting your estimate, they’ll likely put the necessary care into your project. You’ve been waiting for weeks and you just want to get started. We hear you, but it’s important to look at each contractor’s bid and weigh any variations in price carefully.

If they are, you could be looking at a red flag. Now would also be a good time to discuss payment plans with each contractor. You may be asked to pay a deposit and in some states, there is a maximum on how much you can put down. Since they are regulated on a state by state basis you’ll want to know what your state laws are before signing anything.

You can pay an installment once the walls are up, for instance. Whichever way you decide to break your payments up, make sure you have a clear timeline on paper to keep track. This is one of the most important steps when discovering how to find and hire a contractor.

It should include your payment schedule, a timeline for work to be completed, and as much information about your project as possible. Using a certain brand of cabinetry? Know the hardwood floors you want? Make sure all of these specific details are in your contract and don’t sign it unless you understand the whole thing.

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Never pay the full price or your final installment before the project is complete. To save yourself the stress of a possible scam, wait until all of the work is completed and any inspections have been passed to finalize your payments. Pay by credit, debit, or check to ensure you have proof of payment should you need it.

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Now that you know the best way to find a reliable contractor in your area, here’s a printable checklist to remind you of all the important details. Store it in your wallet or tack it up somewhere to use when you need it, and know that you have all the tools you need to find the contractor that is right for you.

With recommendations in hand, do some preliminary research, whether it's with a phone call or a visit to the contractor's website. Find out whether he or she holds all the required licenses from state and local municipalities, along with designations from any professional associations such as the National Kitchen & Bath Association, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and the National Association of Homebuilders.

Be aware, however, that not all certifications are created equal. Do some homework and find out the requirements. Narrow down the list of contenders and set up meetings. Try to keep it to three contractors, because things can get confusing beyond that. How a contractor answers questions is extremely important, but communication goes both ways.

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Check References, Ask to see some of the contractors' projects. If you approve of them, request references and call contractors' former customers to check up on them. Ask how the contractors did at executing the projects. Were they on time and on budget? Were the customers pleased with the outcome? Was there anything that could have been done differently? Remember that when you're hiring a remodeler, you are buying a service and not a product.

Here are some things you'll want to explore and questions you'll want to ask when interviewing a remodeler. Does the remodeler: 1: Maintain a permanent mailing address, e-mail address, personal phone number, fax number, cell phone and voicemail? 2: Carry insurance that protects you from liability? Ask for a copy of the remodeler's insurance certificates to be sure.

Does it seem fair and balanced? And make sure the legal agreement includes the following: If everything checks out, you can sign on the dotted line with confidence.

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Photo: freepik. com, General contractors typically charge a fee that amounts to 10 to 20 percent of the total cost of construction. It’s determined by factors such as cost of labor, materials, insurance, and more. The national average cost for hiring a contractor is $4,000, according to Home, Advisor, but it can be as low as $250 and as high as $58,000, depending on the scope of the project.

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