What Should I Look For In A General Contractor?

What should I look for in a general contractor? Look at the contractors references very carefully. You want to look at references very carefully. You want to try to look beyond just the references the contractor...

You want to look at references very carefully. You want to try to look beyond just the references the contractor gives you. Ideally, you want to know someone personally who has referred this contractor to you. You want to look at the contract form very, very carefully. If the job is to do general repairs on an addition or something, you want to be very aware of the amount of a deposit that the contractor is looking for. It should not be a great number. The contractor doesn't need to get something like 30% upfront. That's probably too much to pay them. You want to look carefully at the system in place for progress payments. The progress payments, as the work goes on, should be based on the percentage of the work done to that point. It should not be just an arbitrary number that the contractor requests. There should always be a 10% holdback that the owner retains until the job is complete.


You should know if the contractor subs out every aspect of the work to a list of contractors. Does he have his own forces to do the work? Obviously, if he has his own forces do the work, it is a better situation. It means there are reliable people in your home that you can understand and communicate well with. If he or she subs out all the phases of the work, you may have some unhappy subs in your house. They may have thought they were going to get paid to do just another wall, and all of a sudden, they are expected to do these patches over here as well.


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