Thinking to go for a home renovation project that requires professional help? For most homeowners, the most challenging part of starting a new construction project is finding a professionally licensed, trustworthy contractor.
5 Things to consider before hiring a General Contractor in Phoenix
Are you looking for a general contractor for your upcoming construction project in Phoenix?
Renovating a home can turn out to be a stressful and expensive job. Choosing the right Phoenix general contractor can make the difference between a successful renovation project or a disaster. Finding the right contractor who will complete a project with high-quality work and within time can be quite challenging. Below are some tips that you should consider before hiring a general contractor for your next project.
#1 Recommendations and interviews
Asking friends, neighbors, or relatives for references is one of the easiest and quickest ways to find a local general contractor. People who live in your city who have completed similar renovation projects are the best source to find a trustworthy contractor.
It’s also essential to interview the contractor before hiring them for your project. Ask all the questions about the project and receive a written bid that includes labor, permit, and the material fee that will prevent issues arising during the renovation. Ask questions like what the contractor or their employees will do and what work will be completed by a subcontractor. Some other question that you should consider asking include:
- Does the contractor have experience of renovating homes?
- How long does a renovation project typically take to complete?
- Can the general contractor give a list of their previous clients and references?
- Can they provide insurance and license information?
- Can the contractor start my project immediately?
- How long has the contractor worked with their subcontractors, and are they having all the legal licenses as well?
Asking all these questions will help you get an idea about the contractor’s reliability, professionalism, and availability for your project. A contractor should be able to give satisfactory answers to your questions and make you feel good about moving ahead with them.
#2 Make Plans and receive bids
Know what you want to achieve before you get estimates from the contractor for your project. You will get the most accurate estimate if you can clearly know what you want to be done for your project and what materials you are expecting to be used. A right contractor will want to look at complete plans to make an estimated bid.
Bids should include the cost of material, labor, other expenses, and profit margins. Generally, labor cost accounts for 20-35% of the budget, nearly 40% accounts for the material cost, and 10-20% accounts for unexpected expenses and profit margins.
Ultimately, don’t always go with the cheapest option. The lowest bid may not always be the most accurate and could lead to unsatisfactory work. A professional contractor will always work with you on your budget. Low quality work can cause delays in completion that can also lead to added expenses. So, it’s always good to go with a contractor who gives you a realistic budget and makes you feel more content about getting the job done.
#3 Right Contractor for the Right Project.
Choosing the right contractor for your renovation project is essential. Someone who did a great job remodeling your relative’s master bedroom isn’t necessarily the right person to renovate your house. Looking for a general contractor who has experience in renovating houses is also a crucial consideration.
Checking the licenses, insurance paper, and previous customer reviews of a potential contractor is also essential. General contractors and subcontractors both should have all the permits. Homeowners should also check their state license board before hiring a contractor to ensure their license is in good standing. A professional contractor should provide the client with a copy of the license.
Bonus Tip: Try to visit the houses the contractor has renovated. Being able to see the contractor’s work gives you a better idea of what kind of projects the contractor has delivered before.
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#4 Proper Permits
Most home renovation projects require a permit before starting construction. It would be best if you never allowed the contractor to start the work without obtaining required permits. Not obtaining required permits can lead to fines by the governments. Unpermitted work can also cause you problems when you decide to sell your home. A professional contractor will make sure to obtain all the required permits for your renovation project.
Contractors should also give homeowners the proof of liability insurance and workers compensation data. It’s important to know what is covered by your home insurance and what is covered by the contractor’s insurance during the renovation phase.
#5 Sign Detailed Contract & Set a Payment Schedule.
Once you have chosen the right contractor for your renovation project, make sure to get a written contract that has been signed by both parties. The contract should clearly include everything about the project in detail, including blueprints, labor and material fees, project duration, insurance proof, payment schedule, lien papers, and licensing details. This will enable homeowners to stick to their budget and time-frame, without feeling fooled by contractors about added costs during construction.
Another essential thing to consider before hiring a contractor is working out a proper payment schedule. An example of an ethical payment schedule would begin with a percentage at signing(generally 10-20%), two to three equal installment payments during the projects, and a final payment when the project is finished. Do not make any final payment until you’re completely satisfied with the work.
These were the five things that you should consider before going for a contractor.
Building a home or renovating a home is a big deal! You would also want that when you renovate your home, it becomes more beautiful than it is already. So, always ensure that you’re choosing the right contractor because the right contractor will not only take your stress away but will also successfully renovate your home.