The Do’s and Don’ts of Choosing a General Contractor

Kitchen Remodeling PhoenixThe Do’s and Don’ts of Choosing a General Contractor

Caught up in the excitement of embarking on a construction project, homeowners may sometimes rush through the process of selecting a general contractor (GC).  Unfortunately, a lack of due diligence may lead to the homeowner hiring someone who is not the most qualified choice for the job.  At worst, this could result in subpar work quality and unnecessary cost to the homeowner.

As a homeowner, how can you be sure that you choose a GC who will deliver the results you are seeking in a safe, professional, and cost-conscious manner?  Here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:

Do ask trusted sources for recommendations.  Do you have any friends, neighbors, or family members who have built or remodeled a home?  Ask them if they used a GC who they would recommend.

Do your due diligence.  The internet makes it easy to investigate the backgrounds and reputations of any GCs you are thinking about hiring. Read their online reviews and check for photos of their work on their websites and social media accounts.  Additionally, each GC bidding on your project should be able to provide references.  Do not hesitate to contact these references and ask them specific questions, like whether the work was completed on time and within budget, how adeptly the GC managed the project, and whether they would hire him again.

Do not forget to verify the most important qualifications that a GC must have: proper insurance and a license from the state.  This information, as well as information regarding complaints filed against the GC, may be easily accessed at the Arizona Registrar of Contractors website (http://www.azroc.gov).

Do compare bids from at least three GCs.

Do not simply hire the GC with the lowest bid.  A construction project is a major investment, and focusing on value over price may save you money in the long run.  A GC who is not highly skilled may perform shoddy work that will require extra cost to repair and may even create unsafe conditions on your property.  If one bid is significantly lower than the others, it may indicate that the GC lacks experience or is using materials of inferior quality.

Do ensure that each GC you are considering is qualified to undertake a project of the style and scope you are seeking.  For instance, if your plan is a major renovation, you might not want to hire someone who has only mastered minor repairs.

Do ask about the GC’s relationship with subcontractors.  The work performed by subcontractors has a significant impact on the success of the project overall, so GCs should have a stringent process for vetting and selecting only trusted professionals.

Do not rush the process.  A construction project is a substantial financial undertaking and requires the presence of strangers in your home, possibly for several weeks or months.  Trust your instincts and ask yourself whether the GC you are considering is someone who you are comfortable having around your loved ones and your precious belongings.  If any issues arise along the way, would you feel comfortable discussing and working through them with your GC?  When managed by a professional, highly skilled general contractor whom you trust, construction projects can be exciting experiences that will bring you joy for years to come.

At AEH Builders, we work closely with each client to ensure that the construction process goes as smoothly as possible and the finished product exceeds expectations.  As a family business, we take great pride in our work and will treat your family and your home with the utmost respect.  We thoroughly vet all of our subcontractors and will only bring people into your home if we would feel comfortable bringing them into our own.  Contact us today at 480.442.2341 to start transforming your building dreams into reality!

(Source: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20539027_21071429,00.html)