Five Things to Ask Before Hiring a General Contractor


Searching for the right kind of contractor for your project isn’t an easy job. It demands a lot of time and a myriad of parameters to consider. Plus, it requires a high degree of smartness to differentiate the best from the rest. The market nowadays is full of general contractors. Only by asking the right things from them can you have an easy and hassle-free execution of your residential or commercial construction project. If you are keen to know what they are, start reading below without further ado –

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#1 – Experience and Expertise

Companies that have been operating in the market for quite a few years usually have more knowledge and skills than the newbies and amateurs of the industry. With many different projects under their name, they are better positioned to understand the challenges on the road and suggest to the client the appropriate ways to deal with them. Therefore, make sure you ask about their experience, level of expertise, and a proven track record to ensure they can do your job in the right manner.

#2 – License Number

A contractor’s license is proof that he is permitted by the state authorities to operate his business in the community. But, with the greed levels rising, several folks claim to be licensed without being so in the actuality and trick people into scams, causing them thousands of dollars worth of loss. That is why it is always advised to ask the contractor for his license number and verify with the concerned authorities if it is valid and whether any judgments have been passed against them.

#3 – Insurance Policy Coverage

There have been various issues where one or more team members of the contractor encountered injuries or mishaps while completing the project and the entire burden of medical bills being transferred on clients. Well, you may think it is unfair, but this typically happens when you work with an uninsured contractor. So, it would help if you always asked for a contractor’s insurance policy copy to make sure that it saves you from unwanted liabilities and covers damages against your property during the job.

#4 – Past References

It is crucial to work with an individual who specializes in the type of construction work you seek. But you cannot just rely on the verbal commitments of the contractor for that. You believe what you see. Hence, it is best to ask for their work portfolio or a list of previous clients to ensure if the contractor can actually do it accurately. You can also request them to schedule a visit to an ongoing site, which a professional general contractor doesn’t ever deny.

#5 – Project Cost and Timeline

Your contractor should be unhesitant in providing you with the costs and a timeline of the project in writing. The estimation of expenses should be detailed enough for easy comparison, and the timeline should be inclusive of the unforeseen downtimes. Also, be wary that there are no hidden terms or additional charges. Otherwise, it will end you with surprises at the end of the day.

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Harlan J. Whelan
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