With so many general contractors out there, where does a home owner start when it comes to choosing one? Here are some key points when it comes to your general contractor search;
- general contractors should be fully insured - no matter who you choose as your contractor, it is highly recommended you make sure they are fully covered with Worker's Compensation and General Liability. If the contractor is not insured, the home owner will take on full responsibility for whatever may happen to the laborers, as well as be liable for any damage which may happen to the home throughout the project. Ensuring your contractor can cover all these bases with their insurance will save you time and money.
- beware of large upfront costs - many general contractors these days will offer free estimates. After these estimates, you should only ever have to pay for work done and materials delivered. Be cautious if a contractor ever demands a large sum before any work is even started.
- subcontractors - what is a subcontractor? When it comes to a home project, especially a large one, there are many different aspects involved, from electrical and plumbing, to flooring and insulation. Subcontractors are other workers hired by the general contractor with whom your initial contract was with. For the most part, electrical and plumbing subcontractors are common, as these are specialty trades, often times requiring specific licenses. However, when it comes to flooring, painting, rough framing, etc, the more parties involved the more complicated the project will become. Questions may arise as to who is liable for what, not to mention the amount of strangers coming and going each day. Ask your general contractor if they use subcontractors, and if so for what, and how many. The fewer subcontractors used, the better!
Some other noteworthy tips for consideration;
- Be sure to compare the estimates you receive from the different contractors during your search. Make a note of what items on the estimate may cost more or less for each contractor.
- In line with the tip above, the cheapest estimate you receive many not always be the best choice. Confirm with the contractor what type of materials they use, which local manufacturers they tend to cooperate with, what experience they have, and lastly you may even consider asking for references. A low price may mean poor quality laborers and materials are being used.
- Warranty. Ask your general contractor what types of warranties come with various aspects of the job, including any roofing materials, cabinets, windows, etc. Warranties should be included within the contract, clear and noticeable.
Call Erickson Construction today for more information on all the services we provide, including general contracting, foundation repairs, and Betterliving sunrooms & awnings. We are a fully insured, highly reputable family owned business with over 35 years of experience. 603-889-0098