Hiring the Right Contractor

Just because they’ve got great reviews on their website doesn’t mean that the contractor you’re choosing for your next project is good. Here are some tips to save yourself time, money and stress

1. Verify the contractors information. Make sure they call back and are very prompt in responding to your initial call for an estimate. Check their license with the local municipality or city, see how many years they have been in business, and see if they have any blemishes with the Better Business Bureau or Department of Consumer Affairs.

2. Verify all references with the companies past clients. Make sure the references you were given are clients who had similar work done like your own project. Go invest some time to inspect their work and speak to the referred clients until you feel comfortable.

3. Go visit their shop or office. Make sure their work environment is safe, clean, neat and organized. You want to see how they represent themselves and ift the culture they work in is compatible with the work they will perform for you.

4. Make sure the written estimate you receive has the proper business letterhead and address shown. Make sure the license number is displayed on the face of the estimate or quote.

5. Make sure the estimate, quote or contract states in detail all work to be performed. Make sure the contract shows a detailed schedule with a commencement date and completion date. Make sure all changes or additional work orders are in writing and you have clarity on a cost and what the impact would be to the schedule.

6. Make sure you have a detailed cost breakdown showing when payments are due either by percentage of work completed or by the schedule timeline showing payment increments every two weeks or whatever you agree to.

7. Make sure the contractor provides lien waivers for all subcontractors and suppliers before you make a payment. This is a critical item not to be missed. No check should ever be released to the contractor without these in place. Make sure you have all warranties, manuals and any materials’ documentation for your project that show warranty info, serial numbers or parts in case you need to order anything in the future.

8. Ask questions: Ask the contractor how many projects he can handle at one time. Ask how many employees the contractor has so you can gauge the size of their business and ability to run multiple projects or just a few small ones. Try to identify what their bandwidth is and if they are suitable for your project.

9. Overall, you, the client, need to feel very comfortable and have this new contractor become part of your life for the amount of weeks you engage them for the length of time the project takes.

Michael Bordes
AA Jedson Company / www.Jedsoncompanyllc.com

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