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Questions for General Construction Contractors

Home Building
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  1. Will you be on-site daily? General construction contractors should be on-site as much as possible, and you are entitled to check in with briefings regularly. However, don't hover too much or micromanage.
  2. Do you use subcontractors? What are their qualifications? Subcontractors should have at least a few years' experience with the contracting supervisor. They need to be examined as closely as the general contractor.
  3. Have you completed similar projects to mine? The answer should be yes, and if possible find a specialist in your project. For example, there are contractors who specialize only in garage or basements.
  4. How long have you been in business? The longer general construction contractors have been in business, the more likely the quality and trustworthiness of the company is good.
  5. What are your credentials? Perform a background check on potential contractors. The state licensing board is a good place to start.
  6. How are the payments divided? It is advisable not to pay the entire balance of the project until you and a building inspector have thoroughly checked out the final result.
  7. Who are your suppliers? Which architects have you worked with? Once you get the answers to those, approach them and get a little more background on those general construction contractors.
  8. Are you insured? Is the company and its subcontractors bonded? What are the warranties on labor and materials? These issues can largely financially protect you in the event of injury or property damage. Everything should be put into writing in the contract and reviewed by a lawyer.

Considerations

  • Select several general construction contractors and inspect them thoroughly before making a decision.
  • Word of mouth is a good way to get contractor recommendations.
  • Once you have landed a contractor, show them detailed plans of what you want to accomplish. This should later be reiterated in a meeting involving all builders, you and your spouse, if applicable.
  • Keep children and pets away from the construction site.
  • Show workers where the water and toilet are. Keep morale high by showing these employees respect and kindness.
  • Be firm about what you want in your project, but be flexible if circumstances don't allow for certain preferences. For example, if a material is out of circulation or above budget, you'll have to compromise.

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