One of the hardest tasks consumers face is choosing the proper contractor for their project! The most common quote we hear is, “I need an apples-to-apples comparison!”
This is difficult because most people assume they have a fair comparison by simply looking at multiple estimates. Here is information below that you probably have not considered:
- How long has the builder been doing business under their current name?
- How do they rate with third-party sources like the Better Business Bureau ?
- Will they secure all the proper permits for you?
- Will experienced workers be assigned to your project?
- Does the company carry general liability insurance? How much?
- Does the company carry Workmen’s Compensation insurance where required by law?
- Does the company warranty their work?
- Will your project’s completion be assured by a third-party guarantee? If so, who?
- Is the company affiliated with professional organizations?
- Does the company know and follow all building codes?
- Do they have the ability to design and plan an integrated project with multiple features
- Will the company act as a one-stop-shop through your entire project so you don’t have to hire and coordinate additional suppliers?
- Is the company responsive to your service needs, promptly answering phone calls, getting back to you when promised, etc.?
- Do they utilize detailed, professional drawings and construction documents?
- Do they provide a contract and specifications for your project with all the details stipulated in writing?
- Are their relationships with their vendors strong? Are they vendor-approved and/or trained on proper installation procedures?
- Have they been featured or won any awards for their work and/or design capabilities?
- Have they shown you projects that excite you?
- How do homeowner references feel about the company’s service and professionalism?
- Do you feel personally comfortable with the responsiveness, professionalism and integrity of the owner and/or staff members you’ve dealt with so far?
- Do they work to a pre-defined process and follow established building practices?
- Are they licensed (where applicable)?
- Is final cleanup of all construction debris included as part of the job?
- Does the contractor listen to you and understand your needs and desires to ensure the plans for your project meet your expectations?
- Are you satisfied with the level of detail and scope of the proposed project plan?
- Which contractor do you feel will deliver the best overall value for this investment in your home?
It’s a lot of work doing all of this research but it pays off big time. When adding to or updating your home, you don’t want any surprises. By checking off the list above with any contractors you are considering will help you make the best informed decision and will help you compare apples to apples.