If you are still looking for the best contractor for your house and come up by searching anywhere in the web on the “best general contractor”, you’ve come to the right place.
And if you are seeking guidance, information, or things to know before hiring a general contractor for your home improvement project, this article is your answer.
This article is created by SIMCORP Construction and Remodeling to talk about significant things that you should know before you can finally tell “I need you as my General Contractor” and stop searching for the general contractor on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines.
Let’s define first what is a general contractor. A general contractor, or GC, is often referred also as a construction manager. He/she is directly having contracts with the property owner to take on the overall construction project, managing daily operations, quality control, material, equipment, and labor to provide the owner with the price of the project.
Now, do you still need a general contractor? Or you just need a handyman to do the work. Will you be fine with doing the project yourself? What services they will provide? Papers needed? When can you tell that this contractor fits to do what you want?
To fill the gaps in your mind, let’s quickly look at finding the “best general contractor and what should I ask” to clear the light on the state of home improvements.
Table of Contents
How do I find the best General Contractor?
Now that you are reading this article, you are probably done asking your relatives, friends, and other people near you for their recommendation on the general contractor.
Are you satisfied with their recommendation?
Once you are on their website, take some time to read testimonials, and reviews on Google and social media. You can find some of their previous projects like yours by checking their gallery page. More importantly, check their state licensing page or badges to know the integrity of the company.
Learn more about SIMCORP Construction, one of the best general contractors in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
Do I need General contractor for my house?
Having a general contractor to do your home improvements has many benefits and is a lot more convenient. But wondering for a handyman to do the job for a small home renovation project is not bad at all.
Of course, you will choose a skilled handyman for your small jobs over a professional contractor. Keep in mind that they will not carry proper permits and have a special license.
However, a licensed general contractor has certified training and skills for any job whether small or large. Their oversight and project handling will ensure that the project is done in line with the law, safety, and especially within the budget and deadline.
Always remember that working outside licensure is against the law and will leave you liable for any injuries that may arise.
Thus, for any project that needs expertise in project management or involves electricity and other hazardous projects, better to have a contractor with you.
Do-It-Yourself VS Hiring a General Contractor
Why should I ask for a general contractor if I can do the job myself? How much will it cost? How it is better with my skill? These things are the initial state of mind questions if you still don’t know the advantage of having a contractor.
As we are now in the modern world, it is easy to learn things on the web, read blogs, watching videos. So, YES, you can choose to act on your own. But keep in mind that this is only applicable for a less complicated project.
In most of the cases, the main reason of doing things by yourself is to save money. But this also needs you to work on the permits and inspections with the local government. Then you can hire for local subcontractors to do the rest.
In exchange, your time will be consumed and some complicated things may arise that only a professional contractor can handle.
This is why it is not bad to hire a general contractor as it is a good investment. Below are some reasons why should a homeowner should hire one.
- Safety first.
- They have experience in a particular area of home improvement.
- They know the process of acquiring necessary permits.
- The projects always have to pass home inspection.
- They know the best materials to use.
What should I ask to the General Contractor
Achieving not only the best result for your home improvements but also to have a good deal with the contractor. Below are some of the recommended topics you need to know before hiring your general contractor.
This will help you throughout the home renovations especially if you are a first-timer hiring someone you do not know at all.
Experience and Length of Service in the Industry
Experience combined with exceptional skill that is focused on their profession will deliver exceptional result to the project and will make things easier.
Every home has a unique design from inside and out. This means that general contractor will have different approach doing renovations. So you might wanna choose a professional contractor who has years on experience working with home systems and materials needed to do the job.
Contractors Licensed and Certifications
An unlicensed contractor is a red flag, especially if you will have major renovations, I would suggest looking elsewhere.
At the end of the project, a conflict may arise if the work turns out to be substandard. Also, in the future, any upfront cost may not be worth the headache if someone gets injured on the homeowner’s property.
Worker’s Liability Insurance
If anyone of their employees gets injured on the job inside your property, you’d be liable. Always make sure the contractor carries the proper insurance certificates to avoid a problem like this.
Handler of Building Permits
Abstain contractors that tell homeowners that they need to get the permit in their name. Always remember that the person responsible for making sure that the project is done in the right way is the person on the permit.
Dedicated Team on the Project
You may want to have people coming into your home every day are the same people than changing faces in a day or two. Find a contractor that provides a dedicated team for the project. Especially employees of their own or subcontractors that can be trusted. As a homeowner, you will always want to feel at home in your house by feeling secure with strangers in your home.
Length of the Project
Relatives or friends will come by, gathering for special occasions, or any other reason for you to have a target day for home improvements or have no reasons at all, make you your contractor can meet the deadline
Prefer Communication Frequency with the General Contractor
For every type of project, weekly meetings with the client are ideal. But depending on how long will the project takes. It is better to have regular communication with the contractor, especially regarding the development and their team members.
Some circumstances are not unavoidable. This may be a design that does not meet what you want or any issue that needs attention before it worsens.
Tendency if Something Runs Over Budget
Know what would happen for extra service of the contractor for some other home problems that did not disclose during the surveying and cost estimate of the project. You can expect to have an estimate of not greater than 20% for unexpected events. But beyond that, you should learn with your contractor what will be the procedure afterward.
Handling Changing Order
As a homeowner, you may want to change something after seeing the development of the project. Sometimes you can decide what you truly want after you check the finished product.
By then, understand with your general contractor the process of changing things with your project.
Warranty Extension on Job
Securing a warranty with the contractor is a must. Back job is unavoidable especially if you have no idea about the materials used and the integrity of the project.
Back job simply means that after completing the job, there will be some unexpected dysfunctional, damage, or issues that need to work on again. Ask the contractor about the warranty cover and the length of coverage.
Safety that Protects You and Your Home
Safety first, as this is always the main concern of every project. Having a Personal Protective Equipment or PPE in the construction will minimize the exposure to hazards.
Licensed professional contractors should be very strict for the safety of their team. Also, safety for you and your home as their client. They know the local and international code as they are essential it for the permits for the job.
Connections with the Vendors of General Contractor
Another advantage of having a local contractor is that it can lessen your materials and supplies cost as they usually have a discounted price on the vendor. Every home improvement job has to do with the supplies needed and standardized materials that are necessary to be known for your project.
Making sure that your contractor has the connection with the vendor. This means that you can save money or your budget can go for more.
On the construction project, both sides, the contractor and the homeowners don’t want to have irregularity in the payment. The general contractor also has payment terms with their subcontractors and vendors.
Having pre-defined payment terms that will work on both sides makes it easier for the cash flow of the general contractor and you as homeowner on how will you budget your money.
Typical Workday of General Contractor
This is one of the most important things to know because this answer to their working schedule. Having a graveyard shift and resting sometime in the morning makes you want to move their working hours, as construction will always have a noise doing their jobs.
You may want also to know things like when will they need you for consultation, is your bathroom available for the crew, storage of their tools and equipment, available parking area, etc.
When to Decide Hiring a General Contractor
On the topics you have read, you are now confident with your knowledge in mind to decide who’s the general contractor you will choose.
With this, you can now tell that you are READY to find the General Contractor!
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