Tips For Choosing a Reputable General Contractor You Can Work With
These tips for finding a reputable general contractor are basic guidelines provided to you as a courtesy by RTJ Construction for your information and convenience.
You, the client, needs to decide what type of general contractor you will need to do your home remodeling or new home construction project. Do you need a general contractor who specializes in all areas of home construction and remodeling or do you need a general contractor who specializes in a specific area such as kitchens and bathrooms, add a level, or general residential renovating and remodeling?
If you are having a new home built or want to do a total home renovation it makes sense to choose a general contractor who specializes in these areas. If your project is basically a kitchen remodel or bathroom remodel then choosing a contractor who focuses on these areas would be appropriate.
There are some general guidelines to follow to make sure you choose a reputable general contractor. They will be working in your home and you should make sure the general contractor you choose will treat the job and your home as if it was their own.
The general contractor you choose should meet the following basic qualifications:
- Contractor should have an established business in your local area
- How long has the contractor been in business – ask to see business license
- Business address should be a physical address – never a P.O. box
- Contractor needs to be licensed by your state
- Contractor should have liability insurance to protect your property from accidental damage during the construction project
- Contractor should have Workmen’s Compensation to cover workers who may get injured during construction
- Any and all sub contractors on the job should also be covered
Request that your prospective general contractor provide you with insurance documentation you can verify. An ethical and reputable general contractor will have no problem providing you with copies of the requested documents. If for whatever reason they do not want to provide you with this or cannot, cross them off your list.
Verifiable client references are necessary. Do not hesitate to call these references and ask questions!
Some questions you should ask:
- Was the remodeling project completed on time and within the agreed upon budget
- Completed job – did it meet or exceed your expectations
- Care for your home – were the workers neat, show up when expected, respectful of your property
- After the fact – were issues that came up after project completion addressed in a timely fashion
- Proof – ask if you can see the finished job or see pictures
Detailed Written Estimate –
- A reputable general contractor will provide you with this without any hesitation. If not, cross off your list
Lowest Bidder does NOT mean best quality –
- Compare any major differences in your quotes that you receive
- At stake is the quality of materials; proven reputation; number of workers on the project; warranty
- Kitchen cabinets, counter top materials, bathroom vanities, flooring, and many other components to be used are not all of the same quality
Signing The Written Contract –
Your general contractor should clearly and concisely state all facets of the project from start to finish:
- Materials used
- Supplies to be used
- Project milestones
- Project timeline
- Payment schedule
- Proposed length of project and date of completion
If anything is not clearly stated, has been overlooked and is not on the contract, or could be more detailed to your satisfaction, do not hesitate to bring this up and have it addressed BEFORE you put your name on the dotted line and make a commitment.
Check the Better Business Bureau for the general contractor’s record – a reputable contractor will have the BBB seal on their website and it should be clickable to their BBB profile.
Also check the state Department of Consumer Affairs for any complaints against the contractor and any issues.
If you are not 100% comfortable with the general contractor’s client testimonials, check online to see what kind of reviews are there about your prospective general contractor. Many contractors are still converting to online reviews such as Google Places, Merchant Circle, Manta, Yahoo Local, Angie’s List, Find A Pro and more. These are a good backup source if the contractor’s testimonials are lightweight.
RTJ Construction LLC is a licensed and insured general contractor offering many services, including but not limited to:
- new home construction
- existing residential renovations, add ons, remodeling
- general contractor and handyman repairs, remodeling and renovating
- new commercial construction
- existing commercial and retail renovations, remodeling, build outs
- commercial property maintenance
- residential and /or commercial masonry, paving, excavations, brick and concrete
- custom millwork, woodworking, moulding, decorative projects
Call RTJ Construction in Paramus New Jersey at 201.788.1510 with any questions you may have or to get a FREE estimate!