Do you need the services of a building contractor in the near to distant future?

You are in luck! If you need to hire a contractor, check out our top tips on the subject so you go with the right candidate for the project.

Get some recommendations.

Whether it’s from a trusted relative or a friend, getting recommendations is pretty smart. You not only get more hiring options, but also have potential hires that are already good enough to recommend to others.

 Come up with a candidate list.

Create a list of people or businesses that you would potentially like to find out more about. Compile references, recommendations, and contractors that you are interested in. Then you can follow up and either research more or sit down in person for an interview.

Figure out what questions you will ask potential hires.

Sample questions may go over whether they have done projects like yours in the past, can they provide references or previous clients that can vouch for them, whether they focus on one project or have multiple projects going, whether they collaborate with subcontractors, availability, cost estimates, job commitment, and more. These questions can be asked in person or over the phone.

Meet with candidates in person.

Once you have spoken to candidates over the phone, narrow down your top picks. This will usually be around three but could be up to five. Give yourself a chance to get a good idea of what each contractor is able to do and their general sense of capacity (as opposed to personality).

Check their history.

Once you’ve spoken to contractors in person, dig into the past. Call up clients or look at past work to see what they’ve done. Flesh out a good overall view of the candidate and how they have performed in the past. Look for any red flags.

Get bids and make plans.

Get bids or estimates for the job. You want to figure out what each person is capable of and what their business sense looks like. Ask for a breakdown of how materials, labor, and general cost. Materials should end up being around forty percent, but it varies.

Consider estimates and bids but don’t go by them completely.

Don’t let hiring choices be guided by money alone. Many suggest to throw out the low bid. Whether you do or not is up to you. Consider each candidate and their estimates carefully to get the full picture.

Work out a payment schedule as part of the hire.

When hiring, you’ve got to settle payment terms before starting. This should be involved in the contract and terms. Payment for large projects may start with ten percent at signing and then 3 payments consisting of 25% and then 15% at the end, but look online for other options if you don’t like those.

Make sure they know their stuff.

Make sure a contractor knows their area of expertise! They should not only be up on building codes and zoning but also be licensed to work and in some areas insured too.

On hiring, put it in writing.

A contract needs to go over everything. Signing one will protect both parties in the end and confirm everyone knows the details. Make sure the contract drawn goes over the project’s every step, from payment and scheduling to liability insurance proof, start and completion date, materials and products being used, requirement for lien releases from suppliers and subcontractors.

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