Finding good talent when you hire a contractor is probably not all that difficult. However, finding one that will do a good job and finish it on time will be more difficult, and when you want to find one that will charge a reasonable price and not pad the bill is even harder. Knowing how to hire a contractor will make the process result in finding the contractor you need for the job.
Take Your Time
When you want to find a contractor you do not want to be in a rush. Take some time evaluating candidates for the job and do so thoroughly. Find out if the contractor hires subcontractors and ask how they determine which ones to use. You want companies that hire subcontractors that are both professional in their appearance and have good communication skills.
Check for Licenses
Every contractor, whether they are a commercial general contractor, commercial electrical contractors, commercial construction company, or anything else, they need to be licensed in your state. When commercial contracting, you also want to ensure that they have insurance – general liability for possible damage and worker’s compensation for their employees. Various permits may also be needed if they are going to be performing any construction.
Understand Their Experience
Find a contractor that has considerable experience in the type of work you are looking for. They may even specialize in that type of work – which may mean that they could charge more. Consider how many years they have done that type of work as well. Watch out for contractors that try to pressure you into hiring them and for ones that try to underbid the others – they may be desperate for work.
Get Multiple Bids
Making sure that you will be charged a fair price will come from looking at multiple bids. You need to get at least three bids from contractors that list specific details including:
- Materials – with details, brands, etc.
- Detailed project description
- Deposit amount
- Completion dates by phases – with start and end dates
- Projected cost
- Schedule of payments
- How a change order can be made
- Clean up information
- Warranties of work and materials – and length of time
- What the contractor will not do
- Site security.
Everything about the project needs to be in the contract. Do not leave anything up to a verbal agreement because you cannot enforce it. Add a statement about being able to terminate the contract at any time if desired.
You should not pay more than 10% of the cost upfront. Some states place limits on the amount that a contractor can expect upfront. Do not use cash.
Besides asking for references, be sure to contact each one and find out how satisfied the customer was with the work done. Make sure the references are for projects that are similar to the ones you need. Also, ask about any criticism or complaints that they have about the work or the company.
Follow up by looking for reviews online about the company. The more reviews you read, the better picture you will get of the company. Avoid companies that only have a couple of reviews because it means that it is either a new company or the company may have recently changed its name because of past problems. Also, look at information about the company on the Better Business Bureau website.
Knowing how to hire a contractor involves holding the final payment until you are satisfied with the work and everything is finished. Do not pay until ensuring that the work has been completed according to the contract, that any suppliers and subcontractors have been paid, and that the cleanup has been completed.