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What Should I Consider When Choosing a Residential General Contractor?

Article Details
  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 07 June 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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In many cases, when people need remodeling or repair work done to their homes, they hire other people to do the work. Sometimes those individuals are happy with the outcome and sometimes they are unhappy. If you are now faced with the challenge of hiring a residential general contractor, you may want to consider several things before you make your choice to reduce your chances of disappointment. These include the contractor’s licensing, his work experience, and his payment terms.

One of the first things you should do before hiring a residential general contractor is to ensure you avoid a huge yet common mistake that many people in your situation make. After contractors have accepted the deposit, begun working, or finished the job, many people find out that the individuals they hired were not licensed. This realization often comes when people are scammed, left with incomplete projects, or victimized by shoddy work. To prevent this, ask to see a copy of the necessary licensing and double-check the validity of any documents you are given.

You may find that a residential general contractor has all the legal documents to allow him to work on your home. Being a residential general contractor means that legally he has the capability to perform a wide variety of projects. However, you should ask yourself if his experience deems him capable of completing your project.

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Although general contractors may not specialize, they may be known for strengths in certain areas and weaknesses in others. It is always wise to consider a contractor’s reputation. Do not hesitate to ask for references and a portfolio of completed projects similar to yours. These can be helpful even if the residential general contractor is generally well known. You may want to avoid allowing your project to be a first of its type.

Construction fraud is rampant in some areas but possible in most areas. Try to protect yourself by carefully considering the payment terms a residential general contractor proposes. A red flag should immediately go up if he wants a substantial amount of money as a deposit. If most businesses in your area charge a 35 percent deposit but your potential choice wants 75 percent, make a better choice by finding another contractor.

Another thing to consider before you hire a residential general contractor is how trustworthy and professional you find the company to be. This includes the crew that will be working on the project. You must remember that these individuals may have access to your home when you are not present. They may also work at times when they are in contact with your family.

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