Researching a General Contractor
What you are looking for is a reliable, safe, honest, fair-priced, insured and licensed General Contractor, one with good reviews and recommendations.
Use this general contractor checklist to help you decide on the best one to choose for your project.
- Do your homework:
- Go onto Angie’s List
- Check the Better Business Bureau in your area
- Ask friends & neighbors for referrals but avoid the neighbor’s nephew who could knock it out for a few beers. This is your home and much too valuable to not use a real licensed and insured contractor.
- Google “general contractor” in your neighborhood
- Licenses and Insurance:
- Is the General Contractor licensed and insured in your state?
- Has the General Contractor asked about permits and inspections? A good contractor wants permits & inspections. Those are safeguards for both of you.
- Ask about a Certificate of Insurance.
- How long has the General Contractor been in business?
- Does the General Contractor have a permanent business location?
- Will the General Contractor give you a written estimate and contract?
- Will he be on the job site to answer any questions or solve any problems?
- Is there a fee to provide an estimate? If yes, is it refundable against the project cost?
Ready to proceed and make your first call? Here’s a shortlist of what you’ll need when you call:
- Your name
- Your address including town and phone numbers and e-mail
- What you want to do
- When you what to do and to what. And when the existing home was built.
- Your schedule for someone to meet you to see the home.
What’s next? What to expect after contacting a General Contractor.