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.
  • General:
    • 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:

  1. Your name
  2. Your address including town and phone numbers and e-mail
  3. What you want to do
  4. When you what to do and to what. And when the existing home was built.
  5. Your schedule for someone to meet you to see the home.

What’s next? What to expect after contacting a General Contractor.