12 Tips to Follow in Selecting a General Contractor

A reliable and skilled general contractor is an important component of every home construction project. There are 12 tips you can follow to choose the right contractor including the following:

  1. Develop a clear construction outline. It should include straightforward goals, expectations and budget categories. 
  2. Make a quality list before contacting anyone. For example, how do you value budget, time efficiency and experience in a contractor?
  3. Make sure the contractor is knowledgeable about permits. He or she needs to know how to obtain the permits required to construct in your area. 
  4. Contact previous clients. Listen to their opinion of the contractor and ask who their second and third options were. 
  5. Set a clear schedule. Use it to evaluate progress and to keep the project on track.
  6. Reflect on how easily you communicate with the contractor. With a home construction project, you should feel comfortable discussing all thoughts and ideas.
  7. Get a quote from the contractor. Discuss how it was determined and how a payment schedule would look.
  8. Don’t hire the first contractor you meet. Instead, meet with multiple options and after comparing them, make an informed decision.
  9. Check the background of the contractor. This is easily done by contacting the state licensing board.
  10. Discuss the option with friends or family members. They may have experience with contractors and recommend other evaluation criteria.
  11. Have a well-planned design for the contractor to evaluate. This print should include details for which the contractor is not responsible, such as light fixtures and wall colors.
  12. Be honest about your own skills and expectations. When you interview a potential contractor, he or she is also interviewing you as a potential employer, and all cards should be on the table to foster a productive and respectful relationship. 

After the project is completed, consider writing an honest evaluation for the contractor. Just as an honest reference helps you pick a general contractor, so to can you help other people beginning home construction projects.