10 Things To Know When Looking for A Contractor
1. Only Hire Licensed Contractors
Only interview and hire licensed contractors. To check if a contractor is licensed through the state of Arizona you can look up their license number at www.azroc.gov or by calling 602-542-1525 or toll free at 1-877-MYAZROC
2. Get Recommendations & Verify References
Check in with the national association of remodeling industry www.nari.org for a list of its members in your area. Always get at least three references of recent jobs from your contractor and ask to review past work in person to see the quality of construction.
3. Check the Better Business Bureau
Check with your states local better business bureau to make sure the contractor does not have a history of disputes with clients or subcontractors.
4. Licensed Subcontractors
Obtain a list of all subcontractors who will be used on the project and make sure they are all properly licensed. A General Contractor is only as good as the subcontractors he chooses. Subcontractors will probably be at the jobsite (your house) more than the General Contractor you choose so it is important you know who they are and their history.
5. Make Sure All Agreements are in Writing
It is imperative that all agreements are made in writing including all changes made to the initial agreement.
6. Don’t Let Price Be Your Guide
Throw out the lowball bid, this contractor is probably cutting corners or is desperate for work. Often times the low bid ends up costing more in the long run. The most important factor should be how comfortable you feel with the contractor and his technical competence to give you want you want. Communication is key, it is important to judge how well you and he or she communicates. All things being equal it will be better to spend the extra money and get someone you’re comfortable with.
7. Meet Face to Face
Based on phone interviews select your three contractors to meet in person for estimates and further discussion of the project. Be sure you’re your contractor is informative and can answer all your crucial questions.
8. Keep Records
Keep detailed records of everything related to the project including a payment receipt file. You may know your General Contractor personally, but it is still good practice to make sure everything is in writing.
9. Workers’ Compensation
Confirm that all contractors working on your project have workers compensation insurance for employees.
10. Payment Schedule & Final Inspection
Make sure your contract has a breakdown of payments based on worked completed. Do not make payments ahead of schedule or before work is completed and be cautious if a large down payment is requested and do not make the final payment until you are satisfied with the work performed.
If you would like to know more about Pankow Construction, visit the About Us for more information.
Arizona Register of Contractors
This Old House: How to hire a contractor