Review sites such as CheckaTrade can provide you with recommendations, but your friends and family can also be A good place to start. A building inspector will know which contractors comply best with building code requirements. the staff at the local lumberyard are also likely to know which contractors pay their bills on time and which ones make use of quality materials.
Do Phone Interviews
Once you’ve assembled a list, it’s recommended that you make a quick call to each of your prospects and ask them the following questions:
Do they take on projects of your size?
Can they contact banks and suppliers for references?
Can they give you a list of previous clients?
Will they have any other obligations running concurrently with your project?
How long have they worked with their subcontractors?
The answers to these questions will reveal the company’s availability, reliability, how much attention they’ll be able to give your project and how smoothly the work will go.
Meet Face to Face
Based on the phone interviews, pick three or four contractors to meet for estimates and further discussion. You should be looking not only for satisfactory answers to your questions but also for them to conduct themselves in a professional and friendly manner. It’s crucial that you two communicate well because this person will be in your home for hours at a time. It’s possible that the contractor is putting on a front, though. Make that contractors haven’t had a history of disputes with subcontractors or clients by researching them on review sites or perhaps a consumer protection agency.
Conduct an Investigation
Now that you’ve narrowed your list, Put your research to use. Call up former clients to find how their project went and ask to see the finished product. But you shouldn’t rely on results alone. If possible, it’s even better to visit a current job site and assess for yourself how a contractor operates. Do they operate in a safe and neat manner? Are the workers conscientious when it comes to the owner’s property?
Make Plans, Get Bids
You have your short list of contractors whose track records seem clean and whose work ethic looks responsible. Now that you’ve assessed contractors and their past work, your project can take precedence. In addition to a complete set of blueprints, the conscientious tradesman will attempt to understand your budget and what you want out of the work. Ask those on your shortlist to carefully break down the cost of labour, materials, their profit margins and other expenses you may incur in order to accurately compare estimates. Overheads will normally account for 40-45 percent, materials another 40 percent with profit margin in the region of 15-20 percent.
Set a Payment Schedule
You can find out a lot about a contractor’s work ethic and financial status by proposing a payment schedule. They could either have financial problems or be worried about you completing the payments upon seeing the work if they demand half of the payments upfront. For large projects, a schedule usually starts with 10 percent at contract signing, three payments of 25 percent evenly spaced over the duration of the project and a check for the final 15 percent when you feel every item on the punch list has been completed.