We have compiled some tips to consider when choosing a General Contractor. Hopefully our suggestions will help make your job as delightful as possible.
Before the process begins:
Before You Hire a Contractor:
- Decide on what specific design you want. Consider an architect and/or engineer if desired and be sure to set your budget.
- Go to supply houses and/or look through some design magazines to get ideas on what you want and the quality of the materials that you wish for. Or you could simply ask a general contractor for samples.
- Describe the job, in detail, on paper or draw up a floor plan and select a contractor that works within your plan and your pre-determined budget. Be sure that all bidders receive the same information and plans so that the quotes are accurate to the job you are specifying.
Interview each contractor you're considering.
- Interview at least three contractors and request written estimates.
- Check with the Board of Building Regulations and Standards, (617) 727-8598 or http://db.state.ma.us/dps/licenseelist.asp to make sure the contractor is registered with the state. Most residential contractors are required to be registered and make sure it's current.
- Check the contractor's references. The contractor should be able to give you the names, addresses, and phone numbers of at least three clients who have projects similar to yours. Ask each how long ago the project was completed and if you can see it. Contact other homeowners that are referenced to see how well the job went, were the jobs within budget and finished within a reasonable amount of time.
- Do some research. How long has the contractor been in business, can they handle the work you require and the quality that you deserve? Look for a well-established company and check it out with consumer protection officials. They can tell you if there are unresolved consumer complaints on file. Note: No record of complaints against a particular contractor doesn't necessarily mean there were no previous consumer problems. It may be that problems exist, but have not yet been reported.
We provided you with some useful questions to ask in the decision process.
Before you sign a contract:
- Will my project require a permit? Most states and localities require permits for building projects, even for simple jobs. A competent contractor will get all the necessary permits before starting work on your project.
- How many projects like mine have you completed in the last year? Ask for a list. This will help you determine how familiar the contractor is with your type of project.
- Will you be using subcontractors on this project? If yes, ask to meet them, and make sure they have current insurance coverage and licenses, if required.
- What types of insurance do you carry? Contractors should have personal liability, worker's compensation, and property damage coverage. Ask for copies of insurance certificates, and make sure they're current. Avoid doing business with contractors who don't carry the appropriate insurance.
Always request a detailed written contract, even for small projects. State law requires all contracts over $1,000.00 to be in writing.
Be sure the contract contains all parts:
Finally once plans are drawn and approved and a thorough scope of work and length of job are prepared, we're ready to get to work! Using our years of experience we've devised a step-by-step process that helps ensure that your project runs as smoothly as possible.
- Total cost of the work.
- Payment schedule (no more than one third deposit unless special order materials are needed).
- A provision for changes or "extras".
- A detailed list of specifications and materials.
- Start and completion dates.
- Copy of contractors insurance (mailed or faxed from insurance company only).
Kelly Contracting LLC is registered and licensed with Massachusetts State Agencies.
Check up on our (or any other contractor's) credentials/registration with the state.