The Right One for the Job
Whether you need a building contractor to build an addition on your kitchen, or you want someone to build your new custom home, you may be worried about making the right choice. You are going to be working with the building contractor closely, and you want to job to be done just right and on time and within budget-this is your home after all. So, before you start looking in the classified section of the newspaper or flipping through the yellow pages, here are some tips to help you get a good building contractor.
The yellow pages are great for many things-choosing a building contractor is not necessarily one of those things. Most contractors who are really good don’t have to advertise-especially in the yellow pages-because they get all of their advertisement by word-of-mouth. If you would like an idea of the kinds of things that are available in your area you can look through the phone book or newspaper classifieds, but this should not be your first choice for finding a building contractor.
So, how do you find a contractor? The best advice is to ask around. Find people who have had similar work done and find out who they used and if it was a good experience or not. Ask questions about any problems that came up and how they were resolved. Did the building contractor listen to their questions and suggestions? Were they on time and did they charge a fair price? You can also ask a potential contractor for references from former clients. A first hand account is always a great referral tool.
You can also go online to find a building contractor through a referral or matching service. You post the type of job that you want done and the contractors who use the service can get your contact information if they pay a fee to the service. It is good practice to let any building contractor who contacts you through a service to at least bid for the job.
Once you have chosen at least 3 potential contractors, have them come and give you a bid. A good bid will not only have a dollar estimate, but it will also outline what the contractor will do and what each step will cost and how long it will take. There are always factors which may change when the job is actually done, but this is to be expected. As long as you keep asking questions and getting satisfactory answers you can feel confident.