FINDING THE RIGHT CONTRACTOR FOR YOUR PROJECT
Many clients ask for my assistance when searching for a contractor. I’ve worked with many throughout the years and can help guide you through the appropriate team for your scale of project.
DESIGN & SCOPE TEMPLATE
Each contractor has their own way of pricing jobs and preference in the way they build. The first step for any project is to provide the final preliminary drawings along with a scope of work. The scope of work will outline details of the project that may not be mentioned in the preliminary drawings (ie. assumed engineering, material allowances etc.)
Providing the same drawings and scope of work amongst many contractors will ensure you are comparing prices for the exact same work (apples to apples). From there, you can narrow down your top 3 contractors and work together to finalize the scope to your needs.
COMPARE & INTERVIEW
I always advise to meet with all contractors after receiving their estimates. The contractors that are least expensive don’t necessarily provide the cheapest quality; same goes for the most expensive contractors, as they may not have high end builds.
Top questions to ask when interviewing contractors:
What is the history of the company? How long have they been in business and how big is their network with sub-trades?
What warranty do you offer on your work?
References; can you visit houses they’ve completed recently?
Will you receive a calendar/schedule for the duration of the job? What happens if they go over the completion date (with no fault to unforeseen matters or change of scope)
HOME OWNER & CONTRACTOR RELATIONSHIP
Renovating is a stressful time for all, and you want to be able to rely and trust that the contractor you’ve hired is fair and will not guide you in the wrong direction. There will be a lot of communication between yourselves and the contractor, so forming a trusting bond is important when interviewing and comparing different teams.
It’s important to meet with each contractor and form a relationship; you should work with someone whom you trust and know will be honest throughout the entire process. You want to feel comfortable with them. Sometimes your selection is not based off of the estimate of the job, but of your impression of the contractor. Many times, contractors win a project due to their relationship and the impression they’ve given off to the home owners. It’s not always just from the price presented.
During construction, you will be in contact with your project manager on a daily basis and typically there will be ongoing changes throughout the project. Since you don’t know what happens behind the scenes of every job, you want to be able to rely on the professionals. Are they personable? You want to work with someone that has patience and will guide you through the process.
Communication is key; you should hire the team that will explain any changes that may be required and will keep you updated with the progression of your job.
There are many honest contractors out there, so I always advise speaking to your designer or architect to inquire on their past experiences. We work on multiple projects at a time with various companies and will be able to direct you towards an appropriate team.