Choosing the best contractor for your new construction or remodel project is vital. A reliable and competent contractor will ensure that your goals are met in a timely and cost-effective way. Knocking down a wall is the easy part, while hiring a professional who will perform at a high level from start to finish can be more challenging. We all worry about hiring the company that tears a room apart and never comes back, or the project that ends up costing way more than the original estimate.
The renovation process can be stressful and expensive even when you have the very best contractor on your team and it can often involve unpleasant and unexpected situations. The right contractor can help a homeowner weather these types of surprises, averting disaster.
For a large project, you will need a general contractor, and he or she will in turn hire subcontractors for the specialty work, such as tile or trim, for example. Your contractor will know who is competent and experienced in the area and will ensure that your work is done by the very best.
Make sure you know what your ultimate goals are before you get an estimate; any estimate will be more accurate if you can be specific about time and materials. Interview friends and neighbors and those that you trust to get recommendations. Speak with at least three contractors, ask lots of questions, and get bids from all of them. Never hesitate to negotiate, and when your candidate is chosen, remember that a busy contractor is in demand so they may not be available immediately.
Check your candidate’s licensure, complaints, and litigation history; the Better Business Bureau is a great place to start. Checking their references is a good idea, too.
Make sure your contract is complete and clear and includes deadlines, progress payments, and material lists. If anything is not documented, it will come down to your word against theirs and can create legal problems.
Most renovation projects will require permits; never start work without a permit just to save money, even if your contractor suggests it. Tearing something down after the fact is a waste of money, and the contractor will not do it for free. You can also incur fines in cases like this.
When preparing your budget, plan to pay 10-15% more than your contract states, and don’t make your final payment until work is 100% complete. Even the best contractors can get busy with other things and find it difficult to come back for the last details.
Here at Ascension General Contractors, we are proud to serve the Nashville community. If you are considering choosing the best contractor for a new construction or renovation project, we’re here to help.