businessman working at computer and mocking up designs for a home or business renovation


Before you ever approach hiring a contractor, you will want to have a detailed plan in hand. A professional designer or architect can come up with a comprehensive plan that you can show your contractor, so that they know exactly what you have planned for your space. Remember that permit drawings are not complete plans and are going to contain very limited information about your final design concept; they show general information concerning layout and structure, but won’t show finishes, interior architecture, lighting, and other features. Your contractor will need these specifics to give you accurate pricing. 

Here are the first steps in hiring a contractor:

LIST OF SPECIFICATIONS. The price to renovate even the smallest of spaces can vary by quite a lot, depending on fittings and fixtures. Choosing these kinds of items ahead of time will save both you and your contractor a lot of trouble during the actual construction process, because he or she will be able to order and have the items on hand, based on your list, and will know the associated costs, avoiding surprises. 

RECOMMENDATIONS. Ask your designer, architect, or neighbors to recommend some builders that you can contact. Your friends and neighbors may have had work done recently, and they will be happy to let you know if they did or did not like the contractor they worked with. When talking with these recommended builders, you can share your set of plans and the specifications mentioned above so that you can receive appropriate pricing. 

INSURANCE. Make sure your chosen contractor is properly insured. Accidents are an unfortunate part of the construction business. There are bound to be mishaps with all those moving pieces and all the people involved, so make sure your contractor is sufficiently covered should the worst happen. 

CHECK THEIR WORK. Once your project has been bid out and you know who you want to work with, check some of their previous jobs. If you like what you find, there’s a good chance you have made the right choice for your project. 

INTERVIEW. Make sure you are picking someone you trust and someone that you can easily communicate with. During your first meetings, question them as to how unexpected issues will be handled, such as change orders or design challenges. 

EXTRAS. Your contractor may not have priced some items, such as bathroom accessories and such. These are known as extras, and you will want to ask your contractor how he deals with extras. You don’t want to find out later that your contractor is in the habit of using extras to get as much money from the project as possible. 

TIMELINE. Find out how long your contractor thinks your project will take, and then add eight additional weeks. This will help to manage your expectations. Just know that unforeseen incidents and situations regularly come up during construction projects, so be ready. 

Here at Ascension General Contractors, we are here to help you with your construction needs. Call us today, and let’s get started.