Selecting the most reliable and competent contractor possible to complete your repair or renovation job is perhaps the most important step you will take. The construction process can be stressful and expensive, and can often include unpleasant surprises, so the right general contractor will help you through unpleasant and difficult situations and even perhaps avert disaster.
Why A General Contractor?
You may be an accomplished do-it-yourselfer, but for projects that are big or too complicated, you really need a general contractor. He or she will then hire subcontractors for the specialty work, and they will know who is competent and experienced in completing your particular project since they are in the industry every day.
Talk to friends, neighbors, and other business owners that you trust to get recommendations for a high-quality contractor. Interview at least three candidates, ask lots of questions and get bids from each of them; don’t hesitate to negotiate. You will want to check their licensure, complaints, and litigation history to make sure they are who they claim to be, and the Better Business Bureau is a great place to get this information. Checking their references will let you know what their track record is when it comes to job completion and level of excellence.
Know Their Area Of Expertise
Make sure you know what the contractor’s area of expertise is. If you are renovating your commercial kitchen you will want to work with a company that has a great track record with these kinds of projects. If you own a retail establishment or a warehouse, you will want to employ someone that has done this kind of project in the past with good results.
Do Your Homework
Your contract needs to be complete and clear, including deadlines, progress payments, and material lists. If anything is not documented, it will come down to your word against theirs if there is an issue. Expect the contractor you have chosen to be busy; they probably won’t be able to start right away. Remember that a busy contractor is someone who is in demand, and that’s a good sign.
Never allow the work to start without a permit just to save money, even if your contractor suggests it. Tearing something down after it is begun can actually be a waste of your money; in many cases, you can also end up getting fined, too.
Expect surprises that will add to the costs; with this in mind, it is wise to expect to pay 10-15% more than your contract states. Also, even the best contractors can get busy with other things and find it difficult to come back for the final details, so ensure that you only make the final payment after all work is fully completed to your satisfaction as per your contract.
Here at Ascension General Contractors, we are committed to completing renovation and remodeling projects in a timely and professional manner. We are a full-service general contractor and proud to serve Nashville business owners and operators.