The First Step: Choosing A Contractor
Choosing a contractor is the single most important decision you will make in regard to any type of construction or home improvement project.
In addition to the physical aspects of a building and/or remodeling project, the general contractor is usually responsible for procuring materials (selection of the appropriate materials as well as timing the delivery of those materials), hiring subcontractors as needed, obtaining necessary building permits, and keeping sound financial records. In short, the general contractor handles all aspects of your project. When choosing a contractor, you need to consider someone you feel comfortable with, someone you can trust.
Every Project Is Different
Sometimes an architect is involved in your project and you have drawings in hand; sometimes you only have an idea and you don’t even know if it is feasible. Regardless of the stage of your project, a trustworthy contractor is of utmost importance.
- Ask people you know for recommendations.
- Visit a local lumber company and ask for recommendations; check their bulletin board, if available, for information on local contractors.
- Search the internet and phone directories.
How to Choose a Contractor
Narrowing the contractor list can sometimes be tedious. If a contractor does not show up on time for an appointment or does not show up at all, consider that to be an indication of how that contractor will handle the rest of your project. When choosing a contractor:
- Discuss time frames for beginning and ending your project to confirm the contractor’s availability is in sync with your expectations. If not, you may need to delay the project or seek additional contractors.
- Make sure you are able to clearly define the project prior to requesting a bid. It is very helpful to have a written description of the project clearly outlining your understanding and expectations.
- Evaluate the frequency and level of communication between you and potential candidates. It will be important to develop a solid relationship with your contractor. Keep the lines of communication open; take into account how easy or how strained communication is between you.
- Request bids once availability of the contractor and details of the project are confirmed. The bids should be detailed, in writing, and include separate, specific segments of the project.
- Compare bids, noting what is and is not included in each. Remember, it is not always best to hire the least expensive contractor. Look for the value in a job well done; look for the contractor best suited to handle your project and one who has provided a bid that is within your budget.
You need to be able to rely on your contractor because it is the contractor who is mostly responsible for the success of your project.
We Can Help!
If you are choosing a contractor in New Jersey, in particular, High Bridge or the surrounding towns, contact Tuck Batch at 908-638-5006. Batch Building & Remodeling Inc. is the company to hire!
NJ Licensed Home Improvement Contractor #13VH00445200