The process of hiring a general contractor for your building needs can be an overwhelming experience. Like anything that involves putting your dreams into the hands of someone else, hiring a contractor requires a great deal of trust in their ability to realise your idea.
Conducting a thorough background check on the contractor can reassure you that they have the competence and experience to deliver your proposal on budget.
If you live in a smaller community, a great way to get an informal feel for potential contractors is to ask around for a broader picture of the contractor’s reputation within the community. Social media can be your friend here too, as you can utilise Facebook’s recommendation function to garner further information.
You can also dig deeper into the work history of the contractor; how long they have been working in their current role, any reviews that have been left by customers or the team brought on to complete their projects.
When looking for custom home construction Seattle, There are a few specific groups of people that could be useful for you to approach;
Past Customer Experience
The first point to consider is this. Can the contractor provide customer references? If so, get in touch with previous customers for an overview of their experience with the contractor; was their project completed on budget and on time, have they found any underlying issues of poor standards since completion, and – most importantly – would they recommend and use the same contractor again.
Consider any gaps in these references and attempt to find out if any work was done at this time, as it will be a fact that only good customer references will be included in a contractor’s reference portfolio. You can never have enough information from those who have been through the same experience as you.
Contact Those within the Business
If the contractor does have any gaps in their customer resume, ask for the contact details for any other regular workers and sub-contractors on their books. Just as with the customer references, sub-contractors can verify their experience of working with the general contractor, and identify any potential safety issues or regular concerns, such as overrunning on costs or extended completion deadlines.
If the general contractor has regular collaborators that can vouch for their work, it will build your confidence in their ability.
Check with the Relevant Authorities
Make sure your builder has all the relevant documents by researching within your area what insurance and licences are required. Ask the contractor if they can provide proof of these documents and that they all apply to the job in question, including whether the insurance and licences will cover the projected time of completion.
A minimum requirement of any business is that they are up to date with any and all legal obligations. If they cannot provide proof of this, they could be in breach of these regulations, which raises immediate red flags. You can also enquire with the Better Business Bureau whether any complaints have been brought against this contractor, consistent complaints can indicate problems.