You’re finally ready to start building or renovating your house into your dream home. The plans are there, the budget is set, and you already have an estimated schedule. Now all you need is a contractor that will handle the project. You probably don’t know anything about this kind of work, and neither do you have the equipment to do it. An experienced team is what you need.

But hiring a contractor is not an easy process. Working with the wrong one can result in a botched job and loss of resources. That’s why you need to be meticulous when looking for construction professionals. Here are a few essential tips on how to hire a contractor.

1. Set Your Goals and Understand Your Needs

The first step in any project is knowing what kind of result you want. This way, you can focus your plan towards that goal and avoid any distractions. This will also help you find a specific type of company that can handle a project’s needs. Don’t look for a new-build contractor if you simply want a room addition.

Having a goal will also help you communicate better with prospective contractors. During your initial conversations, you can lay out your plans, features you want to be added, or timetable. That way, the contractor can understand your vision and assess if their services are suitable for your needs.

2. Get Multiple Estimates for the Project

Even if you already have a budget for the project, getting estimates is still an essential step when finding a contractor. Set up appointments with your prospective hires and ask for a quote about the job. They will give you a range that you can compare with the rest, allowing you to narrow down your options.

Don’t fall for the lowest bid! If they give you an estimate that’s too good to be true, then it probably is. Those companies could be cutting corners and using subpar materials that result in poor-quality work. Instead, focus on how they communicate their estimates. If they offer a comprehensive report that includes a list of needed materials, timelines, and deliverables, then it’s a sign that they’re a detailed and transparent contractor.

3. Find Recommendations and Referrals

A contractor will present the best version of themselves when talking to a possible client. That’s why it’s good to learn the opinions of other people regarding a contractor. You can talk to a home inspector and ask them the companies that consistently follow building codes. Trusted manufacturers can also provide recommendations for contractors that use their high-grade products.

In terms of customer service and relationships, ask your family or friends about contractors they’ve worked with in the past. They’ll tell you about their experiences and if a certain company is a good or a bad choice.

4. Get to Know Your Prospective Contractors

You’re the employer in this scenario, so you’d want to get to know possible contractors as much as possible. While phone or online interviews are a convenient alternative for tight schedules, we still recommend face-to-face interactions. This way, you can establish trust immediately.

Ask them if they’ve done projects similar to yours and the kind of result they delivered. You can request a list of past clients, any subcontractors they’re working with, or if they have other projects to handle during your scheduled weeks or months. Take note of the information and see if they’re the right fit for your needs.

5. Study Their Credentials

Now comes the more technical part of researching prospective contractors. While it might take a bit of research and bureaucratic processes, knowing the credentials of a company can help you weed out the ones that cannot be trusted. This step will also solidify the reputation of a contractor.

Do background checks and see if their team is made up of trustworthy people. You can also ask for their license number and whether they’re insured or not. Lastly, see how long they’ve been in the business. Longevity in the industry is one of the biggest indicators that a company can be trusted.

6. View Their Past Work

Another way to determine if a contractor is the right fit is by checking their past work. This way, you can see the kind of projects they handle, whether these are renovations, new builds, or simply carpentry jobs. This step will also let you see assess the quality of their workmanship and set your expectations if you do end up hiring them.

7. Review Payment Plans

Each contractor will have a specific payment scheme depending on the scope of the project. But most will request a downpayment of up to one-third of the total budget. Consider it a red flag if they’re requesting half or more of the bid in the beginning as it may be a sign of financial problems. You also need to check the payment structure for the duration of the project to see if it’s reasonable.

8. Get Everything in Writing

Drafting and signing a contract is not a sign of mistrust. It’s insurance that will protect both the client and contractor. If a company refuses to sign a contract, then that’s a definite red flag. If they do accept, then these are some of the things that should be in the document:

  • Names of all parties involved and signatures
  • Project timeline
  • Overall cost and payment plans
  • Products and materials used
  • Proof of liability insurance
  • Applicable guarantees

Work With Pacific Construction Builders

Pacific Construction Builders is one of Hawaii’s most trusted contractors, having been around for more than three decades. We offer an array of services that go beyond regular contractor work, and we strive to deliver the best results for every client’s satisfaction. Contact us today and set up an appointment to get started!

Learn more about hiring Hawaii contractors and how Pacific Construction Builders can serve you here.

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