By: Joshua Dundrin
Hiring a good contractor is the key to a successful (and minimally stressful) building project. Whether it is your home, office or an even larger project, the contractor you select will determine the outcome of your original plan. Although there are many highly skilled contractors, there are just as many who do not live up to the claims they make about themselves. In order to avoid hiring an under qualified contractor, you need to use the same set of criteria to evaluate every contractor that you may eventually hire. To help you with this process, here are five traits that you need to look for in any potential contractor candidate:
1) References: Reference are the easiest way to narrow down your list of contractors. If a contractor cannot produce at least three references, you should eliminate them as a choice for your project. For the contractors that do give you references, you should take the time to contact these individuals. Previous references can give you an honest opinion about the contractor's level of skill, reliability and any other issues that you may have overlooked.
2) Networking: If a contractor has a strong network of reliable subcontractors, your project will progress much faster. This is because a well connected contractor will not have to waste time searching and waiting for unknown subcontractors . The easiest way to find out whether or not a contractor has a solid network is to talk with them about the subcontractors that they normally use to complete different tasks. You can even request that the contractor give you a list of their usual subcontractors.
3) Reliability: Although this was mentioned in the first tip, reliability is so important that it needs to be reemphasized. If you hire a contractor that is not reliable, the task of building your dream home or office is going to turn into a nightmare. To avoid a long, frustrating building project, make sure that you talk to the contractor's references about how reliable the contractor was during previous projects. If you have any doubts about the reliability of a potential contractor, you should move on and find a more suitable candidate.
4) Competitive Pricing: Your contractor's rates can be an excellent gauge of their skill. If a quote is extremely low, the quality of the contractor is most likely poor. However, an extremely high price does not guarantee above average quality. Many of the best contractors charge prices that fall in the middle of the scale. The best way to find the reasonable price range for your project is to obtain quotes from a wide variety of contractors. Once you have these quotes, you can find your optimal price range by comparing the quotes to the contractors' reputation.
5) Personality: This may not be the most important trait of the contractor you hire, but you should at least take it into consideration. If you are thinking about hiring a contractor that has a personality which clashes with yours, you should try to find a contractor that is more compatible with you. You will be communicating with your contractor quite a bit, and if you cannot stand them, your building project is going to be an unpleasant experience.
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