10 Steps in Hiring a general Contractor

There are several steps that you are going to need to do when you are planning on hiring a general contractor.

  • The first step is to find out if your state requires licensing for general contractors and make sure that your general contractor is licensed if you state requires it. Texas does not have licensing for general contractors and not having a license doesn't mean their not qualified, which is the place to start. 
  • The second step is to make sure that you check out all of their references.  This means that you need to follow up with all of the home and business owners that has used that person.  You should ask for at least 3 references from the last six months work.
  • The third step in hiring a general contractor is to make sure that you ask the previous clients all of the appropriate questions.  These questions might include if they were happy with the work that they did, was the jobsite clean, quality of the work, staying on schedule, and the costs stayed the same.  
  • The fourth step is to find out how long the contractor has been in the business and if they have had done any project like the one that you want done.  Most of the time, a good standing for five years in the community is great.
  • The fifth step in hiring a general contractor is to make sure that you check the amount of insurance that the contractor has.  A copy of their insurance certificate should tell you all you need to know.
  • The sixth step is to make sure that you check all of the bids that you have received.  This is so that you can compare all of the contractor companies to figure out which one is going to work best for your needs.
  • The seventh step in hiring a general contractor is to make sure you check on all of the contact information from the contractor.  This information should include their mailing address, e-mail address, personal phone number, cell phone number, and the fax number. A company can have multiple levels of contact or only one, just make sure you know those available to you.
  • The eighth step is to make sure that you check with the better business bureau and or even get their D&B rating. Make sure they pay their bills or resolve any complains against them.
  • The ninth step in hiring a general contractor is to make sure that you interview the contractors.  The interview is going to help you to get a feel from the contractor.  This means if you have a uncomfortable feeling about them, then they are probably not going to work out for you.  
  • The tenth step is to make sure that you have a written contract.  But you are going to need to ensure that you understand all of the terms and conditions of the contract.  You should have your attorney review the contract if there is something you don't understand.