Get stuck with a bad contractor, and we guarantee your remodel or construction project will end up being a nightmare. And with the amount of money involved in any building project, the last thing anyone wants is to have to do the project all over again.
Luckily, there are plenty of good general contractors out there; it just takes a little research to find them. As a general contractor in Ocala and Central Florida, we at Tallen Builders have witnessed other’s poor construction jobs, so we stress the importance of doing your homework. To save you from the headache, we’ve come up with a strategy for finding a contractor you’re sure to love.
Start With Recommendations
Word-of-mouth continues to be a tried and true way of finding out about a contractor. Start with friends, family, neighbors, honestly anyone in the area that you know who’s had building or remodeling done. Another great, but not always thought of option is to call a local building inspector and ask which general contractors regularly build up to code. You might find a contractor that builds nice looking homes, but if they aren’t up to code it will cost you dearly.
Check Their Credentials
With your list of recommended contractors in hand, it’s time to do your own research. Start out by checking to see that they have all the proper licenses, as it is illegal for a contractor to work without one. At Tallen Builders, LLC, we are not only licensed, but lead-safe certified. Once you think you’ve found about three reputable contractors, schedule an in-person meeting. A good contractor should be able to answer all your questions, and if not, find the answer for you quickly.
Ask For Their References
A good contractor will have a list of references or testimonials from previous clients. These are people who are willing to talk with you about the contractor and give you all the details. Did the project get completed on time? Was it within budget? Was the contractor amicable to work with? If possible, also see if you can look at a current job site. The contractor may be polite, but if the workers are difficult to deal with or don’t keep an orderly work place you may want to reconsider.
Plans, Bids and Payment Options
Once you’ve settled on a couple of contractors, it’s time to get blueprints made, request bids on your project, and figure out payment plans. When it comes to comparing bids, ask all contractors for a break-down on what they will be spending on materials, labor costs and profit margins. If one bid is significantly lower than the others, throw it out! This contractor is most likely desperate for money or plans on doing a shoddy job to save money. Also be wary of contractors asking for half the payment upfront, as this could also indicate they’re having financial troubles.
Get Everything in Writing
Make sure to get everything about your remodel or new home or business project in writing. This includes things such as start and end dates, proof of liability insurance, materials to be used, payment schedule, etc. A clear contract can really help you with having peace of mind.
Are you currently looking for a general contractor in central Florida? At Tallen Builders LLC, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have about your next project. Give us a call or fill out our contact form and we’ll be here to help.
— Tallen Builders (@TallenBuilders) August 12, 2014