A contractor either makes or breaks your home remodeling and construction projects. When undertaking either renovations to an existing structure, or adding a new extension and thus, altering the structure itself, the right contractor can help you create the space of your dreams. However, should you choose the wrong contractor for the job, your project can easily become a living nightmare you will not be able to wake up from.
What makes a General Contractor The “Best General Contractor”
At FHR Construction, we are incredibly serious about the quality of our contracting jobs, and how our dedication to these jobs positively impacts our customers. We understand that by allowing us into their homes, as well as sharing the visions and dreams for their renovation or construction projects with us, we have truly entered into a covenant with each and every customer we serve. Because of this commitment to excellence, we want to share some valuable and essential information that will help you choose the correct contractor for your home remodeling and/or construction project.
License and Registration Please
Possibly the most important pieces of information to ascertain and verify are licensing credentials and an insurance certificate. Licensing proves that the contractor you are considering is a legitimately recognized business in good standing by the city and state government they operate within the boundaries of. Insurance coverage guarantees that should anything happen, to your home or its occupants, during construction and/or due to contractor negligence, the contractor will be able to provide for any applicable damage and costs. These credentials are fundamentally important, and if any potential contractor refuses to prove they hold them for whatever reason, we strongly recommend walking away immediately.
The Business of Business
The next question to ask is how long the contractor has been in business. This includes asking for referrals and other specific job related information from previous clientele dating back to the contractor’s professional beginnings. Along with this, it also pays dividends to do your own homework by checking the many credible Internet review sites, as well as organizations including the Better Business Bureau and specifically in the Valley, the Arizona Registrar of Contractors in order obtain public information about the contractor—including reviews and testimonials the contractor has not been able to modify or ‘cherry pick’ him or herself.
Now, it also should be said that sometimes unfavorable reviews are posted that might not accurately represent the contractor’s overall quality of work, so go with the odds in a case like that. Simply stated, if out of 50 reviews all but one are positive, and the negative one includes a response by the contractor offering to amend the situation or providing a seemingly plausible account from the contractor, then make your decision based off of the overall body of work. However, if a higher amount of the reviews are negative, you very well might want to seek out a different contractor for your project.
Profiles and Portfolios
Ask to see many different examples of their previous work that matches your project, or just work in general. Reputable contractors will have data-banks of previous jobs, as they take great pride in their work and want to document it for the entire world to see, prospective clients included. This includes complete video and photo documentation. If a contractor says they have experience under their belt but no documentation to prove it, there is no way for you to know you are not being sold a house of cards instead of one built from bricks and mortar.
It is important to make sure your remodeling or construction project falls within the contractor’s area of expertise. You should ask questions about other jobs they have completed that are similar in scope and specifics to the job you are requesting. This includes work in residential and commercial settings, as well as company size in order to ensure the proper amount of labor is available for your project to be completed successfully and timely. Also, make sure your contractor is clear with you about time expectations and availability. It is a horrible feeling when a contractor promises a start or end date, only to balk on one and drag the other out far beyond what was agreed upon. Especially if you have a certain deadline, make sure the contractor can guarantee meeting it, and it is okay to ask for this agreement in writing too.
Fitting the Bill
In addition, make sure to ask if the pricing you are being given during your consultation is an estimate, or if it is fixed. Some contractors’ treat their price quotes as estimates, and this can end up meaning significantly higher costs for the consumer once the job begins and it is too late to back out easily. Please keep in mind that due to unforeseen circumstances once a job begins, like an excess of faulty wiring or mold behind walls the contractor was not able to see before beginning the job physically, sometimes costs will be higher than projected. It is okay to ask the contractor about any possibilities they foresee that will dictate a potential increase in project cost. A good contractor will be honest with you and give you possible scenarios, but also gauge the likelihood of those scenarios coming to pass based on their inspection and experience.
And finally, ask for financial and character references from suppliers such as lumberyards and masonry wholesalers the contractor regularly does business with. An established, respected contractor will have a solid reputation with suppliers who have confidence in their work ethic, professionalism and financial stability. Look for long-term relationships whenever possible, as a sign that your contractor is legitimately qualified and emboldened to perform your project sufficiently.
AT FHR Construction, we have a plethora of experience concerning residential and commercial remodeling and construction building projects. We have many, many satisfied and repeat customers because we treat every person and project with the utmost respect, timeliness, transparency and dedication possible. No matter the size and scope of the task, we will provide you with honest communication and excellent service. And we are also happy to provide any documentation you require in order to put your mind at ease, and help you make the wise decision many Phoenicians for many years already have. Allow us to help make your home remodeling and construction projects a reality today—and allow us to do the hard work for you, so you can enjoy the fruits of our labor long after the last brick is laid.