The construction trade is very easy to get into, here in the UK all you need is a CSCS card which is 10-15 hour course and then 15-20 minutes for the exam, after which you can appear on any construction site that will employ you. Therefore, there are a lot of people in the industry. Once you have your foot in the door you can go onto learning trades from the people you are working for, this makes the industry delicate when choosing the perfect contractor.
With general contractors everywhere looking for work, you have an abundance to choose from, so let’s go through some techniques on how to snag the best ones, let’s face it, if you have a massive project you need to be completed, you want it done right!
This is a big starting point, turning towards friends and family that have already had work carried out by the traders. There are a lot of people and associations on your side here when it comes to recommendations, one such association is The National Association of the Re-modelling Industry, you can give them a call and ask for local traders that are on their register.
Another great thing to do is give the local building inspectors a call, who will know better than the people who go out on the job and actually check the work themselves? These guys check all the building work within your area, trust me, they know the best! They will know which ones buy quality materials, pay their bills on time and also the quality of workmanship.
Breaking Down The List
Once you have created a list of the top contractors, the next thing to do will be the self-vetting. What we do here is give each one a phone call and ask some questions, preferably geared towards your project, here are some to get you started:
- Do they cover projects of your size?
- Are they willing to provide you with references, both of completed projects and financial?
- How many other projects have they got on the go at the same time?
- How long have they worked with their sub-contractors?
- Do they buy quality materials?
- And of course, you need a quote!
Those are just some questions to ask, that should clear up most of what you need to know but if you can think of any then throw them into the mix.
It’s Nice To Meet You!
This is one important step, meeting face to face. Even with phone interviews and recommendations, your mind can only be made upon a real-life meeting. Bear in mind this is only after you have chosen up to three contractors, you do not want to meet any more than that or your project will never get started!
A good contractor should know what he is talking about and be able to put you at ease about your project, on the other hand, don’t let personality fool you. Ask your local Better Business Bureau if they have a history of disputes against customers and other contractors.
Get To Work
So now you have had recommendations of people, vetted the list, narrowed it down to three and met those three contractors who should have put your mind at ease. The last thing to do is go with the best quotation you were given, or better still, the one that made you feel more comfortable about your project that the work will get done in quick time and completed with no problems.