Few homeowners go through the building or remodeling process several times, so if you’re looking at residential construction companies, chances are you don’t have extensive knowledge in construction and renovation. So how can you figure out which of your local construction companies you should try to work with? Here are some questions you should ask any residential general contractor you meet with:
- What Size Projects Do You Generally Handle?
There’s some overlap in residential and commercial construction companies, but many will focus on one or the other. Make sure that your contractor is comfortable handling projects the size of yours, whether that’s a limited or extensive job.
- Are You Familiar With Permitting Requirements in This Area?
Permits and building requirements can vary widely even county to county, so it’s important that you work with someone who is an expert in your particular location. You’ll want to double-check that you have the necessary building permits — since you, as the owner, will be on the hook if a step gets skipped — but it’s always a good idea to have someone with experience watching your back.
- Who Do You Hire?
You probably won’t personally select your subcontractors, so make sure that your general contractor hires skilled people who are properly trained, certified or accredited. Shoddy workmanship can cost you big money down the road.
- How Long Have Your Recent Jobs Taken?
Construction projects are famous for dragging on way past their estimated dates of completion — just think of the half-built commercial building project you most likely pass every day on your way to work. Residential construction companies, just like big construction companies, are often plagued by delays. Instead of simply asking how long your project will take, ask the contractor to compare his estimations on past projects with their actual timelines.
Do you have any other tips for choosing residential construction companies? Share your advice in the comments.