How to Hire the Right General Contractor
By Scott Murfey,
Open space concepts. Shiny, new appliances. Curb-less showers. Home renovation possibilities are endless—and exciting. It’s no wonder that once you’ve made the decision to renovate, you want to get started yesterday. However, it’s important to remember that you’re putting your beloved vision and your house in the hands of someone else—your contractor. Therefore, although you can’t wait to replace those awful 1980s kitchen cabinets with sleek, new eco-friendly ones, make sure to take the following steps before hiring a contractor:
Educate yourself about your project:
Before you reach out to anyone, make sure that you educate yourself about your renovation. Make sure you’re clear about the scope of the project, the available product options, and whether or not a building permit will be required. Knowing about your project will enable you to ask prospective contractor the right questions.
Ask for references:
Get as many references as possible. If a contractor does a good job, he or she will gladly give you references. Call as many of them as you can and ask the questions that matter to you. For example, did the contractor start on time? Did they finish in a timely manner? Were they easy to get a hold of? Did they clean up their mess? Were they fair with pricing? Did they welcome the client’s input? You can’t ask enough questions!
Find out which tile shops, lumber yards, and kitchen and bath showrooms the contractor uses. These suppliers will know if the contractor is reliable and may also be familiar with his or her quality of work.
Make sure they are licensed:
Unlicensed contractors may come in with less expensive quotes, but it’s rarely worth it. If an unlicensed contractor doesn’t follow through on the work or the quality of work you paid for, your only recourse is taking him or her to court. A licensed contractor possesses a minimum amount of experience and has passed a business management test. He or she may have also been subjected to a criminal history background check, and must not have any unresolved contracting complaints outstanding. If a licensed contractor doesn’t follow through on the work, you can file a complaint against the contractor’s license and may also be eligible to apply to the residential contractors’ recovery fund and receive money to have the work corrected or completed.
If your contractor is good, he or she may not be able to start immediately.
At Murfey Construction, we pride ourselves on our experience and integrity. We value open communication with our clients and are committed to every project. We look forward to answering all of your questions! For more information, log onto