If you’re searching for a general contractor in Fort Worth, there are 5 key qualities you’ll want to see reflected in order for you to be sure you’ll be truly happy with the final results. The great news is that with client reviews and project portfolios often available online, it’s easier than ever for consumers to do research quickly and efficiently.
However, it’s also easy to get distracted by the endless rabbit holes of information, some of which springs from shady sources. The following article can serve as a guide that will keep you focused on the most important qualities throughout the selection process.
Be sure to read through to the end of the article–all throughout we’ll share our best tips for protecting yourself before you let a crew begin work on your home or business.
5 Attributes of a Quality Contractor
1. A Great Reputation and Plenty of Recommendations
When someone has a great experience with a general contractor, they’re always happy to talk about it. Ask your friends and family who they’d recommend and why, and if you have the opportunity, ask how things went if any problems cropped up along the way. If they say they’d use the same contractor again, put them on a preliminary list.
The National Association of the Remodeling Industry will be able to give you a list of their members who are in your area. Additionally, you can pay a visit to the local lumberyard; they will interact with contractors often, and they know which ones purchase quality materials and pay their bills promptly.
2. Excellent Qualifications
A contractor must have a license and be bonded and insured, all of which speaks to their credibility and store of knowledge. You can ask for the contractor’s license number if you haven’t been able to get word-of-mouth recommendations and are having to check credentials independently.
Appropriate insurance is non-negotiable because without it, you could personally be held liable for any accident or injury that takes place, even if it’s not your home, vehicle, or person that’s damaged. You must see proof of insurance before you sign a contract and permit any work to begin in order to protect yourself from the “what ifs”.
3. Perfect Integrity
The contractor you choose should be perfectly honest with you at all times. They’ll believe that their work can withstand scrutiny, and they will want you to have all the facts. If you notice that a contractor exaggerates a bit here and there, or tries to brush off your questions, immediately move on with your search.
You need to be able to trust your contractor implicitly; don’t settle for less than complete honesty. How can you tell if a contractor is being forthright? Do your research on them before having a face-to-face meeting; you’ll have facts ready to check against what your contractor has to say in the consultation meeting.
4. Good Interpersonal Skills
Your contractor will need to communicate clearly and kindly with you and his team. Construction depends on the contractor running his crew expertly; signs of difficulty with communication are as much of a red flag as organization difficulties or unreturned phone calls.
5. Clear and Accurate Contract Specifics
Before you sign the contract, take a careful look at it. The contract you sign needs to cover the start and completion dates, costs of the project, brand and type of items being installed, and a complete series of drawings that will be used to guide the project. All of this must be accompanied by a written description of the work that the contractor will perform.
IMPORTANT NOTE: DO NOT accept vague or open-ended line items. If you haven’t chosen a brand of kitchen faucet, for example, you will still see an allowance listed instead, which could look like, “up to $300 for a kitchen faucet.”
A contract cannot be too detailed. You should see the color or tone and finish of fixtures, size, brand, and color of everything, and should spell out a complete picture with no room for interpretation.
This methodical, detailed approach protects the contractor as well as you as you move forward with your construction project.