Things You Should Know Before Hiring a Contractor
Not all contractors are created equal. If you’re considering a remodeling or construction project there are some things you should know in order to be an educated consumer. Here’s a handy list of questions that will help you determine if you’re hiring a licensed professional contractor.
- What should I look for in a contractor?
Do they have an established presence in the community? Do they do the kind of work you’re looking to have done? Do they provide written estimates and scopes of work? Will they give you a list of references? Ask your friends who they have used in the past.
- Will you provide me with a written estimate?
While some contractors are comfortable with verbal agreements, I feel it’s very important to make sure the scope of work and cost are written down in detail. Some smaller contractors might find it time-consuming to compose a detailed agreement/estimation, but for fair comparison between bids, it’s important to have in writing exactly what is going to happen and how much it will cost you. Detailed, written estimates and scopes of work are the best way to ensure smooth job progress and satisfying results.Bedford Builders Remodeling offers free written estimates. Each estimate includes information on what some of our project ideas are, the best choices for materials, a breakdown of labor hours, materials, sub-contractor services, disposal fees, permit fees, and other associated costs. A timeline with an approximate start and completion date is also included.
- Why should I hire a company like yours as my general contractor?
Maybe you shouldn’t! When I first meet folks, I immediately try to determine if we are a good fit for each other. Can we communicate well? Are the expectations realistic? I certainly am interested in what potential clients know about me and why I appealed to them. And I always assume folks are going to get a few quotes, as they should.Bedford Builders Remodeling has a proven track record and is fully licensed and insured for all services we provide. We only bid on jobs that we have familiarity with, availability for, and with the man power, tools, equipment, and sub contractors to complete. Feel free to read our reviews on Angie’s List.
- What about budget overruns or unforeseen costs?
This is by far one of the most overlooked yet essential considerations. Contractors typically offer estimates based only what they can see and don’t include potential additional costs because anything more could lose them the job.At Bedford Builders Remodeling, we make a point to have these hard conversations upfront. We openly discuss potential overages by outlining potential issues. For example, if you own an older home or one that has been worked on without permits, the potential for overages is greater and change orders should be anticipated. We have a change order policy that does not penalize a client for unforeseen conditions, forcing the duration of a job to extend.
- What do you need from me, the client?
The successful completion of a construction project doesn’t just depend on hiring the right contractor. As the client, be as clear and specific as you can in what you’d like done. If you can, provide example pictures. Don’t be afraid to ask for estimates, scopes of work and change orders in writing so that you have a record. Also, make sure to communicate any questions or concerns as soon as you can. Try to communicate in writing, such as email, to avoid potential miscommunication further down the line.
- What kind of communication can I expect during the job?
I believe availability between the client and the contractor is critical to a job’s success. Bedford Builders Remodeling makes a point to detail our daily job-site accomplishments in a running log which is attached to our invoicing. We even note the conversations we have with our clients for future reference. We make it a point to have our clients agree to check their email daily, and respond at their earliest convenience when necessary. When we are on your job I make every effort answer your call.
- How will my living arrangements be affected?
We understand that construction projects can be stressful and we will make every effort to limit the inconveniences and disruptions to your daily routine.Because of our licensure, Bedford Builders Remodeling is able to provide containment services that stop the migration of dust and debris, and we run air scrubbers with HEPA filters to clean the air. We give as much notice as possible when we shut down a utility, and work as quickly as we can to limit the down time. We place disposable runners in any path we use throughout your home and can bring our own portable restrooms to the job sites, when requested. While our work hours are typically Monday to Friday, 7 AM to 7 PM, if necessary, we can adjust our working hours to fit your schedule.
- Who are your vendors and subcontractors?
We make it a point to use vendors and sub-contractors with whom we have an established relationship. Why? Because, when we do, jobs run smoother which results in a lower cost and time outlay for you. Having an existing relationship with a vendor or subcontractor means we become their priority; they know how we work and we know how they work. We get the best of their material knowledge and delivery schedules, which results in a better project for everyone.
- What kind of training or experience do you have?
I am a graduate of the New England Institute of Technology in Building Construction and Cabinet Making. I have 24 years of onsite remodeling experience and am a registered Rhode Island General Contractor (lic. #23294) I also possess a Rhode Island Building Commissioner Certification for one and two family dwellings, which allows me to spot code issues that other contractors might miss.
Other Awards and Certifications:
- Angie’s List Super Service Award (2013-2016)
- MA Unrestricted Construction Supervisor License
- MA Home Improvement Contractors License
- RI and MA lead licenses
- EPA Certified
- OSHA Certified