At Performance Construction we understand the stresses and frustrations that accompany the Contractor Selection process. For this reason and more, we've developed a checklist to assist in simplifying the process while covering all necessary bases (experience, certifications, references, skill, etc).
Question: Does the builder or remodeler have a permanent business location and a good reputation with local banks and material suppliers?
Reasoning: A permanent location helps to solidify that the construction company is not an "over-night start-up" simply looking to take advantage of your situation. A respected reputation with local lenders and material suppliers provides merit that the company is known within the area.
Question: How long has the contractor been in the building / construction industry? Will they be around after the construction is complete to service any warranties?
Reasoning: It usually takes three to five years to establish a financially sound business.
Question: Have you contacted or researched the contractor within your local Better Business Bureau?
Reasoning: The BBB can alert you to any complaints or unsettled issues other clients may have had with the company.
Question: Does the builder / remodeler have sufficient workers compensation and general liability insurance?
Reasoning: If not, you may be liable for any construction-related accidents that occur on your property.
Question: Will the builder / remodeler provide you with references of similar projects they have completed? Ask specifically for customer names and phone numbers.
Reasoning: If the reference list seems lacking or the builder is unwilling to provide complete information, this could be a sign that something is wrong. Be sure to ask previous customers if they would hire the construction company again. It is wise to contact numerous customers from the reference list.
Question: Are you able to easily communicate with the builder / remodeler?
Reasoning: Remember you will be in close contact with the contractor throughout the construction process and possibly even afterward as you live in your new or remodeled home.
Question: Will the builder / remodeler provide you with a complete and clearly written contract?
Reasoning: The contract will benefit both of you; review it carefully. The documentation will assist in clarifying questions, prices and disagreements that may arise.
Tip: Be cautious of unusually low-priced bids. If the homebuilder / remodeler is unable to pay for the materials and labor as the project proceeds, this may indicate a potential problem. Be cautious if a large percentage of the contract is requested up-front or if the contractor continually requests more money throughout the project.