We get it, hiring a general contractor can be daunting. It seems everyone you ask has a horror story to share with you. But if you do your due diligence, hiring a general contractor can and should actually be a comforting and pleasant experience.
You’re entrusting your most valuable possession to this company, so you’ll need to be prepared with the right information. While Meridian Design Build, Ltd. is sure to tick off every requirement, it’s still important for you to consider your options. So, let’s discuss what you should consider.
What To Consider When Searching For A General Contractor
1. How did you find them?
You should always start your search by asking the people you trust for a referral. This can be a close friend, a co-worker, or maybe even another vendor you’re working with. A personal referral is the best way to assure you can trust the general contractor to get the job done well. But if you aren’t able to get a personal referral, it’s time for plan B: Google. You’ll want to pay close attention to the user reviews; those are the next best thing to an actual in-person referral.
2. Are they reputable?
When you receive a personal referral, whether it be from a trusted friend or vendor, you can usually trust that the general contractor is reputable. They’ve clearly made an impression on the client that passed you their name. But we’d still encourage you to pay attention to their overall reputation. You’ll want to consider how long they’ve been in business, what their online reviews say, their portfolio, and whether or not they look legitimate. Browse the general contractor’s website to find reviews and their portfolio of work!
3. Are they licensed, insured, and bonded?
Anyone, company or individual, who contracts for construction work has to have a general contractor’s license. For instance, our founder, Joe Balich earned his NC Residential General Contractor’s license in 1992 and his SC Residential General Contractor’s license in 1995.
It’s imperative that your general contractor is fully insured. What does that mean? Well, they should hold liability, worker’s comp, and auto insurance policies. And the pro tip? Any respectable company should be willing to provide you with a copy of their insurance if you ask.
As far as bonds are concerned, there are many. But there are two that are the most common: fidelity and surety. A fidelity bond protects you in case a contractor steals anything from your home. These types of bonds typically apply for any contractor entering your home. A surety bond protects the client in the event that a general contractor cannot or does not finish a project. These bonds typically apply to commercial and governmental projects.
4. Who is coming to your house?
Chances are you’d like to know who exactly you can expect to show up to your home on a regular basis. Do they do the work themselves? Do they subcontract it out to other companies or individuals? Ask the company who to expect. And if the company is subbing it out, you’ll want to be sure that those individuals are properly insured. Ask these questions!
5. Do they work with a contract?
They should. A contract is simply an agreement put in place to protect you and the general contractor. This contract should include details of the project, how much the project is going to cost, when payment is expected, hours in which the work will take place when work will begin, and the expected date of completion. You’ll also want to ensure that any other important details pertaining to the project are included in the agreement.
We are Meridian Design Build, Ltd. a Charlotte construction company that provides every client with comprehensive, timeless results with an unwavering commitment to quality, character, and integrity. Ready to start a project?
Schedule a consultation.