Choosing the Right General Contractor, Part 3: Selection & Beginning Work

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In the last few weeks, we’ve provided pointers for going through the process of choosing the right general contractor of your work. We taught you how to search for contractors online and how to handle the bidding process. Now that you’ve gone through these steps and have bids from potential contractors, we’re going to talk about how to decide on one and begin work on your project.

As you conduct interviews, call references, and compare bids, keep in mind what’s most important: choosing a contractor that will be harmonious to work with, that you can trust, and that you know will provide quality results. Often, the cheapest contractor isn’t necessarily your best option–a little bit more money could mean higher quality materials, better laborers, etc. So often we recommend choosing a contractor whose price is in the middle of the road. Because the bidding process is very telling of the kind of relationship you will develop with your contractor, you probably have a pretty good idea already of who you would like to choose.

Once you’ve chosen your contractor, you should arrange another meeting to discuss a schedule for work, make sure the contractor understands exactly what you want to have done, and make final selections on materials. Make sure you have a firm idea of what you want done and communicate it clearly to the contractor.

Now you’re ready to begin construction! Make sure you continue to communicate clearly with your contractor about any concerns you may have or changes you may want to make. When you request a change, continue to be clear on what you want the project to look like by emailing links or pictures to the contractor. The clearer you are about the vision for your project, the better your end result will be.

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