Whether you believe it or not, generally the first step for finding the perfect general contractor is not calling or looking around. The main thing to do is to write down a very detailed plan for what is expected of the project. Including details like that types of materials you wish to be used to the colors of the materials. You should get a ruler and try to map out your space.
General contractors are creators of resources. They can handle everything like getting the permits necessary to hiring all the professionals for the job. When you start to look around for a professional contractor, you need to make sure that they possess all the proper licenses and insurance. There are many different requirements that vary province to province. A little extra research can help you save a lot of money and stress. Ask about the services you need for renovation, not all Ottawa general contractors are experienced in every type of renovation. For instance, one general contractor may construct your kitchen while another contractor may only do roof repair.
Choosing The Right Man for the Plan
The primary conversations with an Ottawa general contractor should be like a job interview for them. You should ask a lot of questions about their experience and qualifications. Some other questions that you may like to ask the contractor are:
- How long have you been in business?
- How long does it take you to finish projects like mine?
- How often do you complete projects like mine?
- Can you supply the materials or do you work with a supplier?
- How long have you worked with your current subcontractors?
Do not pay for everything upfront. As an alternative you should try to make a small down payment with installments upon the project milestones. If any issues may arise in the renovation, so will be issue with the payment. This also means that if you do not pay in a timely manner then they will not complete the project.
The Paper Trail
Always get the agreement in writing, just like you would with any other business transaction. Many general contractors already have a contract available for you to sign, if they do not then make one for them to sign. Without an official notarized form, a clear and signed document is useful as evidence of the agreement. The agreement needs to include the business name and contact information. Also an estimate of the project start and completion dates, payment schedule and whether all permits will be obtained through the contractor. If you are unsure of what needs to be in the agreement, ask for advice from a lawyer or paralegal.
You also need to keep every piece of paper that is handed to you. Even all the texts, emails and a list of phone calls. Having a journal that will keep track of all calls and conversation can help with the progress of the job. When it comes down to the final bill, know the state or local limits of how much it can surpass the estimate. You need to know when you are allowed to withhold compensation. For example, if you have used all of your good faith options, then you can ask your credit company to stop payments for the amount owed.