When the time comes to embark on a renovation or addition for your Toronto home you’ll want to make sure you hire a reputable general contractor to oversee the process. It may be tempting to try and save a few dollars by handling oversight of the project yourself but you’d be well advised to resist that particular temptation. The general contractor will know your type of project inside out, will be able to get you a good deal on materials and make sure the job gets done properly.
Selecting the Right General Contractor for Your Project
So general contractors are important. But how can you tell the good general contractors from the bad? Here are 5 things to look for.
- A low pressure approach – Every contractor wants to secure enough work to keep their crew busy and make a decent profit but some lose sight of the real goal – customer satisfaction – in their quest for cash. If you’re feeling pressure to sign a contract red flags should go up. It means the contractor is more interested in getting their hands on your deposit than in listening to your ideas. And there’s no way that will lead anywhere good.
- Appearance – If the prospective contractor shows up for your initial conversation wearing a T-shirt and driving an old, beat up car more of those red flags should go up. Good general contractors understand the importance of a clean, professional appearance. If they’re not going to bother looking good for the first meeting what are they going to look like when they show up to do the job?
- Preparation – If the prospective contractor shows up to your first meeting with nothing more than their phone it’s not good. They should anticipate that you’ll ask them about licenses and liability coverage and have that information ready. They should also be ready to show you photos of past projects and supply you with references. In addition, they should be taking notes so they won’t have to start from scratch again if you decide to hire them.
- Personality – While the most important thing is their ability to do the job keep in mind that you’re going to be working closely with this person for months. If it seems they’re more interested in texting others than in listening to you it’s not a good sign for your future working relationship. Likewise if they adopt an air of superiority and shoot down everything you have to say you’ll probably want to take a pass as well.
- References – There are more than a few contractors out there who will hem and haw and delay when it comes to the issue of references. They may come up with what seem like logical arguments for not supplying them – like protecting the privacy of their clients – but don’t buy it. Any reputable, reliable general contractor will have plenty of references and will be happy to share them with you. If they don’t, you should take a pass.
In addition it can be extremely helpful to the whole process if the general contractor has their own stable of craftsmen on the payroll. It facilitates communication, discourages disputes, promotes a higher level of quality and keeps everything moving forward in the smoothest fashion possible.
At Karen Homes our objective on every project is the same: complete customer satisfaction. We employ the best tradesmen in Toronto and oversee every aspect of your home renovation or addition project so that the final product exceeds your expectations in every meaningful way. Your home is your largest, most valuable single asset. Don’t gamble with its future. Hire Karen Homes for your kitchen, bathroom or basement renovation or to build that dream addition.