When deciding to have any major work done on your home, you either do it yourself, or hire a contractor. I like to think I’m pretty handy, but there are just some things I wouldn’t even dare attempt.
Here is some advice on choosing a contractor:
1) Lowest cost is not always your best option.
Think about it, the cost is low for some reason or another. Quick, sloppy work? Cheap materials? Maybe further down the road they will tell you that it’s going to cost more than they thought. If the cost is several thousand dollars cheaper than your other bids, I would get rid of it.
You be the judge on this one.
2) Immediate availability…red flag!
Yes, you want to get your basement finished ASAP. If a company is offering you a near immediate start date, red flags should start going up. Why is an immediate start date open? A good company is going to be booked out, and you’re going to be looking at starting in two to three months. Now, there are always exceptions. Maybe someone decided not to have work done and a spot opened up- yes, grab that spot! Or maybe it’s around the holidays…who really wants to have work going on in their home during the holidays? That’s when you want it to be finished, so you can show it off to all of your family and friends. That’s definitely a rough booking time for a lot of construction companies. So you want immediate availability, try around the holidays!
3) Check them out on Better Business Bureau.
Go see what the Better Business Bureau has to say. You can see BIC Construction on there by clicking here. You definitely want to see if there are any complaints filed against a contractor you are considering using before you sign a contract with them.
4) Do you feel comfortable around them?
If you feel uneasy about a person, why would you let them into your home? I sure wouldn’t. In our business, we will be in your home for 4-6 weeks. Choose someone you feel understands your desires for the project, you can trust, you’re comfortable with how they go about getting their work done, and communicates well. If you can’t understand what they’re saying, who’s to say they’re not going to take advantage of that? A big thing for me is that while I don’t know construction terminology (I’m the office manager, I know office lingo), I don’t feel belittled and I feel like the contractor is willing to take the time to explain things to me until I understand what he is saying.
Scott will break everything down for you. We want you to feel valued and make sure that you understand every little aspect of your basement finish. Speaking of that…
5) Get a bid and then sign a contract.
You want to make sure that everything is included. Get a breakdown of costs. Get a payment schedule so you know how much is due and when. Don’t pay it all up front! (The payment plan we offer is basically “pay as it gets completed”.) And don’t pay the final payment until you are completely satisfied with how it looks. Holding that final payment is what is going to get the contractor moving to finish everything to your satisfaction.