Before you Hire a Contractor, Ask the Right Questions

Selecting the right contractor to work on your home is an important decision. Before you make the hiring decision, you should make sure the company can do the work proposed, will take care of your home in the process, and will maintain an adequate level of attention to your project. This checklist has been created to help you make the contractor decision that’s right for you and your family.

GENERAL SUGGESTIONS:
1. Get three estimates to ensure that you get a well-rounded view of project issues and costs.
2. Make a selection based on overall value and not just cost. Spending a little less to get an end product that you are not pleased with or will deteriorate quickly is no bargain.
3. Understand at the onset that your building project will probably cost a little more than you initially think and that it will probably take a little longer than you think. Going in prepared will help you keep your peace of mind.
4. Ask each contractor for proof of insurance, licensing, and local references.

CONTRACTOR SELECTION CHECKLIST:
o Make sure the contractor is a licensed and registered contractor in The State of Connecticut.
o Check that the contractor has the appropriate insurance coverage to protect your interests.
o Create estimates and contracts that detail exactly what will be built, specific materials used and cost.
o Make sure that each contractor is bidding on the exact same set of specifications and plans.
o Make sure you understand the plans and specifications that the contractor gives you as part of the contract.
o Check to be sure the contractor is not running too many other jobs concurrently with yours.
o Make sure the contractor has obtained any necessary building or zoning permits.
o Always ask for and check out the contractor’s local references.
o See some work that the contractor has done that is similar to your project.
o Develop an open channel of communication right from the start.
o The contractor has a change management process that is logical and easy to understand.
o The contractor listens to your concerns, has a pleasant business manner, and you can communicate effectively.

These tips were provided by Patricia Rattray and Ben Velishka, Founder Dayton Builders. You can reach Dayton Builders at (203) 667-6266 http://www.daytonbuilders.net/

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