9 things your should know before working with a General Contractor
A general contractor is the main go-to person on any construction project. Supposedly, he or she is responsible for all aspects of the project. The contractor must handle the bidding, materials acquisition, schedule, implementation, inspection and delivery of the project from start to finish.
Thus, clients and home owners look to the general contractor to answer all their questions and manage the project as flawlessly as possible. While no job is without hiccups and issues, the best general contractors can handle anything that comes up with minimum fuss.
So before you say yes to a project (while talking with us or with another general contractor), here are some things that you should know to help you decide if the project is good to go:
- General contractors don’t need degrees but have to comply with government standards. Large renovation and construction companies require their general contractors to have management or engineering degrees or craftsmanship and carpentry credentials. We have all of them.
- All general contractors should be certified by the government through a standardized exam. Look for their credentials and referrals from their suppliers or previous clients to attest to their status or expertise. This can also help you to get financial or subsidies for your projects. Upon request we can provide you all those certifications.
- Independent general contractors who have their own client list are required to prove to the government that they have the financial standing to run their own operation and that their suppliers attest to their reliability.
- General contractors have to bid on the project. There is nothing wrong with consulting multiple professionals at a time and finding the estimate that fits your budget and your needs. Keep in mind that these people have different suppliers and expertise. We have our own team and a broad range of partners/suppliers to build a project according to your needs.
- Ask for a breakdown of the expenses and components of the project. Essentially, part of the total project cost is going to the contractor for being the middleman and overseer of your home renovation. A bargain can mean subpar materials or an inexperienced worker giving bad quotes. Do your own research or call us to have for an offer! We breakdown your project expenses in small steps to have a clear view on your requirments.
- Performance bonds are good for both client and general contractor. This is to ensure that especially for larger projects, the client has financial protection in place in the event the project is not completed in the time or manner requested.
- Unless you’re working with a large company, your own contractor has to find several subcontractor to finish or complete the work that he or she can’t cover. This is normal but can cause concern if all the workers are subcontractors. Insist that you are also required to approve the subcontractors before they can work on your project.
- The general contractor is always directly responsible. He or she cannot pass the responsibility to the subcontractors even if you approved them. He is responsible for overseeing the work—if issues come up, he should fix it as quickly and efficiently as possible.
- Issues and hiccups that cause more expenses with the project should come from the pocket of the general contractor unless the agreements with all the persons involved otherwise. The easiest and best way to ensure the delivery of project to spec and on time is to make the general contractor directly responsible for any aggregate costs beyond the agreed bid.
Craftsmanship: About Our Techniques
We aim to give you the best craftsmanship in all our projects. Whether it’s finishing carpentry, buildin, renovation or for your other needs, our techniques are designed to delivery optimal efficiency and the best finish for your home.
Take a look at how we work:
- We are always learning. You might ask our team and find out that on their off-hours they are attending classes, skill trainings and other enrichment activities. There are always ways to improve our craft and we constantly seek it.
- We never say ‘it doesn’t matter’. With so many things going on while one job is being done, it’s easy to say that the littlest details don’t matter or how the work turns out is random in some aspects. Laying down bricks, heating systems, electric, cables, wooden slats, floorboards, tiles, how flush the corners are with each other—the devil’s in the details and he’ll come knocking if he doesn’t do it right.
- We use the best tools and technology. We understand how the basics of building, renovation, painting, carpentry… haven’t changed that much so we stick to the best practices that have been tested through the years. Still, technology has a lot to offer to our craftsmans and we make sure that we take full advantage. With the newest laser tools, cutting mechanisms and cameras, our work has become more precise but at the same time rooted in the fundamentals of home improvement.
- We finish the work—down to the final details. Home improvement is meticulous and can sometimes feel like you’re pulling teeth. This happens when the floor isn’t level or temperature changes are messing with the materials. Still, we persevere in providing the best work we can give you. We only hand it over to your as the owner when we’ve finished everything on the punchlist.
- We plan every cut. Our meticulous work may extend the timetable but we make sure that it’s worth it. We have to plan each cut to save materials and make sure that we make less mistakes and waste less time. Sloppy work is borne from projects that aren’t planned and coordinated well.
- We make sure we’re on the same page. We don’t like the term ‘dumbing it down’ since it’s you’re right to understand what we’re doing with your home. We want you to know each step we take so you can also easily identify problems in the future. While we are passionate about our craft, we want you to know your house like the back of your hand.