How To Choose a Residential Construction Contractor in Atlanta[October 10, 2012 at 3:52 pm]
If you are planning to remodel your residence or build a new one, there are a lot of decisions to make. From design plans, to architectural renderings, to materials, accessories, fixtures, and more, be prepared for a barrage of details that all require your careful consideration.
Without a doubt, it’s you very first choice that will have the most impact on the successful completion of you plan- you need to choose and hire the right residential construction contractor in Atlanta. Everybody’s heard horror stories about bad residential construction services: work not completed of schedule, projects way over budget, materials substitutions, plans not followed accurately, workers not showing up… the list goes on. It’s no wonder that the prospect of initiating a remodeling project is, to say the least, intimidating.
However, there are stories of good outcomes, too. You know the neighbor whose renovation project made their house so much better! That co-worker who raves about the value of their kitchen remodeling. You can avoid most problems by doing some investigation and by taking the time to establish a good business relationship with your prospective contractor. If more people would take the time to give their choice of contractor the same consideration as their choice of carpet color or cabinet design, the results world be better and the experience a more pleasant and satisfying one.
But what are the criteria for selecting a contractor? How do you know who to trust? Fortunately, there are several ways to approach the selection process:
- Talk to people who have used a contractor’s services. Ask for the recommendations of people you trust, of neighbors, friends and relatives. You may get some good leads, and just as important some tips on contractors to avoid. Start an information file or a list of links and bookmarks of organizations and magazine and newspaper articles on the aspects of the home construction industry that will have an impact on your project.
- Check the Yellow Pages or classified advertising section of your phone directory. But be cautious! Chances are, if a company is stable and trustworthy, they can afford to run a regular ad. This can give you a pretty good indication that they’re in the business on a serious basis and not just trying to pick up a job here and there. You can also go to the reference desk at your local library and look at an older edition of the Yellow Pages. See if the contractors you are considering are listed. Stable businesses often run the same ads from year to year. Always look for contractors who routinely perform the same kind of work. Some may think they are qualified when they really are not. Installing a kitchen is different from adding a room or finishing a basement. Your project may require a certain level of specialization.
- Always be sure to verify the credentials of any potential contractor in Atlanta. It’s extremely important that you know what kind of insurance coverage contractors have and the types of warranties they offer. Make sure that they are fully licensed and insured. This won’t necessarily guarantee their level of expertise, but it will give you a measure of security. At least you’ll know where you can find them when you have to. If your project will require a lot of money and close professional supervision, you should check out the contractor’s financial stability. Contractors who get in over their heads can lose control of the project and fail to meet cash flow requirements. Don’t let them take you down with them. If your project is a large one, be sure to get several estimates and have a credit check run on the competing contractors.
- Check with the professional trade organizations. If you are new to the contractor -selecting business, you may be able to get several good leads from professional trade associations like the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA). You can also try the local Chamber of Commerce, local referral services, or local or state consumer affairs offices. And make sure the contractor you are considering has no unresolved problems. You should also look online at Angie’s List, Yelp and other rating sites to see if a company has lots of praise or lots of complaints.