What Makes a Good General Contractor? 5 Important Qualities

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When you have a construction or home renovation project, hiring a reputable general contractor is the first step towards making the project a success. And, before entering into an agreement with a general contractor, you will need to make sure that they have the qualities you are looking for. 

All successful general contractors share several qualities. Their career has flourished because of their favorable characters. With that, let’s look at the top 5 qualities that make a successful general contractor. 

Experience

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A good general contractor should be experienced in every area of construction—from simple repairs to complex tasks like designing and constructing buildings. Although it’s normal for general contractors to hire subcontractors during any major construction project, they must know how to do the job as well. A general contractor is one who takes responsibility, schedules work, and ensures every contractor finishes their work within the required time while observing the highest levels of quality. 

Communication skills

Any successful general contractor should have exceptional communication skills. While it’s imperative for a general contractor to communicate well, most clients tend to overlook this aspect. And, the result is hiring a general contractor who cannot deliver because of poor communication.

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Before hiring a general contractor, you need to discuss the entire project with them, and let them give you an estimate of the time needed to complete the project. Besides, the general contractor should give you a price estimate for the entire project—this helps to avoid unwanted surprises at the end of the project. Some contractors tend to charge a basic minimal cost, only to bombard their clients with extra costs at the end of the project. However, you can avoid such scenarios when you hire a contractor with good communication skills.

Should be licensed, insured, and bonded

These three official documents make a very big difference in case any legal issues and questions arise in the course of the project. Any reputable contractor should have the bonds, licenses, as well as insurance required by the state. Without these documents, the client can face legal and financial challenges in case a dispute arises between them and the contractor. 

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A license is an indication that the contractor meets the set standards by your state. Therefore, it’s essential to check with your respective state to confirm whether the contractor has the required license. Bonds or surety bonds protect you in the event the contractor defaults or doesn’t finish the job. Lastly, insurance protects the general contractor, together with their staff in case someone gets hurt in the course of the job. Thus, it’s essential to note that license, insurance, and bond provide strong protection for every party involved. 

Please note that, while most general contractors will talk of having these documents, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask for the original copies, as well as verifying them. Hiring a general contractor without these documents is never a good idea, and the only way to be safe is by checking and validating the certificates. 

References

It’s not a strange thing to come across general contractors who are not registered. Most of these contractors entice clients by giving them the lowest quotes possible. However, there’s one way you can rule out such contractors from your list—ask them for references. 

Any general contractor who’s looking for a new client should have a comprehensive list of previous clients, and shouldn’t have a problem with sharing this list. And, when you get the references, take your time to contact them, and ask about their experience with the general contractor. In case you come across some references who aren’t willing to share their experience with the contractor, you should start looking for another general contractor. 

Clear pricing structure

According to the professional contractors from the general contracting company, AFS General Contracting, a good contractor should have a clear set list of prices. This indicates preparedness, professionalism, as well as transparency. With such a list, you will be able to set your expectations appropriately, and without it, you’ll be left in the dark, wondering what to do next. 

Besides, price estimates are very essential when it comes to transparent pricing. A general contractor who provides a detailed estimate, with categories of how and where costs are incurred allows you to get a clear picture of the overall costs. 

Also, it’s normal for unexpected costs to come up during a construction process. But, with a detailed price estimate, you’ll be in a good position to understand the relevance of any extra costs. 

Bottom Line

Hiring a general contractor with these essential qualities will greatly determine the success of your project. Besides, you will also need to check the portfolio of past work done by the general contractor. This should allow you to have a better understanding of the quality of work the general contractor can do. Please note that most general contractors will show you their best work. Therefore, you should ask them to present work they’ve completed within a certain period of time, as this will allow you to determine their consistency. 

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