Advice on Working with a General Contractor

A quality general contractor is going to speed up any project that you have, leave you with a quality work force to get the job done and make sure that you end up with results that you enjoy. Unfortunately, most people don’t know how to effectively work with contractors. Below is some helpful advice when working with a contractor to help improve the experience for you.



Be Polite

Being rude or suspicious of a general contractor is likely to result in a rocky working relationship. If you are very rude or troublesome to deal with the contractor might end up extending the project out or charging you more money than he would if you were easier to work with. You’re likely to get the best results by being cooperative the whole time.

Be Clear About What You Want

The number one mistake that homeowners make is being too vague when asking for work to be performed. Good contractors will ask additional questions to ensure they are doing the right job, but it’s best to be very specific up front. Talk about dimensions, specifications, show pictures and explain materials to be used for a project. If you are very specific with your demands, you’re more likely to end up with what you want in the end.

Get Multiple Bids

To ensure that you’re getting a good deal from a contractor, talk with a few and collect bids from them all. This helps you get fair prices and will let you know what your options are as well. It doesn’t take much additional time to get more than one bid, and it helps protect you against high prices.

Get Everything in Writing

Be careful to avoid paying a contractor anything at all without a written contract that’s signed by both of you. Going ahead with work without a contract leaves you at the mercy of the contractor and could end up costing you in the end. Be careful to avoid such mistakes, and you’ll enjoy a more straightforward working relationship.

Consider Adding an End Date to Your Contract

Contractors hate this, but it’s a good idea to consider adding an end date to your building contract. This forces the contractor to give you a realistic timeline, and it lets you know how long you can expect a project to take as well.

Avoid Paying Too Much Up Front

Even contractors with good intentions could end up making mistakes with your project money if you give him all of it to manage up front. It’s best to pay a small portion of the project cost up front and wait until a later date to give out the rest of the money. This ensures that work is done at a decent pace, and that you aren’t going to lose your money without all the project being completed.

Working with a contractor is an excellent way to smooth out any building project, but you should take care to make the right moves when working with them. Follow the above advice to help you find the right contractor and have a good business relationship with him or her.