Special Nonexistent Furniture

How to Find and Hire a Contractor

Wayfair Guides
Design: D2 Interiors
The first and most important step in building your dream home is finding the perfect contractor. A contractor helps you stay within your budget and on schedule, as well as minimizing stress and responsibility. With every contractor comes a different aesthetic, so carefully pick a contractor that meets your style standards and personality needs. From building a relationship to writing a contract, we've created a list of 10 things you'll do on the path to hiring the right contractor. 

  1. Build a Relationship​: Since you'll be spending a lot of time with your contractor, it's important to find someone you can easily collaborate and get along with, as well as communicate your ideas, goals, and concerns. 
  2. Determine if You Need a General Contractor or Sub-Contractor: Depending on time and budget, you can choose between a general contractor or sub-contractor. A general contractor is in charge of the project, while a sub-contractor is hired by a general contractor to work on different parts of the construction. 
  3. Investigate Local Contractors: Do your research! Finding a contractor who works in or around your town/city will make the building process that much easier. Ask friends in your community, search online, or get in touch with your city's building department.
  4. Confirm Authenticity: As soon as you've found potential candidates, take the next step to verify their license on your states website and ask for their insurance card. Once confirmed, you can go ahead and ask for their portfolio, as well as potential references to contact. 
  5. Narrow Down Your Options: Try to have at least three potential contractors in mind. The more options, the better. If one backs out or doesn't meet your requirments, you'll have a backup candidate. 
  6. Contact References: When you get in touch with references, ask them serious questions about the contractors work and behavior, such as: Is this a person you would hire again? Did they stick to your schedule and timeline? Did you move in when expected? Were there any issues along the way? If so, how did they handle and resolve the problem? On a scale of 1-10, what was the quality of their work? Would you recommend them to family/friends?
  7. Discuss Details: To avoid any surprises during the project, create a written proposal that includes all of the logistics: a due date, invoice/pay, labor, and anything else you expect from this building project.  
  8. Conduct the Interview: Get to know the contractor before making a final decision with an informal interview. Ask specific questions helps determine whether or not they will be a good partner. Things to think about: Do they have the same visions as you? Are you getting along? Is communicating with them easy and comfortable? Finish the interview by going over the written proposal one more time, as well as the process and any other minor project details.
  9. Make the Final Decision: After the interview, sit down and review how it went. To help you make the final decision, write down the pros and/or cons of the candidate.
  10. Create an Official Contract: If they're the perfect match, finalize the contract. What to include: timeline, budget, project bid vs. hourly payment, changes throughout the process (also known as change order rules), warranty of quality workmanship (or expertise), and maintaining cleanliness of the job site.

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