construction advice

qualified general contractor

How to Tell if Your Contractor is a Qualified General Contractor

How to Tell if Your Contractor is a Qualified General Contractor 2560 1707 Christine Le

As a general contractor, we know the importance of finding a qualified team to work on your investment project. Not only is it about the quality of work, but the ease of mind that they will complete your project professionally and timely. In addition, the effort you put at the beginning of your search and selection will allow you to establish expectations of the work performed and translate to a smooth-going (or as close it can be) process once they begin.

Here are ten (10) ways to tell if your contractor is a qualified general contractor:

1. Ask for their complete list of documentation

    • Date of license issue and expiration
      • If your contractor is unlicensed, the risk for problems goes up
    • Bonding information
    • Details on their insurance
      • Worker’s compensation for their employees
      • Liability Insurance

2. Review their resume

    • Legal name, Business address, city, zip code, phone number
    • Entity type
    • How long they’ve been in business
    • Financial stability of their business and relationship to your bank
    • Credit standing with suppliers

3. Verify their business and contractor’s license through your state

4. Request professional references and ask:

    • Do they begin and end on schedule?
    • Was the number of people employed acceptable for the size and scope of the project?
    • Does the work successfully pass inspections?
    • How responsive is the contractor to problems?
    • Is the contractor readily available via phone, email, or text?

5. Review their portfolio of work

    • The quality of their photography tells a story of their value

6. Ask to visit one of their current projects to see if they:

    • Maintain a stable and reliable crew of workers
    • Execute their craft in a skillful and professional way
    • Provide adequate site supervision
    • Cooperate reasonably with other trade
    • Use materials efficiently and effectively
    • Keep the job site clean and safe

7. Check their workers’ compensation and commercial general liability insurance coverage

    • In California, if a contractor has employees, they are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance. If a worker is injured on your property and does not have worker’s compensation, you could be financially responsible.
    • Commercial general liability insurance is not required in the state of California; however, it covers damage to your property. If the contractor does not have general liability insurance, they should be transparent with you in the case of damages or losses.

8. Contact the Better Business Bureau

    • Have complaints been filed against them?

9. Ask for their standard contracts to review. Never sign a blank, legal contract. To list a few:

    • Total Contract Price and Terms of Payment
    • Change Order practices
    • Owner and Contractor Agreement
    • Conflict Resolution and Termination
    • Contractor’s Mark-Up on Labor and Materials

10. Verify their contractor bond

    • The state of California requires contractors to have a license bond of $15,000. It covers any project the contractor agrees to perform. Please note: it may not be enough to cover if your project is worth more than the value of the bond.
    • Learn more about bonds here.

We welcome you to confirm our qualifications. We will provide all of the necessary documents to ensure you’re working with an incredible team that puts care and attention into your investment project.

Starting your project soon and sourcing qualified contractors? Contact us today!

Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Contractor Before Starting a Project

Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Contractor Before Starting a Project 2240 1260 Christine Le

Photo by ThisIsEngineering from Pexels

Let’s set the scene. You’re gearing up for a big property development project, and the excitement levels are at a fever pitch; you’re touching base with your partner every hour, on the hour to make sure things are running smoothly; and you’ve got the contractors all clued up and ready to go at a moment’s notice. All sounds good. What could go wrong? Well, in the hustle and bustle of a new development project, it’s easy for people to take that last factor, the contractors, for granted. People say: “They’re professionals! Of course, we can count on them.” But is that the case? You’ll want to make sure the contractors you choose are indeed the best fit for your project, and you can do so by asking them these 10 simple questions.

Can I see your contractor license?

Not all states require contractors to have obtained a valid, non-expired license, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not important. You’re investing a lot into that project (whatever it may be), and it’d be a crying shame if you left the work in the hands of a team who hasn’t proven their competence by acquiring a license. Oh, and don’t worry about offending your contractor; if they are fully licensed, they’ll have no issues with showing you the relevant proof.

Are you bonded and insured contractor?

Before your contractor’s team sets foot on your property, this question is essential. Then, if the worst should occur and disaster befalls your project, you’ll be thankful your contractor is bonded and insured—and therefore able to cover for the losses incurred.

How long have you been in business?

This question shouldn’t require much explanation. But, regardless of the situation, are you more likely to trust someone with years of experience or a true-blue beginner?

What are your company’s safety practices and protocols?

Safety should be one of your contractor’s top priorities. If they don’t have an answer to this question, be concerned.

Who will be my point of contact?

Any good contractor will provide you with a dedicated contact, someone who’s 100% in the know and able to respond to your queries. Without this person, you’ll soon feel left in the dark with regards to your property. That’s not a nice feeling, so it’s crucial to establish who your main point of contact will be before your project begins.

What projects have you taken which are similar to mine?

If you can get your hands on some case studies of your contractor’s prior work, you can get a feel for their quality and experience.

What’s the expected time scale for completion of this project?

It might make you feel like a child in the back seat of the car asking, “are we nearly there yet?” but don’t be ashamed. There’s nothing wrong with trying to establish a time scale for your project with your contractor. On the contrary, we recommend that you do!

What’s your warranty policy?

Sometimes, the flaws in a contractor’s work won’t begin to show until a little while after you’ve parted ways. If your contractor’s work starts to fall apart or crumble, you want to make sure they will correct it. That’s why learning about your contractor’s warranty policy is so important!

Will a dedicated team be assigned to my project?

Contractors, especially larger-scale ones, tend to have multiple teams on the go at any given time. Therefore, you’ll want to ensure that the same team sticks with your project for the duration. That way, you can rest easy and safe in the knowledge that an unfamiliar and inexperienced team won’t wander onto the construction site halfway through your project.

Are there any extra charges with your service?

The only thing worse than an additional charge is an additional charge that’s also a surprise! So, clear away any confusion and make sure you get all the bills out in the open.

Don’t take things at face value. Ask questions, be curious and know what you’re getting! Trust us; you’ll be glad you did.