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What to Look for When Choosing a General Contractor

Home RemodelerNothing is more frustrating and heartbreaking for a homeowner than a botched renovation job. The money you paid to the contractor goes down the drain and you end up paying for a redo. Unfortunately, by the time you realize it’s too late you have already spent a huge portion of your savings on an unreliable and often times unlicensed contractor.

To avoid this scenario, here are a few things you should look for in a general contractor before hiring one.

Adequate Resources and Access to Sub-Contractors

All general contractors in Chicago have to have a strong network of suppliers, subcontractors, and resources, which allow them to handle a variety of jobs. This includes those who can handle electrical work, install plumbing, paint and wallpaper walls, set tiles, take care of carpentry, etc.

Before hiring a general contractor, find out if the they can afford these professionals, manage their costs and ensure the job is completed on time. Always be wary of a contractor who does not detail their payment plan in a contract and instead calls at random times to ask for money to fund the project. If the contractor has adequate resources and connections with subcontractors who they have worked with for years without issue – they should be considered.

References and Referrals

Honest, professional and reliable contractors are forthcoming with contact information of their past clients. Once you view that list, get in touch with them and inquire about their experience – including the budget they had and how they managed the project from beginning to end. A service that willingly collects referrals will not disappoint.

Itemized Bids

Every contractor you investigate will provide an estimate of your project. However, a professional will break it down for you. This list will break down each part of the project and their cost analysis, according to resource and personnel requirements.

An itemized estimate will help you finalize a budget and keep the contractor accountable for results at the same time. You will know exactly how your money is being spent, while making sure the job remains on track.

Licensing and Insurance

There is a difference between the license required to be a general contractor and a handyman license who can do small home repairs. The former allows the service or business to hire subcontractors and acquire building permits. The latter protects only consumers. Ask for copies of insurance. A general contractor should hold general liability, worker’s compensation, and oftentimes umbrella and automobile insurance. Handymen can operate as a sole employee making them worker’s comp exempt and not in need of a general liability policy.

In other words, ask whether the general contractor has the appropriate licensing and insurance before hiring the service, or you may end up paying for more than you bargained for.

If you are looking for general contractors in Streeterville, West Loop, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, River North, Gold Coast, Old Town or Roscoe Village, Areté Renovators will not disappoint. With more than a decade’s worth of experience in kitchen, bathroom and condo renovations, we have made a reputation for ourselves in the industry that is hard to beat. Call (773) 610-4551 to get in touch with us.

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