If you’re considering building a home, buying a fixer-upper, or doing some renovations on your current home, you may be wondering how to go about finding the best contractor to get the job done. If you’re looking for a great contractor in the Erie, PA area, here’s what you need to know.
Take Time to Find the Best Contractor in Erie for Your Job
In Erie , there are a lot of contractors, and a lot of really good ones, too. So, how do you find the one that’s going to do the best work on your particular project? Here’s what you need to do to find the right person or company for the job.
Research, Research Research!
Talk to friends and family who’ve worked with local contractors. Ask your Realtor for recommendations. Read reviews online. Ask for references. When you come up with a list of potential contractors, take a look at some of their past work (whether it’s driving by a house they’ve built or looking at online portfolios). Call up and get estimates.
Ask Lots of Questions
Once you’ve narrowed down your list a bit, it’s time to get some details. Sit down with potential contractors and start the interview. You’ll want to know things like:
- How long they’ve been in the business.
- How many permits your job will require, and how the contractor will obtain them.
- What’s their timeline for completion.
- How they find subcontractors or if they have set subcontractors they use.
- If they use a set team of workers.
- What a typical workday looks like (hours, noise level, etc).
Verify License & Insurance
Always, always, always ask to see copies of your contractor’s license and insurance. Make sure they’re licensed for residential jobs (if they’re working on your home) or commercial jobs (if they’re working on a commercial property). Check for personal liability insurance, workers compensation, and property damage coverage.
If you’ll be using subcontractors, make sure all subcontractors have all required licenses and insurance as well.
Other Things to Know About Working with a Contractor
Building or renovating can be a little stressful or can get a bit hectic. Here are some ways you can ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible and your optimal end results are achieved.
Leave Some Room in the Budget
Keep in mind that construction projects rarely end up falling exactly inside their budget. So whatever estimate you discuss with your builder, privately factor in some “extra”, so if the project goes a little over budget, it doesn’t break the bank.
Get Everything in Writing
Before the start of the project, document start dates and end dates, as well as any other project plans and restrictions. As the project goes underway, note any changes in the contract. Also be sure to keep written records of survey and inspection requirements.
Communicate with Your Contractor
From the start, be upfront and clear about what you want and what you expect. This includes the final project, but also things like cleanup and storage of materials at the end of the day, what happens if anything is damaged during the process, and which bathrooms or rooms are off-limits to workers.
Keep an Eye on the Job
Don’t be underfoot… but definitely keep tabs on how the project is coming along with regular progress reports. You may also want to take a look around the house after workers leave for the day to confirm what work was done and whether anything was damaged in the process.
Make Payments Contingent on Work Completed
Work with your contractor to agree on payments made throughout the duration of the project. And never submit the final payment until the work is completed and your final inspection made to your 100% satisfaction.
Are You Looking for a Great Contractor in Erie, PA?
If you’re thinking of building a new home, buying a fixer-upper, or renovating your current home in Erie, then it’s time to contact Marsha Marsh Real Estate Services. We can help you find the perfect home (or lot), connect with the best contractors for the job, and buy or sell your home with ease!