Selecting a general contractor has always been and always will be hard to do. It’s very similar when you need to select an auto mechanic . There are so many available to choose from. You as a customer have to do your research. It will pay off in the long run. Internet search, advertising posts, and good word of mouth recommendation is a great way to start, but the real test is when you actually meet the candidates. As a customer you want to be able to feel the trust and be comfortable with the contractor, and believe me the contractor feels the same about you.
Having a good reputation is great, but not everything. Learn about your contractor as a person and you will find out the real character of his values, qualifications, achievements, goals and passions. Of course, don’t forget to ask about the project. Even if you don’t know the answers to your own questions, you can tell if the contractor does. And if he doesn’t know the answer either, he must be honest with you. For example, if you ask how long will your house take to build based on the size and difficulty he should be able to tell you a ballpark timeframe. Feel free to ask about his subcontractors, as they are the ones installing your products and fixtures. Its important that the contractor has a good relationship with his sub contractors and his vendors. As a contractor myself, I go through the same selection process choosing my subs, as you are going through to selecting your contractor, the only difference is that you as a client only make one selection and we have 15-20 vendors we are responsible for.
Choose a contractor who does not pressure you for a deposit. Of course, there are exceptions when a contractor needs a deposit, but a good contractor in my opinion should be able to get to a certain stage before you pay him. If a contractor insist of a 50% deposit of an addition that takes 3-4 months to build should be a clear sign that this guy has major money troubles. On the other side, a 10-20% deposit shows the contractor good faith that you as the customer is serious and will not change your mind the last minute.
Here at Zoltan Construction, we are growing each year and only over time and by invaluable experience we can share our knowledge how to be a great contractor, especially here in the Orlando Area.