general contractor Kansas City

4 Things to Consider Before Hiring a General Contractor in Kansas City

Hiring a general contractor in Kansas City can be time-consuming if you don’t know where to start. Any remodeling project no matter how big or how small requires an experienced contractor who can complete the job expertly on time and on budget. Before you hire a general contractor, here are four things to consider.

1. Ask the Right Questions

When interviewing contractors, be sure to ask each one the same questions. This ensures you are comparing apples to apples for a consistent overview of what each offers. Questions can include:

  • Are they licensed and insured?
  • Have they managed projects of your size?
  • Do they have examples of similar projects they’ve completed?
  • How long will it take?
  • How many other projects are they working on?
  • Can they provide references?
  • Can they provide license and insurance information?
  • When can they start?
  • Will the contractor be on site through to completion?
  • How long have they worked with their subcontractors?
  • Are their subcontractors licensed and insured as well?

You might also have some questions specific to your requirements. Once you narrow down your choices, you can begin to ask for quotes.

2. Find the Right Contractor for the Right Project

Even the most experienced contractor can be out of their element when tackling a project for the first time. For example, maybe you have specific needs such as all green materials and methods. You might be upgrading to age in place so require special construction such as ramps, wider doorways, lower kitchen countertops or specific bathroom requirements. Each project is different and therefore requires special skills. Make sure they have completed similar projects, so you hire the right contractor for the right job.

3. Getting Permits and Proof of Licensing

In most cases, your project will need permits. Speak to your contractor upfront to ensure they will be responsible for getting permits so you don’t inadvertently violate local ordinances. If you are caught doing so you could be fined. Ask them to present the permits prior to starting work. You also want to ask them to present all relevant licenses and proof of insurance. Ask them what their liability insurance covers and speak to your insurance company to see what they cover during the construction.

4. Contracts, Payments and Liens

A professional general contractor will provide a detailed contract outlining the work and prices based on their quote. Never allow a contractor to begin a project without a written, signed contract. Make sure you understand the payment set up and ask for a schedule. Contracts should include:

  • Labor and materials fees
  • Blueprints
  • Payment schedule
  • Start and completion dates
  • Proof of insurance
  • Licensing and lien releases

Lien releases are very important as some contractors will buy materials on your behalf and then not pay. This leaves a lien on your home, which means you owe money to the supplier. To avoid this issue, obtain copies of all receipts for materials, subcontractors and suppliers involved in the project. In hand with a lien release, you will protect yourself if the contractor does not pay.

These tips will help you find a trustworthy contractor while helping your project get off on the right foot.

If you are looking for a general contractor in Kansas City, give the experts at Empire Construction a call.