Creative Living , Hiring a Contractor Virginia Beach for the large, complicated home improvement, remodeling, or repair work is often the smartest move a homeowner can make. Contractors can bring a level of personal expertise, skill, and experience that most homeowners cannot. However, with any important decision in your home, this isn’t a decision you should blindly rush into without being prepared. This guide will help you to make the right decisions in choosing a contractor.
Virginia Beach Contractors are tasked with running the whole project, from remodeling to entirely new construction. They take the burden of all of the minutiae off your hands. Contractor Virginia Beach buy materials for the job, manage and hire subcontractors. The contractor also pays the personnel needed. They are the conduit between you and the subcontractors and will answer any and all questions or concerns you have about the project’s progress. As such, you should expect a certain level of prompt communication, punctuality and professionalism. You should feel at ease with their work, and they should be fully informed by you as to what you want so they know exactly what to deliver.
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One of the most important considerations (besides cost, which we will address later) is the timetable. Depending on the size and technical complexity of the project (wiring, plumbing, etc.) and the amount of other projects underway by the contractor it may take some time to work out all of the details. This is not necessarily a bad thing. If it is a time sensitive job, like roof damage that leaks indoor then your contractor will let you know if they can expedite the process.
When you get to the bidding process, work on completing a plan of action document to present to all your possible Contractor Virginia Beach , detailing any and all expectations you have for the job, including plans or blueprints, as well as materials lists if you can compile them. This is more vital the larger the project, but should ideally be done on any job you are hiring a Virginia Beach contractor on. Don’t be intimidated, the contractor won’t expect or require you to be an architect, but just be as thorough as you can. Look for contractors to provide a fixed bid if at all possible, this will keep the costs static and not based on a time based accelerating construction schedule.
Speaking of payments, you should expect to make an upfront payment of around 30% to the contractor, and pay 15-20% installments throughout the process. Obviously, we don’t have the time and space to give quotes for every possible job, the bidding process is there to help you find a good price. The adage “you get what you pay for” is often true, but don’t automatically rule out a high or low bid. Looking for portfolio photos and considering things like the size of the company will help you find the right bid. A small company may deliver a great job but at a lower price to compete with a huge firm, for example. Also, think about companies with longevity, as these companies usually have dedicated networks of skilled subcontractors. Another plus is their proximity to your building site. It will cost less to get personnel and materials, to a nearby site than one, say 50-60 miles away and they will likely be more familiar with the finer points of local building codes.
There are plenty of factors to consider, but this should at least point you in the right direction to get your project underway. If you are clear and upfront with your communications, you should have no problems bringing your plans to fruition.
Creative Living, LLC is Virginia Beach, Virginia’s premier building contractor. Creative Living can handle projects from roofing, tile and siding, to fences, concrete, decks and full kitchen and bathroom remodels.
When you ask contractors to bid on your job, be sure and provide each one with an identical packet of information that includes plans and a list of materials. It’s important that they all bid the same job, otherwise you will have no basis for comparison.
The bids you receive should be in writing and contain an itemized list of labor and materials charges. You want fixed bids, not time and materials bids, which have a way of escalating far beyond what you expected the job to cost. The bids you receive will tell you a lot about the people bidding. Was the bid ready when the contractor promised it? It’s a bad sign if the contractor breaks his first commitment to you. Was the bid outrageously high? This Contractor Virginia Beach is busy and only wants the job if you’re willing to pay a premium for his time. Was the bid really low? This contractor either doesn’t understand the scope of the job or deliberately underbid to get the job and will likely discover several unexpected problems that are not covered in the original contract and will require additional cash outlay.
When you get references from a contractor, make every effort to not only call the contractor’s references, but to go over and see the work for yourself. You never know, that happy client could have entirely different quality standards than you do. Before you sign a contract, you also want to check into how he conducts business. Check the credit history and bank references, verify that the contractor carries both worker’s compensation and liability insurance, and make sure there are no complaints against the contractor filed with the local consumer affairs office, builders’ association, or Better Business Bureau.
Most contractors have a standard contract they use for every job, but you can write in changes that are agreeable to both of you. Before signing the contract read it over carefully and ask questions about anything you don’t understand or don’t agree with. There are some elements you should insist are part of the Contractor Virginia Beach , including start and finish dates, a procedure for handling change orders, and a statement that the contractor will provide lien waivers for himself and all subs and suppliers. Some homeowners insist on a penalty for not finishing on time. Most contractors will resist this because homeowners do their fair share to make a job drag past its completion date. If you insist on a penalty, it will go over better if you also provide a bonus for early completion.
A good contract will also include a payment schedule. Typically this specifies three 30-percent lump payments at specified milestones with the final 10 percent held back until punch list items are completed. Do not pay anything more than token earnest money up front, if that. A successful contractor has adequate credit and cash flow to cover initial labor and materials.
A subcontractor performs work in a specific area, such as plumbing, electrical, tiling, or painting. While the Contractor Virginia Beach hires the subs on large jobs, you may occasionally hire a sub yourself for a smaller project or one that you are managing yourself. The process for selecting subs and letting bids is the same as for a contractor: get referrals, collect bids, narrow the field, and make your decision.
Where the process varies is with the contract. Since the scope of the job is usually narrower, you generally just sign the itemized bid to seal the deal. As with a contractor, be leery of paying any money up front. With a sub, the policy is usually payment in full upon completion of the job. Be sure to have the sub sign a lien waiver when you hand over the check.
1. Beware of disaster chasers.
In the wake of a natural disaster, it’s common for a number of Contractor Virginia Beach to roll into the area, looking to capitalize on the widespread home damage. While many of these companies are reputable, others are fly-by-night contractors lacking the qualifications to do the job right. The Better Business Bureau warns against door-to-door contractors who use high-pressure sales tactics or offer you unbelievable deals.
2. Seek referrals.
Talk to friends who have used building contractors in your area. Ask your county’s building inspector for recommendations. You can also check for reputable local contractors with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, the National Association of Home Builders or the Better Business Bureau.
3. Check credentials.
Call your local Better Business Bureau to find out how long a company has been in business. Google the name of the company’s owner; sometimes unscrupulous contractors will go out of business and then start back up under a new company name. If your state requires contractors to be licensed, registered or bonded, contact the appropriate regulatory agency to make sure yours has met the requirements.
4. Visit current job sites of a builder or contractor.
Are they clean? How do workers handle tools and materials? Are dust covers used to protect belongings? Remember, they’ll keep the same habits on your turf. While you’re at it, visit the contractor’s physical office to make sure it’s equally professional.
5. Ask potential contractors to provide their insurance information.
Companies should carry workers’ compensation, property damage and personal liability insurance. Ask for the documents and look for expiration dates when they come to do your bid — you don’t want coverage to expire before your project is done.
6. Don’t forget the subcontractors.
General contractors may hire other specialized companies, called Contractor Virginia Beach , to work for them. If so, make sure they, too, have all of the necessary licenses and insurance. And have your contractor specify in the work contract who they will hire as subcontractors.
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7. Get estimates in writing.
Get bids from at least three reputable contractors. If prices differ wildly, find out why and don’t automatically choose the lowest price. Sometimes you get what you pay for; radically cheaper bids might mean you’ll be getting cheaper materials, fewer workers on the job and/or a lower priority in the contractor’s schedule.
8. Understand the timing.
Ask how soon the work can begin. Especially after a major disaster, some contractors might be booked solid and unable to start on your project until months later. On the bright side, this could be a sign of a good contractor who is in high demand. If a contractor can start tomorrow, there might be a good reason that business has no other customers.
9. Seal deals in writing, too.
Make sure the start and completion dates, project scope, materials, costs, payment schedule and all promises are in the contract.
10. Read and understand the work contract.
Don’t assume anything. If you’re unsure about the jargon used, or any of the wording, let an attorney review the contract for you.
11. Don’t pay too much upfront.
Typically, Contractor Virginia Beach will ask for 20% to 30% before work begins. If they ask for much more, walk away. And whatever you do, don’t pay the final installment until all work is completed to your satisfaction.
Never pay in cash.
Use a credit card or check, and keep receipts. That way, you have proof of payment all along the way.
An experienced contractor is to construction projects as a conductor is to an orchestra.
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Creative Living LLC Is A Contracting Company Sales And Installation
Creative Living is a premier Contractor
Please Feel Free To Call Us With Any Questions, We Service All Of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, all of Hampton Roads!
Our Services: Bathrooms Remodeling, Carpet Sales And Installation , Concrete, Decks ,
Electrical Repair , Fence Installation, Fire Damage, Flooring Sales And Installation , HVAC Repair ,
Insulation, Kitchen Remodeling, Painting, Plumbing, Roof Repair And Installation , Siding Repair And
Installation, Water Damage And Flood Repair And Clean-Up, Windows Sales And Installation , Tile Installation, And Trim .
Creative Living is a family owned Remodeling and Renewal company based in
Hampton Roads, servicing all of the Tidewater area for almost 10 years!
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