The process of hiring a contract to construct your modular home isn’t as easy as picking the first one in the phone book, or selecting a classified ad from the local paper. In order to make sure you get quality work for a legitimate professional, it is important to complete a few steps in the selection process. Not only will this help protect the money you invest into the project, but it can also save you a lot of time, and trouble, in comparison to hiring a fraud.
Find the Right Kind of Contractor
Not all contractors are created equal. Some perform general construction contracting duties, while others may specialize in a particular area, such as framing, cabinet installation, landscaping, or painting. Depending on how your modular home will arrive, you may find certain specialties are more pertinent to your project than others. While you can often hire a general contractor to oversee all required specialties, it may not be wise to hire a painting contractor to oversee the activities of a plumber.
Research Your Options
Once you have chosen the type of contractor you need, start doing some basic research into those who are available to operate in your area. This can include web-based research, along with looking for recommendations from trusted friends or family members in your area. Take the time to determine how long the contractor has been in business, and make sure that they are properly licensed, insured, and bonded as required by local laws and regulations.
Get Multiple Bids
Using the information you gathered through your research, request bids from no fewer than three local candidates. Make sure to provide them each with an identical, and detailed, list of requirements for the project. Additionally, find out if they are completing any paperwork in order to secure the required permits or if that is not included with their services
Once the bids are complete, don’t necessarily choose the cheapest option. If the bids are very similar, then you may consider them all for the next steps. If one bid is particularly high or oddly low, consider following up to determine why they bid how they did. In some cases, an oddly low bid can be a warning that a contractor may cut corners or use subpar materials, while a surprisingly high bid may be based on something that one contractor considered as being a needed step that the others did not include, though this is not always the case in either instance.
Ask Follow-Up Questions
Continue the process by asking certain follow-up questions, such as whether they intend to use any subcontractors, if they have completed any similar projects recently, and if they can provide references. This should help narrow down your options, or may provide an indication as to which contractor is right for your project.
Before finalizing the contract, take the time to run a background check. Review sites, such as BackgroundHawk, can serve as an important resource in determining which background checking options are right for your situation.
Make sure to inquire about any payment expectations, such as how much will be considered upfront. Depending on where your project is located, there may be applicable state or local laws that control how much can be requested as a down payment depending on the size of the project.
The full payment schedule should be defined prior to any money changing hands, and should be included as part of the contract for the project. The final contract should be in writing, and include all of the pertinent details regarding the agreement that is reached.