5 Things To Know About Hiring A Contractor

March 29, 2021
Two contractors discussing a blueprint plan of a building

What are some things to know about hiring a contractor?

  1. Know your goals for the project
  2. Conduct a background check
  3. Make sure they’re licensed
  4. Get estimates from other contractors
  5. Draft a clear contract

Working with the right professionals is crucial in the success of your small home construction, renovation, or large-scale building project. With the right contractor, you can guarantee that every aspect of the job gets done. They ensure that all deadlines are met, delays are avoided, and all the cost of your project has been accounted for. Knowing this, there are several things to know about hiring a contractor. Not all licensed and professional contractors can meet your expectations, which is why you need to think about other factors as well.

When looking for the right contractor, you have to understand your goals for the project, conduct a background check, make sure the contractor is licensed, get multiple estimates from other contractors, and draft an agreement. Not every contractor is capable of delivering, which is why it’s essential that you get all of these bases covered. Read on to learn more.

Know Your Goals For The Project

Since you are the owner of the project, you have to have clear goals about it. You have to know the kind of design that you want, the type of fixtures to include, functions of the structure, amenities, facilities, and the like. When you have a clear understanding of your project’s vision, you’ll easily be on the same page with the contractor that you hire. Miscommunications are prevented and they will be able to execute your planned design.

On the other hand, it’s also possible that you have goals for the project, but you don’t know where to begin. For example, you don’t necessarily know the kind of panelling material you want for your walls or the roofing material that suits your structure. In this case, you’ll want to hire a design and build contractor that can assist you during the design, pre-planning, and execution phase of your project.

Conduct A Background Check
Two engineers inspecting a project site

Most of the time, you’ll find a contractor through word-of-mouth or referrals from your friends or relatives. While these are people that you trust, it won’t hurt to conduct background checks on the contractors that they’ve recommended.

For example, you can visit the website of the contractor/construction company if any. Get important information such as contact details, address, and services they provide. Check to see if the contractor has a clean record, meaning they haven’t had any legal complaints on run-ins with the law, whether in the past or present.

With a background check, you can guarantee that the contractor is licensed to carry out work for your project. You won’t be short-stopped by external issues that can delay the job or, in extreme cases, prevent construction work from beginning in the first place.

Make Sure They’re Licensed

There are several laws and regulations in the Philippines that aim to safeguard the process of hiring contractors. Republic Act 4566 for example (Contractors License Law) requires licensing for skilled construction professionals — be it civil engineers, designers, architects, buildings, or contracting firms. The Republic Act states that all responsible individuals should first secure a Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB) license before undertaking work.

A way for you to ensure that your hired personnel have the right licensing is to simply request for their license number and cross-check it with the data from the licensing board — in this case, PCAB. Doing this allows you to not only see if the license is legitimate, but also to avoid working with shady contractors or professionals.

Get Estimates From Other Contractors
A man writing on his clipboard

When hiring contractors, you have to shop around for the best firm or professional that can meet your goals. This is why project owners rarely stop when they find one contractor that’s willing to do work for them. Instead, they continue to get recommendations or check out previous projects to see if there are any more qualified contractors that can satisfy their expectations for the project.

A project estimate is simply a document or presentation that outlines all the predicted costs and overhead expenses of your planned design. An estimate is usually detailed and includes specifics about materials required for the project, resources, costs, plan of action, deadline, and other related information.

When you acquire estimates from multiple contractors, you can choose the plan that you think works best for you. A well-formulated estimate saves you costs in the long run and brings more value for your project. This will also easily help you track the progress of the project as it goes on.

Draft A Clear Contract

When you’re ready to hire a contractor, it’s now time to translate all of your plans and ideas in writing. A contract is essential for this kind of job because it sets expectations, outlines goals, and includes relevant information about building permits and other legalities involved in the work.

A well-formulated construction contract may include details on the parties’ contact information, project title & description, timeline, date of completion, estimated costs, warranty, and signatures from all involved parties. If you don’t know how to draft a contract, it’s best that you also enlist professional help from a construction law firm to aid in your concerns.

Key Takeaway

In this simple guide, you’ve learned about some of the most important things to know about hiring a contractor. As mentioned before, hiring the right team to work on your construction project is crucial for its success.

All contractors may be designed for this kind of job, but you also have to assure yourself that you’re with the right people by doing background checks, ensuring the contractors are licensed, knowing your goals, and getting estimates from other companies. When you have all of these under your belt, you’re more likely to hire someone that has only your best interests as their client.