What to Look For In A Local Remodeling Contractor

Nathan Dishington once wrote a great blog post about the '5 Tool Contractor'. Here's his original post.

Here is our summary of Nathan's post:

In baseball they use the term “5 Tool Player” to describe someone who has all 5 of the main strengths that make up a great player. They are: speed, arm strength, defense, hitting for average and hitting for power.  The 5 tool baseball player is very rare and they do not come along very often.

Having a 5 tool contractor on your team is no different. When working with a 5 Tool Contractor you are ensured top notch results. 

Here are the 5 Qualities You Want in A Local Remodeling Contractor

1. Hands On Experience

They may not work in the field anymore but the best contractors started our swinging a hammer on site and knows the ins and out of construction. They also have a love of building science and are constantly learning about new methods and passing that information on to their employees and trade partners. 

2. Communication 

Probably the number one cause of problems on remodeling projects is miscommunication. A good contractor has systems and processes in place to make sure there is no confusion about what is going to be done and to ensure you are kept up to date on progress and to deal with any issues or changes. 

3. Design and Product Selection

The best contractors are also product and design experts. They hire in house designers and stay up to date on the latest product and materials. Far too many contractors leave the design work up to the homeowner to figure out and it almost always causes trouble during the project.

4. Administration.

Contractors have a business to run and the best ones run their business efficiently and profitably. Unfortunately a large number of contractors do not do this and when they start having business problems it can adversely affect your project.

There are 5 main administrative skills a contractor must have: 

Accurate Budgeting - you want your contractor to be profitable. You’d be surprised how many projects get abandoned or delayed when I contractor realizes the underbid and aren’t going to make any money on a job.

Scheduling - A contractor has to schedule design meetings, subcontractor bids,, materials deliveries, on site work and inspections. Creating, maintaining and communicating schedules is critical to a successful project. The best project managers will use industry specific project management software.

Record Keeping. Starting a project without a detailed scope of work and plans is akin to driving in a foreign country without GPS. Just don’t do it.

An Office - The best contractors will have an office and support staff to help with permitting, insurance, ordering, customer services and more.

HR - A successful contractor needs good people. Providing ongoing training and support plus dealing with workers comp, payroll, taxes, licensing, legal compliance are critical to running a successful business.

5. A Great Team.

To be the best you have to work with the best. Good contractors spend years cultivating relationships with the best trade partners and vendors available.

As you look for a contractor for your next project think about the qualities you are looking for and ask each contractor specific questions to make sure they are the right contractor for you. 

Need Some Help Finding the Right Contractor?

We literally wrote the book on that.

Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  1. 4 Steps to Find and Evaluate A Contractor
  2. Understanding Estimates: Comparing Apples to Apples
  3. The #1 Question To Ask Every Contractor

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