How close do you stay to time lines and budgets?
The budget and a reasonable time frame are stated in the contract, which is signed by all parties with copies provided before break ground or start any project. There is an Act of God provision in the contract. Construction during a hurricane is not only dangerous, but not likely to produce a good finished project, but check with our references and you can see for yourself if it’s not due to nature or outside forces, we do what we say, when we say.
How are payments made, and when are they made?
Again, these terms are broken down in the contract based on progress with a completion date included. Typically we take a deposit of 10% for materials, and the rest of the payments are determined beforehand. Once the work is completed to a pre-determined point, a pre-determined payment is made, with final payment due upon completion.
How many of your customers come from repeat business, or from referrals from existing or previous customers?
We are very blessed to say that over 50% of our customers come to us or are referred to us from customers we’ve performed for in the past. As you will see when you check our references, there is a reason for such a loyal client base.
What about permits?
Depending on your location and what is being done, a permit might be required or it may not. If a permit is required for your project, we will obtain the permit, handle all inspections, make sure everything is built to code, and that the project and process satisfies all requirements to the letter of the law.
What should I be asking my contractor?
A few key questions to ask could be: ‘How long have you been in business?’, ‘Have you ever done a project like this one, if so tell me about it?’, ‘Do you have insurance?’, ‘Who does the work; you, your employees, or is the project completely done by sub-contractors?’ With years of experience under our belts, General Contractor Inc is happy to provide all of these answers, and provide references if need be.
What about materials?
Important materials are specified in the contract. All materials are covered, however, as substitutions are sometimes unavoidable (lots of bricks run out, for example, colors of materials are sometimes no longer made), we make it clear that an equal substitution will be made but only upon your approval. For items such as lighting fixtures or doorknobs that you have not chosen when the contract is signed, a budget is determined in the contract to cover exactly what will be spent on them.
What is a change order?
A change order is a written statement signed by the customer authorizing the contractor to do additional work not included in the original contract. The change order should be signed before the additional work is started, but often it is not in order to keep the project moving. The amount specified is due when the project is completed. A change order also may be written when a contractor comes across any unforeseen damage or problem.