For homeowners and business owners, the first step in selecting an Omaha general contractor is taking a good, hard look at what you want and need in terms of new construction or a renovation project.
A well-defined plan sets the tone for success, whether it’s a home, remodel, an office building, restaurant, hospital, retail, industrial, or mixed-use space.
This Old House general contractor Tom Silva never specifically discussed selecting a general contractor in Omaha that I know of. If he had he would have said, “Start with your friends and family and then check in with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry or the National Association of Home Builders for a list of members in your area. You can also talk with a building inspector, who’ll know which contractors routinely meet code requirements, or pay a visit to your local lumberyard, which sees contractors regularly and knows which ones buy quality materials and pay their bills on time.
That’s good advice from Silva. What else do we need to consider when selecting a general contractor in Omaha?
You’ll also want to check with the appropriate agency to see if the contractor is properly licensed and insured. Some states or counties as well as many large cities or townships license contractors; other jurisdictions require them to be registered. As a rule, licensing entails passing a test to measure competency, while registering involves only payment of a fee. If a problem arises, a government agency may be able to pursue a licensed or registered contractor on your behalf.
Consumers Report writes, “Ask for a list of previous customers; then call them or, better yet, visit their homes to look at the work. Ask some penetrating questions such as these:”
Industry groups recommend that you get a written estimate from at least three contractors. Shawn Simpson owner of Styl Properties, Inc. suggests at least five bids. An estimate should detail the work to be done, the materials needed, the labor required, and the length of time the job will take. Obtaining multiple estimates is a good idea. An estimate can evolve into a bid—a more detailed figure based on plans with actual dimensions. Seeking more than one bid will increase your odds of paying less. Once agreed to and signed by you and the contractor, a bid becomes a contract.
The lowest bid doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best bid. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples. You might also buy your own materials to make sure the contractor isn’t substituting cheaper materials.
With a contractor, you want a project manager who will manage the sub-trades and make sure they are cooperative and stick to the schedule. Ask how the subs are paid, how often, and if they are paid as work is completed.
What about the trust issue? Owners should be able to get a sense early in the process that their contractor is on their team. A contractor should know to put the owner’s best interest first. Your contractor should be totally transparent in his or her business dealings with you and willing to provide any information you request.
We are Styl Properties, Inc. here to help homeowners out of any kind of distressed situation and potential homeowners find their dream home. As investors, flippers or rehabbers, whatever you choose to call us, we are in business to make a modest profit on any deal, however we can help homeowners out of just about any situation, no matter what! There are no fees, upfront costs, commissions, or anything else. Just the simple honest truth about your home and how we can help you sell it fast to resolve any situation.
Give us a call today at 402.909.0608 to let us know what YOU need help with!