In the construction industry, a general contractor can also be known as a construction manager or a project manager as they oversee the construction site and are responsible for hiring subcontractors and managing the vendors. They typically have more education than just a trade school, but trade school education can be enough to become a general contractor. However, education isn’t the only thing that makes a good contractor. Here’s what to look for when hiring a contractor and what traits to align with if you’re a contractor yourself.
A good contractor is a licensed contractor, meaning that they are legally able to work on buildings in a specific city or county. If you’re a contractor, then you already know how important it is to become licensed before you can begin working. As for homeowners, make sure that you hire a licensed contractor before you hire them. You can ask them for a copy of their license and bond policy.
Being able to communicate effectively is necessary for all career paths and in everyday situations in general. If you want to be a good and trustworthy contractor, then make sure that you know how to communicate with your clients. Your clients are going to have a lot of questions, and it’s important to listen carefully and give honest answers.
As the client, don’t be afraid to ask questions (such as being able to remain in your home during construction) because this can be a way to find out if your contractor has good communication skills. Of course, you’ll want to check online ratings first to avoid finding out that they don’t communicate in the middle of your project.
Good Online Ratings
Speaking of online ratings, a good contractor should have a business website that showcases their work, plus has a place for customers to leave reviews. Not only do you want this, but you’ll also want to reply to your customer reviews both good and bad. This is also a way to communicate with your customers whether they’re satisfied or dissatisfied.
As the client, you should make an effort to read up on the reviews of any contractor you’re planning on hiring. Not being able to find a contractor’s online reviews isn’t necessarily a red flag (they could be just starting out), but it can still be a risk. The biggest red flags are if they pressure you to make a decision, they don’t present you with a contract, or if you’re not given a written estimate.
Professional Tools And Resources
If you want to become a licensed contractor, you’re likely to acquire some tools during your time in trade school. Still, you need to invest in your craft and buy the best tools, materials, and equipment for the job. Examples of what you’ll need to include:
- Hand tools (hammer, screwdriver, wrench, etc.)
- Power tools (power drill, nail gun, oscillating tool, etc.)
- Vehicles (excavators, dump trucks, skid steers, etc.)
You may need some construction vehicles for larger projects, such as new home additions. You’ll also need equipment for your vehicles, such as a landscape rake for your skid steer.
For clients, don’t be alarmed if it appears that your contractor doesn’t have many tools. Remember that the majority of the tools will be used by the subcontractors (carpenters, electricians, plumbers, etc.).
Love For The Job
Good contractors love what they do, and they look at every project as a new opportunity to make an improvement in someone’s life. They also treat their clients’ homes as if they were their own, meaning that they’re respectful of the home itself and also of the people living (and working) in the home. It’s obvious when someone doesn’t love their job— it comes through in their attitude and their work ethic— so make sure that contracting is something you want to do before you become a contractor. For clients, you can see the enthusiasm in a contractor’s face and also hear it in their voice when you contact them and ask them questions.
These five traits are what clients should look for in a contractor and what contractors should strive to be. For clients, searching for a local contractor starts with a good business website. Here you’ll be able to see reviews, examples, and most important, contact information. Contractors, make sure your business is as professional as possible, including having a professional website, professional tools, and a professional work ethic.