How to choose a General Contractor ?
Probably, for the first time, you are going to employ a General Building Contractor (GC). There are certain issues that must be thought about and checked out:
Does the General Contractor have experience in the type, size and quality finish of house that you plan to build?
Recommendations and Credentials
Ask for recommendations and check them out thoroughly. It is important to call them and check out their credibility. It is worthwhile to speak to people who built with the GC, several years back and even 10 years back, to get a feeling if they were happy. The questions that should be asked: How were they to work with? Were they flexible? Were there any "quality" problems? How was the scheduling? How was the service response after finishing the project?
The 'person' behind the General Contractor
It is highly recommended to meet the GC several times. You can meet him at your home, his office or on site in-order to check out the "chemistry". Is he a person you feel comfortable in doing business with? Does he respond to your needs and listen to your concerns? Does he give you a secure feeling that you can rely on him?
It is highly advised to do job site tours together with the GC visiting his work site. Get a feeling how the GC treats his people. Does the place look well organized?
Warranty and Guarantee
According to the Israeli law, a GC is obligated to warranty the project for one year after finishing the project. Most people are not aware of this regulation and GCs take advantage of it. Check with people who worked with the GC in the past if the GC stood by their commitment during the warranty period.
Service after the project has been finished
It is important that you know that the GC is from your area and accessible. Some people are tempted to take on cheap GC's who live far away. The problem occurs when after the project is finished you need service.
Official General Contractor license
This seems trivial but is necessary to check. Don't be tempted by GC's who have no license. These GC's are usually the cheaper ones that really do not need to comply with any regulations. And that is when your problems start…
Does the GC have insurance for building your home? The insurance for building a house can be quite expensive but is compulsory. Also 'third party' insurance is important. If a child by mistake, enters the site and falls and is injured, and you have no insurance, you have a big problem. You do not want to have problems even before entering your home…