When you have a home project that needs doing, your greatest asset is hiring a good contractor. There are so many different types of contractors.
If you’re a fan of HGTV, you’ve probably heard names given to contractors that handle different areas of expertise.
Handypersons, for example, handle home projects that often take a couple of hours or a day to complete, such as reworking a light switch, fixing a sink, carpeting, tile work for a small area, and switching up cabinets and other small jobs.
However, you’re doing a major makeover when it comes to a kitchen remodel, an upgrade for your bathroom or a whole house remodel. The one to call is a general contractor.
What does a general contractor do?
The simplest explanation to such contractors is the person that ensures every aspect of the entire project is done accordingly.
His tasks include obtaining proper permits and assembling an entire team of professionals with different expertise on the project, including electricians, plumbers, carpenters, etc.
A licensed contractor is responsible for everything on the job site, including ensuring the workers wear protective coverings.
If someone accidentally gets injured, he is liable to that person. That is why you need to hire a contractor with liability insurance. This way, if a damage or injury occurs, the insurance company will take care of the costs.
Moreover, these contractors ensure that every subcontractor under them follows the manufacturer’s guidelines to protect product warranties.
If the roof installation doesn’t follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, then it’s easy for the manufacturer to decline to honor the warranty, and who wants that? No one.
Finally, general contractors ensure the job site is left clean, safe, and functional for the property owner.
What qualifies a general contractor?
When looking for a contractor, there are two primary identifiable qualifications to look at;
To qualify as a general contractor, every state in the US has some form of mandatory licensing.
For example, one can get licensed if they have a degree in different fields such as construction management or other building science fields, or even someone with a high school diploma and has practical experience in the construction industry.
Secondly, when choosing a contractor, experience is an essential qualification because construction work is art, and experience is the only way to perfect the artistry, from advancing the skills to getting to know the different players(subcontractors) in the industry.
The experience opens ways for a contractor to know what is needed to be handled and take supervisory roles in a construction project.
That said, advanced knowledge is also excellent for a contractor since they need to know and interpret architectural and design plans, know the ins and outs of site inspections and permit acquisition, understand the job site, and much more.
All in all, choose a licensed and experienced general contractor for your project.
What’s the difference between a contractor and a subcontractor?
A general contractor is an overseer for the entire project, making sure that every design aspect comes to life.
Subcontractors, on the other hand, are hired by the general contractor. Subcontractors specialize in specific aspects of the project, for example, to handle plumbing work, electrical, HVAC installation, Painting, flooring installation, carpentry work, and so on.
An easier way is to consider the general contractor as an event planner and the subcontractors as the different team players, such as the florist, the cake baker, the décor person, etc.
And since the general contractor hires them, you have no connection whatsoever with the subcontractors.
If you have questions or concerns, you take them to the general contractor.
How to Find General Contractors
As we mentioned, a contractor’s two most important qualifications are licensing and experience.
Other than that, look for someone you can trust. So, for your search, these tips will help you find a good, trustworthy contractor for your project:
- Start your project with a realistic and defined plan – with a plan, you know what you want and have all the right questions to ask. So, in your search, you’ll need to voice them up, and getting a contractor that answers your questions and gives you a better picture of your desire is a good sign.
- Ask around – when looking for a contractor, start home. Local contractors want to stay in business for as long as possible, meaning they’ve done projects locally and sure have to have proof of work. So, talk to the people about their experience with different contractors, ask even your local hardware stores, which contractors they recommend, and go online to read reviews for the companies.
- Get to know your state’s requirements for contractors – This is to ensure the contractor you’re planning to hire complies with the state’s licensing requirements.
- Schedule interviews – Once you’ve narrowed your search to three or four, hold discussions; after all, it’s your home and money, and you want the best outcome. Ask the contractors to provide a written bid, compare quotes, and go with the one that makes the most sense to you.
- Once you’ve settled on one contractor, it’s courteous to inform the others that you’ve not chosen, that you’re going with a different contractor.
Off the records: as a homeowner, you’re now a client. After you’ve signed the contract with your building contractors, do what a client should do; pay up and let the contractors do what they do best.
Trying to micromanage the contractor is very tempting, but you hired them because they are the best, so how about you relax and watch the magic happen.
Need a qualified Andover, MA general contractor?
Look into these three companies:
North Shore Painting Services, LLC is a fully licensed, certified, and insured company with over 25 years of experience in painting services, pressure washing, and home improvement services.
This company’s top priority is customer satisfaction, so whatever project you have for them, they consider the work done when you, as the client, are satisfied with the job.
As a remodeling contractor company in Andover, MA, the company has created an excellent reputation. It has been featured in Houzz, Angie’s List, and Featured Pro Porch.
The company’s quality work is also evident in their excellent verified reviews and overall rating of 4.9 on most of these sites; you can check it out.
North Shore Painting is also a proud member of the Business Consumer Alliance with an exemplary rating of AAA, which means the company’s qualifications and reliability are undoubtedly on the point.
More importantly, what separates this company is the team’s love for what they do, and the company takes pride and stands by their work. This commitment shows in their past projects; check out their gallery for proof.
You also get a free written estimate if you work with this company. Don’t hesitate to give them a call to work on your next project, primarily if you reside in Andover, North Andover, North Reading, and the surrounding areas.
Here’s a list of their specialties:
- Carpentry services
- Drywall and Repair
- Specialty finishes
- Additions and renovations
- Finished basement remodel
- Bathroom and kitchen remodel
- Roofing and gutters
- Siding and decks
- Windows and Doors
- Hardwood flooring and tiling
- Electrical work and plumbing
- All interior and exterior projects
Established in 2000, Twomey and Legare Contracting, Inc is a professional building and remodeling contractor based in Andover, MA.
Shaun Twomey and Doug Legare are the owners of the company. The duo ventured into the construction industry in the 80s and 90s. Shaun and Doug have built their business to include a team of licensed trade persons and quality workers.
They also employ the services of the best subcontractors in the region; their goal is still to meet and exceed their customers’ expectations by doing a tremendous job in a timely manner and within the budget.
The company today has expanded to include building and remodeling. They are licensed, bonded, insured, and listed with the Better Business Bureau.
Their services include:
- Decks and Porches
- Finished Basements
- Roof Raises
- Vinyl Siding
- Kitchens/ Renovations
- Replacement Windows
If interested in their services, don’t hesitate to call them, especially if you own a residential or commercial building in North Andover, MA, and the nearby cities.
Modern Renovations LLC is a licensed and insured custom builder and a contractor based in Wilmington, MA, serving the regions of Andover, Arlington, Wilmington, Winchester, Belmont, Bedford, North Andover, Burlington, and the surrounding towns.
The company has over ten years of experience delivering exceptional services to its clients. The company’s reputation is evident in the great reviews from their previous clients.
Their awesome job is also thanks to their advanced equipment.
If you are interested in their services, don’t hesitate to give them a call. They offer:
- New Construction Services
- Full house remodeling services
- Kitchen and bath remodel
- Design-build services
- Custom carpentry
- Sub Zero and Wolf
- Custom Cabinetry
- Hidden appliances
Go with a contractor who is professional and one that you can trust. Several contractors will claim to be professional, but if you do your research well, schedule interviews, and trust your gut, you will get a professional contractor to handle your project.
These three companies will surely deliver an outstanding job, but you can only choose one. If it were up to us, we’d recommend North Shore Painting Services, LLC because they are more than just home improvement professionals. They go the extra mile to ensure their client is satisfied.