A general contractor is speaking through a walkie-talkie to supervise work at the construction site.

How to Choose General Contractors in Springfield, Missouri

Construction can be a risky proposition for the uninitiated. Even in a small city like Springfield, many different contractors specialize in different fields. So finding the best general contractors in Springfield, Missouri, can take time and effort. But it’s the most important step to get your construction project off the ground.

For most people, construction is a scary process with lots of unknowns. There are so many things that could go wrong. However, if you know what to look for and which questions to ask during your interview process, you’re much more likely to end up with a great general contractor on your team. After all, they will be working directly with you on this project from start to finish. Do the following to find the right contractor for your project.

Ask for References

When interviewing general contractors in Springfield, MO, be sure to ask them for references. Most contractors will be happy to provide you with references. So if a contractor has a few quality references, it’s a good indication that they’re a legitimate contractor.

Moreover, you can use the references to understand better how the contractor works and their clients’ experiences. Depending on the nature of your project, you should be able to get in touch with references fairly easily. 

Be sure to ask them questions about their experience working with the contractor and the quality of their work. If the contractor doesn’t provide references or has a poor or indifferent response when you ask for them, that’s probably a red flag.

Estimate the Cost of Each Task

Before you get too deep into the interview process, you should estimate the cost of each task on the project. And there are a couple of reasons why you would want to do this.

Firstly, it will give you a better idea of the project’s cost. Once you have the contractors visit the building site to give you quotes, you can then ask them to break down their estimates by task. If a contractor is low-balling you on their estimate, they’re likely low-balling on their estimate for each task. You don’t want to hire a contractor who cannot complete the project on time and within budget.

Secondly, it will allow you to compare the estimates from different contractors on a more level playing field. It’s one thing to say that you can build a deck for $10,000. It’s an entirely different matter to break the deck down into individual tasks and then assign those tasks a cost.

Hand writing an estimate on a clipboard how much it costs to have a house built by general contactors in Springfield. MO

Check Licensing and Insurance

It’s vital to check the credentials of any Springfield general contractors, as you want to ensure that they’re appropriately licensed and insured. This is a requirement in most states, but it’s wise to check, just in case. Having contractors with proper credentials is essential for your project’s success.

While a contractor doesn’t need to be licensed to work on your project, it’s a good sign if they are. Conversely, if you’re employing a contractor who doesn’t have a license, you have no recourse if they don’t complete the job or if they do a poor job. However, you can report them to the governing board if they do have a license. This might seem drastic, but it’s better than getting ripped off by an unlicensed contractor.

You should also make certain that your contractor is insured. This is particularly important if you’re hiring a general contractor who will be working on your home.

Make a Springfield, MO General Contractors Shortlist

If you’ve narrowed the list of potential contractors down to two or three, it’s time to make a shortlist. You can do this informally or use an online service like Service Express to help you manage the process. Many people turn to services like Angi, Thumbtack, HomeAdvisor, or Houzz. Others conduct a Google search like “residential general contractors near me.” So regardless of how you go about it, make a shortlist to interview a manageable number of people in person.

While interviewing contractors, you can also ask them to break down their estimates into individual tasks. This will allow you to see exactly how they arrived at their cost. While you might have to sift through some jargon, it’s a beneficial step. The more information you have, the better equipped you are to make an informed decision.

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Contact us today to add us to your shortlist.

Meet Face-to-Face with Several General Contractors in Springfield, Missouri

Once you’ve made your finalist list, you should take them to lunch. During this meeting, you should be taking notes.

If you’re interviewing one of the local residential or commercial general contractors in Springfield, Missouri, you’ll want to ask them about the skills and experience of their team, as well as their past projects. Moreover, you want to get a better idea about who they are, whether their values align with yours, and what quality of work you can expect.

If you don’t feel comfortable with one of your finalists, or if something doesn’t feel quite right, it’s okay to end the meeting and move on. You don’t have to take the first contractor that you find. In fact, it’s often better to walk away from the first general contractor you find and wait until you find the right one. And you can always return to the first one or ask for a second meeting.

Ask For the Quote in Writing

Finally, you should ask for a written estimate from each contractor. If a contractor is hesitant to provide you with a written estimate, it’s a major red flag. It doesn’t matter if they’re the lowest bidder. If they’re hesitant to give you a written estimate, it’s because they’re unsure of the final price.

In the construction industry, projects are complicated. Therefore, it’s almost impossible to know the exact price of a project until it’s been completed. If a contractor asks you how much you want to spend on a project or how much you’re willing to spend, don’t hire them.

Budgeting for a project is okay, but you don’t want them to know how much you’re willing to spend. It’s best to keep contractors in the dark about your budget until you’re ready to sign the dotted line.

Hiring General Contractors in Springfield, MO: The Bottom Line

Finding the best general contractors in Springfield, Missouri, is crucial in getting your construction project started and done right. It’s essential to protect yourself and your budget. And the first step is to hire the right contractor.

So you can start today with this little checklist. Plan to ask potential contractors for references and to estimate each task’s cost. Check their licensing and insurance, make a contractor shortlist, meet face-to-face with your finalists, and request the quote in writing. We hope that you’ll add Brian Williams Custom Homes to your shortlist!

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