Crucial Steps in Finding a Contractor

Written by: Natalie Klyashtorny

Finding a contractor in today’s marketplace can come with many speed bumps and potential pitfalls if you fail to check certain boxes during your search. Several important factors can help protect you in the future from getting taken for the proverbial “ride” or ending up with an incomplete project.

What is the first step in finding a contractor?

It’s good to start your search with “word of mouth” recommendations. Contact local investors about contractors they’ve had successful relationships with. On top of that, execute a Google search and a Docket search. If you come across a company that has been sued multiple times, that’s certainly a red flag. The more positive references you can accumulate during this step, the better.

We recommend soliciting multiple estimates to consider.  However, be wary of “low-balling”. If a price seems too good to be true, there’s usually a reason for it. When given an estimate, make sure your potential contractor is very familiar with the local Licensing and Inspections laws.

Additionally, it’s extremely important that both you and your contractor are comprehensively insured. On top of verifying their policies, ask for their Certificates of Insurance to confirm coverage. Also, make sure you are endorsed on their policies as the “Additional Insured”. You’ll also need your own insurance for builder’s risk, general liability, and workers’ compensation.  An Indemnification Clause is also extremely important in case something goes wrong. These provisions should place the burden of the workers’ safety on the contractor as opposed to you, the property owner.

An airtight contract is crucial to your project’s future success. Some provisions to include in the contract that commonly get overlooked:

  • Putting a timetable on the job to avoid any disappearing acts from your contractor.
  • Ensuring the job will be performed in a workmanlike manner.
  • Specifying materials to avoid the use of cheaper options.

A vague, inarticulate contract can very often lead to litigation, so it’s very important to do your due diligence. If needed, make sure to consult with a reputable attorney.

At Nochumson P.C., we are more than legal counsel. We are people serving our neighbors and community in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Knowing that real communication between real people can help lead to real positive results, our team of attorneys are available 24/7 to help answer your legal questions and to fight for you with skill and fortitude, whatever the case may be. When you hire us, you can expect a sensible and cost-effective approach to legal counsel. We think fast, think ahead, and get things done. Contact us today or call us at (215) 399-1346 to see how we can represent you.