Monthly Archives: April 2016

Checklist To Evaluate Contractors

Looking for a professional contractor for commercial or residential construction projects can be all consuming.  There are steps that need to be followed to ensure that the contractor you are hiring can meet the performance expectations while staying on time and within budget.  In order to evaluate the contractor’s ability to accomplish this you must take time to look into their background.

Looking into a contractor’s background can consist of several things including reference checks, viewing portfolios and analyzing online reviews.

Reference Checks:  As you narrow down contractors to work with it is imperative to ask to speak to both recent commercial and residential clients.  These clients will revile what you can expect when working with the contractor.  This will give you an idea of where you should align your expectations should you choose to work with them.

Portfolio Viewing:  There are many ways in which a contractor can show off their portfolio.  A great way contractors can visually show who they are is through an online forum such as an up-to-date website rich in photos of projects.  Websites that offer images of projects from start to finish can often be the most helpful to individuals looking to hire a contractor.  If you want a closer look at projects completed by the contractor ask them to view a job they are currently working on or have recently finished.

Online Review Analysis: Getting to know a company is made simpler with internet review forums.  Read reviews from individuals reviewing contractors that have worked on projects similar to the one that you are looking to hire them from.  People are completely honest, maybe even too much so when it comes to online reviews.  It is a great place to get to know a contractor through their client’s eyes.

Although evaluating a remodeler’s background offers a great deal of insight to the hiring process it doesn’t offer a complete picture.  When selecting a contractor for construction endeavors it is critical to the success of the project to confirm that all individuals, including sub-contractors, are licensed, insured and bonded.

It is essential that any contractor that is hired for any residential or commercial project not only be licensed and insured but also bonded.  A variety of construction bonds are offered to ensure that all aspects of a project are covered.  Below is a list of bonds that secure the project owners interest in a project from a contractors default.

Contractor License Bond:  A contract license bond includes three different parties including the obligee, the principal and the surety.  This type of bond is secured as a promise that the surety (bonding company) makes to pay the obligee (project owner) if the principal (contractor) is unable to fulfill the contract as stated.

Bid Bond:  When a contractor is bidding on a project a bid bond is required especially on government projects.  A bid bond is used to inform the owner of the project that the contractor can secure a bond if they are the lowest bidder.  It states that the bid amount covers the financial liabilities of the project.  It ensures that contractors don’t low ball a bid in order to get the job only then to ask the project owner for additional funds as the project progresses.

Performance Bond:  A performance bond is used to guarantee that a project is completed.  It ensures that the job is performed as stated within the contract and that it is completed within the time frame that is expected.

Payment Bond: Usually a payment bond is issued in conjunction with a performance bond.  Contractors post payment bonds to ensure that the subcontractors and material suppliers that are working on the project will be paid.

Construction Bonding Specialists, LLC are dedicated Surety Bond Professionals that are aligned with several Treasury Listed and AMBest Rated Surety markets which allows them to assist with virtually all Bid, Performance and Payment, Financial Guarantee and Supply bond needs.  Find out more information at http://www.bondingspecialist.com.

The Difference Between Licensed, Bonded and Insured Contractors

What exactly is the difference between a contractor that is licensed, one that is bonded and/or one that is insured?  Competition in the construction industry is brutal.  Wading through contractors to determine the most qualified individual at the most reasonable price leaves many consumers baffled.

Where can consumers skimp and where shouldn’t they when it comes to hiring contractors?  Is hiring a contractor that is not licensed, bonded and/or insured worth the risk?  Probably not; in fact many consumers employing contractors without the proper credentials in place are placing their time, money and project completion in jeopardy.

Below we will detail bonded, licensed and insured contractors. This will allow consumers to have insight into why each is an important certification for hired contractors to have.

Licensed: Contractors are licensed as either a general contractor or specialty contractor.   Specialty contractors are those that offer a specific skill such as plumbing, electrical, drywall and the likes.  Specialty contractors are required to hold a special certification on top of their license.  The contractor’s license number is required to be displayed on any posted marketing materials.

Consumers are able to search for contractors by name or license number to ensure that the contractor’s license is up to date.  When an unlicensed contractor takes off after receiving a deposit there is little protection offered to the consumer this is one of the drawbacks of hiring any unlicensed contractors to do work for you.  An unlicensed contractor may cost less initially but there is no recourse if work is not done in specification to the contract.

Bonded: Bonds are purchased by contractors looking to prove their stability to consumers.  There are a variety of bonds that contractors can purchase to ensure they are trust worthy.  A bond is a contract between the contractor, the property owner and the bonding company.  It ensures that the contractor has financial backing incase the project is not completed as stated in the contract.  Common bonds that many contractors have are bid bonds, performance bonds and payment bonds.  All of which cover consumers from contractor negligence.

Insured: Contractors are required to have insurance to cover their business.  General liability insurance is purchased by contractors to insure that any damage to the property or people is covered financially if anything should happen while completing work at your location.

There are a few more things to consider when hiring a contractor.  Make sure that the contract is comprehensive and that no detail has been left out.  The contract should include the bid and scope of work expected to be performed.  It needs to offer an estimate on the price of permit fees as well as the payment terms, warranties and procedures for changes in the contract.  Often it pays to contact consumers that have recently used the contractor’s services to discuss the contractor’s ability to complete the job on time, within budget and so on.

Construction Bonding Specialists, LLC are dedicated Surety Bond Professionals that are aligned with several Treasury Listed and AMBest Rated Surety markets which allows them to assist with virtually all Bid, Performance and Payment, Financial Guarantee and Supply bond needs.  Find out more information at http://www.bondingspecialist.com.