Whether you are purchasing or leasing an existing building for your business and need to do some major remodeling, or you plan to construct a new location from the ground up, you will probably need to hire a contractor. A general contractor oversees a construction project from start to finish, providing the necessary materials, labor, equipment and services, managing vendors and subcontractors, and communicating with involved parties throughout the entire project. It is important to find a contractor you can trust. If you are involved in a construction dispute with a contractor or subcontractor, an experienced Monmouth County business attorney can help you achieve resolution.
Factors to Consider When Hiring a Contractor
Whether you are hiring an individual or a company, be sure to ask the following questions before signing any contracts:
- Is the contractor properly licensed? Do not rely on a business card or advertisement with a license number. Call the appropriate licensing agency to make sure the contractor is licensed and in good standing.
- Does the contractor have a permanent place of business? How long has the contractor been in business? You do not want to worry about whether a contractor will still be in business come tomorrow.
- How long did it take to get a response to your initial inquiry? This is usually a good indication of how responsive a contractor will be once the job has started. If you did not get a response within 24 hours, you should probably look elsewhere.
- Does the contractor have workers’ comp and liability insurance? Is the coverage adequate? It is important for contractors to have proper insurance in case of accidents on the job site.
- Does the contractor have good references? Call former clients and ask questions such as: Was the project finished on time? Were the terms of the contract upheld? Was the work satisfactory? Did the contractor listen to the client’s concerns and promptly resolve any issues that arose?
- Is the bid itemized? An itemized bid will allow you to see exactly what the contractor plans to do and where/how your money will be spent, which minimizes your risk of getting a padded or underestimated quote. If the contractor will not itemize the bid, it is probably best to move on.
- Will you get a written lien waiver? Make sure the contractor will provide you with a written lien waiver at the end of the project. Without a lien waiver, you risk having a mechanic’s lien placed on your property.
When you decide on a contractor, a Monmouth County business lawyer can review the contract with you, making sure you understand the payment terms, adjudication clause, variations and extension of time clauses, and time limits for issuing dispute notices. If you need assistance with a construction contract, or if you are currently involved in a construction dispute, contact a qualified Monmouth County business attorney today.