March 27, 2017

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a General Contractor

By Sona Mathews
Are you about to start a major construction project?

If so, you’re probably about to interview a number of different general contractors to potentially oversee the production of your construction project.

It’s certainly a good idea to hire the best general contractor to meet your needs.

For those new to the hiring process, you might be wondering what you should do – or what not to do – when finding the perfect candidate for your project.

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a General Contractor : eAskme
5 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a General Contractor : eAskme
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With that in mind, let’s take a look at five things that everyone should avoid when choosing a general contractor.

1. Avoid Hiring Anyone That Isn’t an Expert General Contractor

When you’re about to start a major construction project, it wouldn’t be wise to hire an average and ordinary handyman, a typical carpenter, or anyone else that really isn’t considered an expert as a general contractor.

Sure, it’s possible that they can get the job done, but can you really trust their skills and ability?

As far as you’re concerned, they are an unproven general contractor.

So it’s best to stick with what you know. It’s best to stick with the professionals that promote themselves as a general contractor and live their title every day.

2. Avoid Hiring a GC That Isn’t Certified, Licensed, or Insured

For some reason, people have a tendency to believe that a general contractor is insured, certified and licensed.

Maybe the company represents themselves as having all of these credentials.

You should never take a company at their word. Ask them to show proof that they actually have valid forms of insurance, licensing, and certification when required.


Well, if something were to go wrong on the jobsite, you want to make sure that you are fully protected.

It could cost a great deal of money, or heartache if you have to take the GC to court, because something went wrong during your job and you weren’t fully protected.

3. Don’t Avoid Asking the Most Significant Questions

During the hiring process, you’re going to have many questions that need answers.

If you do not speak up and talk to the general contractor, you might get the wrong answer to your question when it’s already way too late.

So do not avoid this topic.
  • Some of the more important questions that need answering include:
  • How much will the project cost?
  • How long will it take?
  • How big is the staff working on the project?
  • How much experience do you have working on similar projects?
By asking the important questions ahead of time, you’ll never have to worry about any unwanted surprises.

4. Avoid Hiring a General Contractor If You Haven’t Done Your Research

Instead of trusting that you’re going to like a particular general contractor’s work, you’re much better off asking to see pictures of previous job sites.

By looking at pictures, you’ll be able to tell if you happen to like their particular style. Or you’ll find out if you don’t like the type of work that they do.

Either way, looking at pictures or physically going to previous job sites will provide great insight into a general contractor’s skills and abilities.

Also spend some time looking into the company.

According to, you can learn more about a contractor and “Find information on any corporation or business entity in the United States by performing a search on the Secretary of State website of the state or territory where that corporation is registered.”

5. Avoid Committing to a Contractor on a “Handshake” Deal

If you are going to commit to a specific contractor, make sure they live up to their title and actually provide you with a contract for your job.

And when you look over the contract, make sure everything you want done is mentioned in it.

Otherwise you aren’t going to be protected and you could end up paying for work that doesn’t legally need to get done.


Hiring a general contractor doesn’t need to be difficult. Pay attention to the information shared today and avoid these mistakes at all costs.