Hiring the Right Subcontractor
By HiLine Hal
As part of HiLine Homes’ building system, the homeowner takes on a few responsibilities, most of which pertains to their particular property. Site preparation is one of those things, so if you find yourself needing help with excavation or a driveway and are looking to hire a subcontractor, here are some tips to help ensure you hire wisely.
First and foremost, make sure that the person or company you are hiring is licensed and insured. You can verify your contractor with an online search. In Washington, go to the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries website at https://secure.lni.wa.gov/verify/. In Oregon, go to Construction Contractors Board website at http://search.ccb.state.or.us/search/. In California, you can search online athttps://www2.cslb.ca.gov/onlineservices/checklicenseII/checklicense.aspx. All sites will allow you to search with their name, business name, or license number. You can find contact information, confirm that their license is active, see what type of work they are licensed to do, and verify insurance/bond information. You’ll also be able to check if they have any license violations or any complaints filed against them.
Second, protect yourself by “getting it in writing.” While you may not need a highly detailed contract document for every job, make sure you have some sort of written documentation with details about what will be included for the agreed upon price. Be sure to include information such as labor, materials, any applicable permits, and estimated start and completion dates, if possible. Getting it in writing keeps everyone well informed about what is expected.
Last, but certainly not least, consider past performance. Try to locate reviews from previous customers of your subcontractor. Online review websites, word-of-mouth from friends and neighbors, contractors board websites, local builder’s exchanges or chambers of commerce, and company-supplied references can all be good sources of past experiences.
There are many things to consider when hiring a subcontractor, and doing a little research before you hire someone can help ensure a successful project. Take the time to get to know your subcontractor; you’ll be happy you did!
HiLine Homes is a valuable resource for you as well. Our experienced staff can help bridge the gap between the time you order your home to the time you start construction. Our pre-construction team members are ready to help you through the process of permitting and property improvements. Contact your local HiLine office to speak with a team member today!