- April 18, 2019
- Posted by: Erin
- Category: Custom Home Building, General Construction
One of the most important decisions you will make in your build is which Vancouver contractor to work with. There are many contractors in Greater Vancouver to choose from, but how do you pick the right team?
What to look for in your Vancouver contractor
They are well-connected
Your contractor will be your link to tradespeople and city permitting departments. That means that their connections are your connections. If they know wonderful tradespeople, you will have a great team. Positive relationships with the city staff handling your building permits can mean any issues will likely be resolved faster and more easily. That is why, if you want a smooth build with fantastic results, you want to always make sure your contractor is well-connected in the Greater Vancouver area.
They have experience with your type of project
If you need surgery on your knee, you would not go to a brain surgeon. You would see a specialist with the appropriate experience. Contractors are the same. Just because one has experience does not mean they have experience with your type of project. Given this, it is important to not just check potential contractors’ years in the business, but what kind of projects they have done. How do you find this out? Ask directly and check out each contractor’s website, which should give examples of some of their work.
They are passionate about their work
Your project is important to you, so you want to make sure that your contractor will be invested in it. The best way to ensure that is to pick someone who is passionate about their work. When you work with someone who cares about the work, they are more likely to go the extra mile to make sure the final product is the best it can possibly be. And who would want anything less than that?
They work hard
Passion is great, but it needs to be coupled with a strong work ethic. The negative stories you hear about contractors often happen when contractors take on too many jobs or when they don’t work hard on the projects they have. To avoid this, look at the way each contractor approaches their work. The best way to find this out? Ask their former clients!
They are highly recommended
Speaking of asking former clients… Any Vancouver-area contractor you are considering should come highly recommended. When you meet with a contractor, always ask for references from them. After all, the best way to know what kind of work they do is to ask the people they did it for. If the contractor cannot or will not provide references, that is a huge red flag. At that point, you may choose to walk away.
They are equipped for the job
You always need to make sure the the contractor you are considering can handle your type and scale of job. You want to make sure they have:
- The proper equipment
- The right number of staff
- The time in their schedule
If even one of these is missing, do not hire the contractor! They may tell you that they can still make the project work, but moving forward is potentially setting yourself up for disaster. Instead, move on and look for someone who already has the tools and infrastructure in place for your build.
They are local
We all know the permitting process for building in City of Vancouver, or the neighbouring cities, is complicated. Then there are the special grants that are available for things like renovations to character and heritage homes. Plus, there are a ton of tradespeople, so you have to know who to hire. A contractor coming in from outside the area just is not going to know everything they need to to make your build run smoothly and to properly guide you through the process. That is why we always recommend working with a Vancouver contractor.
They communicate well
Builds are stressful and the last thing you need is a contractor ghosting you when there is a problem. Avoid this by making sure you hire a team with good communication skills. How do you check for this? Watch how long it takes for emails or calls to be returned. Is that happening promptly? When they are returned, are all your questions being answered clearly and directly? Is the information put in a way that makes you understand and where you feel comfortable asking questions? You should always feel able to reach your contractor – and to talk to them about anything you need to. If you do not feel that way, move on to someone else.
They understand your needs
In addition to good communication, your contractor needs to have excellent listening skills. Make sure that, when you speak to them, you feel heard and understood. There is nothing worse than realizing halfway through a build that you and your contractor are not on the same page. Again, if you do not feel heard or you cannot speak openly with your contractor, it is time to get someone else.
They belong to a professional organization
Reputable contractors belong to professional organizations. In Vancouver, you want to make sure that any contractor you are looking at belongs to the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association (or the GVHBA). If a contractor tells you they do not like professional organizations or offers excuses for why they do not belong to one, this could be a cause for concern.
Finding the right Greater Vancouver contractor can feel intimidating; but, with a big of searching and this checklist, you can pick out the right fit for you! Want to just cut to the chase? Book an appointment with us today to discuss your project and learn why we are the right contractor for you!