Finding a General Contractor
Frequently Asked Questions
What qualifications should a general contractor have?
Licensed: Florida requires contractors to be licensed and bonded. When looking for the right company for your job, be sure you are working with a contractor who has both of these credentials. Caroline Contractors has a General contractor certified license, which is valid throughout the state, permitting us to work anywhere in Florida.
Insured: When looking for a contractor, they should have should three types of insurance: personal liability, worker’s compensation and property damage coverage. They should also encourage high safety standards on site in order to prevent accidents. To ensure they have this, you can ask to see proof. We are happy to provide copies of insurance certificates upon request.
Experienced: An experienced general contractor has the experience and knowledge to do the job the right way without missing a step. Many people make the mistake of selecting a contractor strictly based on cost. But as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. A good contractor can prevent costly downtime and keeps funds on hand to keep running your project. In addition, an experienced general contractor can usually look at the work of the subcontractor and immediately know if the work will pass inspection.
What questions should I ask when looking for a general contractor?
Choose your contractor carefully! No other decision will have a greater impact on the success or failure of your project. Great plans, contracts, and construction documents cannot get good work from someone lacking in skill or integrity. Be sure to ask many or even all of these questions.
- How long have you been in business?
- How many jobs like this have you completed?
- What is the average square-foot cost for this type of job?
- Who will supervise the construction on site?
- Who will I communicate with about job progress, changes, and any problems that may arise?
- How do you prefer to work: competitive bid, cost-plus, negotiated price, or something other?
- What is your company’s greatest strength?
- (For remodeling): What efforts do you take to keep the job site clean and safe for children, and to keep dust out of the living quarters?
Are Caroline Contractors homes truly custom?
As opposed to a production builder, who simultaneously builds a community of homes based on a library of floor plans, a custom builder creates a one-of-a-kind home that has a great range of design choices. You can supply a floor plan or commission a set of floor plans to be drawn from scratch and you are more involved in the process, with the opportunity to make many decisions. You can pick from nearly any product in a category — within your budget, of course – rather than selecting from a defined menu of choices. Caroline Contractors is happy to make product suggestions if asked, but the end choice for your custom home is yours.