Tis’ the Season … So you are looking for a Commercial General Contractor in NYC and you haven’t got the slightest idea where to look. New York is place where everyone knows someone that knows someone but you still can’t find that perfect contractor. Here are a few simple tips what one should look for when hiring a contractor.
1) Online Presence – Can your contractor be found online? Does he have a website? How well designed is his site? How how update to date is it ? Don’t get me wrong, NYC is filled with many great contractors who don’t have the slightest clue about the Internet, but for the rest, an online presence is a must. A contractors reputation can be viewed online through reviews and ratings. If he was shabby, he’d be hiding!
2) License and insurance – Ask to see his insurance ! You’d be surprised to see how many guys operate without this. A lot of contractors secure an insurance policy in the beginning only to obtain a license, after the first few months they cancel. NYC Consumer Affairs does not require proof of insurance for license renewal. He may continue to carry a license, but let his insurance go. Another common insurance mishap is carrying the wrong type of insurance. We have a lot of contractors who carry insurance for drywall and painting, which is probably the cheapest to way to obtain a cheap policy from a B rated carrier . Meanwhile, these same guys are roofing and undertaking large scale renovations.
3) References – Ask for references . Despite all the fancy marketing and fancy sales presentations, nothing convinces a potential client when hearing from past clients. Better yet, ask for a site visit for any of his current projects. Nothing like reassurance from someone else.
4) Vehicle – If you get chance, take a sneak peak at his vehicle that he shows up in. A successful contractor should afford to drive a decent vehicle, especially when meeting a potential client for the first time. Usually, guys with nice clean lettered vehicles, tend to carry the same attitude to the job site and it should reflect the quality of his work. Guys with a beat up old truck or a working out of a mini van that can be heard 2 blocks away is someone you should stay away from. A good contractor would invest in a good work vehicle.