Q&A / 

Up front planning and job scheduling will help you, your contractor and subcontractors keep your building project running smoothly. Special orders will be spelled out and the delivery time determined up front. Each job listed should specify when it will be done.

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Contractors seem to abound in the yellow pages. Plumbers, painters, roofers...who do you pick? What are their skill levels? Get all of your questions answered by going to supply houses where these contractors purchase material. Get references and information about the quality of their work.

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Contractors need to go through a job interview with you in order for you to know what type of abilities they have. Ask about professional designations, association memberships and the types of trade journals he reads. Verify the memberships by making a few calls. Learn all you can about what your contractor knows.

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General contracting on your new home construction is a huge undertaking for the non builder. House plans and specifications are your best means of communicating with your sub-contractors. Make sure the quality of these is the best. Be there when your subs are working. Don't assume that things will be done the way you want if you aren't there.

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Job interviews are the best way to see if the contractor you want to hire will be able to do the work you want. Ask the contractor about his business, the kind of trade magazines he subscribes to, his management habits. Get references from the supply houses where he buys materials. What do they know about the quality of his work?

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Construction contracts can save you headaches and money. Plans and specifications when added to the contract become an integral part of it. Deadlines, change orders and inspection issues should also be addressed.

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Contractors come in all skill levels. To find the plumber, carpenter, painter or roofer that will do a professional job you must go where they go. Check with the supply houses who sell to these contractors, ask for recommendations. Get the right information about the right contractor for you.

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