Houzz Logo Print

How do you find a good general contractor?

Gena Hooper
13 years ago

And a corollary to this question: and what things do you need to know before deciding to general contract a project yourself?

I'm having a heck of a time finding a good general contractor. Here are a few of my (many) thoughts and worries.

1. I just moved here so my network of people isn't huge.

2. Most people I know who've renovated had bad experiences with their GCs and won't recommend them.

3. When I moved here, people joked about the *my town* bump. Apparently, contractors boost their prices when they hear where we live. I'm fear that I'm finding this to be the case. I pay well, tip well, etc. but I'm careful with my money. I don't want to blow it because people assume we're rich. (We're not.)

4. I read about the poor experiences people have and get freaked out. Even checking references (which seems to be like pulling teeth to even get references) doesn't protect you.

5. I worry about the quality of the GC's subs.

My husband and I are relatively handy and because we do tons of research, I think we're fairly knowledgeable. (Of course not nearly as knowledgeable as those who do it for a living.) We're doing a DIY almost gut reno of our basement bathroom, and it's going very smoothly (though slowly). We pulled a permit for this, etc. We know a good licensed plumber and electrician (used them both already) and have leads on a good tiler and good stone fabricator.

So should we GC ourselves and maybe bring a GC in on a consulting basis? Have the GC do the rough stuff (framing/drywell) and we do the rest? We have the master bathroom and kitchen to do, and I'm starting to panic. I really want to get these done in 2010.

Anyone who knows an honest, conscientious, fairly priced GC in the Boston area, please e-mail me. We're still looking. Thanks!

Comments (8)