Construction contractors fill a wide range of unique needs in the building trades. There are quite a lot of different types of construction contractors, with most contractors specializing in a unique aspect of construction. Some contractors market themselves as general construction contractors, but they usually only work on small construction projects.
There is a lot of work that goes into developing the skills necessary to master one aspect of construction. Some of the most common types of construction contractors are:
These contractors are specially trained in laying strong, even foundations. The foundation of a home is one of the most important factors in determining the structural stability of the building. These contractors make sure the foundation is properly set.
These contractors specialize in constructing the frame of a building. Some framing contractors are trained to use wood, while others are trained to use steel and aluminum.
Drywall contractors cut and install drywall used to create interior spaces. The cutting needs to be precise and drywall contractors need to be highly trained to do their job correctly.
The licensing bodies for construction contractors vary widely around the country. For the most part, licensing for construction contractors is handled on the local or state level. To determine how this is handled in your state, you should run an online search for your state's licensing board.
All states have a licensing board, but that doesn't mean your state requires contractors to be licensed through it. The name of these boards can vary from state to state. For example, the state licensing board in Oregon is called the Construction Contractor's Board. These agencies will provide you with a list of qualifications and licenses contractors need to possess for legal operation in your state.
There are professional licensing boards for some construction trades. Many of these licensing bodies exist at the national level. The Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry provides membership and educational programs for drywall contractors. The National Association of Home Builders is a national body that oversees standards for construction trades associated with home construction.What to Be Aware of When Hiring Construction Contractors
Construction projects present a number of unique issues that you would not have to face with other projects. This means that you will have to deal with unique contractor issues that you my not have planned for. For example, weather may force the project to run long or you may hit a snag with the zoning board.
You may also find that you have to hire more contractors than you originally budgeted for. It's important to remember that construction contractors are highly trained individuals. It is not uncommon for a drywall contractor to be unqualified to install countertops during a kitchen remodel. The important thing to remember is that you need to be willing to listen to what your current contractors are telling you.Keep Your Project on Track
Try to get a simple contract written out between you and your contractors. The contract is not supposed to be legal or binding. It's used mostly as a framework that outlines the exact scope of the work each contractor is hired for, the projected timeline for the work, and the agreed-upon payment terms. The contract will lay out everything in black and white so there is not chance for communication errors to lead to costly misunderstandings.
You should always have each contractor provide you with an estimate before you hire them. The estimate will cover any potential costs you will incur by hiring the contractor. It is recommended that you get estimates from more than one contractor. This way, you will have a better chance of finding a lower price.
Give the project enough time. In fact, you should probably estimate that a project will take a week longer to complete than you're planning. This way, you will be much more likely to finish on time. You will also have a little time buffer if something goes wrong during construction and causes delays. You don't want to get a home construction project started in September or October in some parts of the country.