How to Hire a GC in Austin
To Be or Not To Be The GC….That is the Question
While spring has not officially sprung in Austin, the sunny weather is deceptive. With January temperatures in the mid-sixties, even the tulips are being fooled into early activity. Some homeowners are still taking down Christmas lights while other homeowners are beginning to plan their next home improvement project.
Now is a good to begin renovations. Construction projects are usually a bit slower this time of year so it is prime time to begin doing research. While we like to do a good number of things to our house - Gene really is quite handy; when it comes to major projects that include plumbing, electrical or dry walling, we like to hire professionals.
Tips to get you started:
To be or not to be (the GC)….well that is the question. I have acted as General Contractor on many projects, hiring every portion of the project out and staying on top of scheduling. I know enough excellent electricians, tile guys, plumbers and painters to form our own crew. However, being the project manager of a remodel is time consuming which, has led to my search of a good general contractor.
Being in real estate, we have heard both good and bad stories from clients regarding construction. The sad truth of the matter is that there are plenty of unscrupulous general contractors in the industry who cut corners, overcharge, under deliver and sometimes take the money and run. What can you do? Who can you trust? Especially in Austin where the city is growing daily and construction is at an all time high, contractor are having difficulty keeping up with the demand.
Your neighborhood is a good place to begin. Ask you neighbors for referrals. Your neighborhood typically has homes that are similarly built, within the same time period and have a similar price value.
Ask your real estate agent. Working within the housing industry, we are in the know when it comes to who to hire and who not to hire. If you are in Steiner Ranch or the Four Points area, you can always contact us. We have a list of trusted resources.
Houzz is also a good resource. You can search via certain criteria, see photos, and read testimonials/reviews of other clients. Definitely focus on the photos that speak to your sense of style or the type of project renovation you will be doing.
Check with your local chamber of commerce. In Steiner Ranch, it is Four Points Chamber of Commerce.
If you are working with an architect or interior designer, they should also have suggestions. Once you have some qualified leads, you are ready to begin interviewing the general contractors and learning more about them. Want to know “what to know” when researching a general contractor? Click here to learn more.