How to choose a building contractor

In Georgia, builders and contractors must be licensed by the state of Georgia to perform work (legally). You can verify a contractor's license by visiting the state licensing board for residential and general contractors website. Here are some quick points to consider when choosing a licensed contractor:

  • Anyone knocking on doors trying to sell you a home, or promising to build a home, is not likely someone you would want to do business with
  • If a contractor tries to rush the process or force you into making decisions on a short/strict time table is likely trying to avoid you doing your due diligence
  • Contractors that ask for large sums of money up front, before work has been completed, may be running a scam. Any build should have a well defined schedule of time and expenses, which can be paid as needed
  • Written agreements should be created and adhered to, by both the homeowner and the builder. This will help to ensure everyone is on the same page as progress is made. Contractors that just want a "handshake" agreement could spell trouble; are you really willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a promise?
  • All information that a contractor gives you about their business, their licensing, their history, references, etc. should be accurate, up to date and verifiable