Did you know that more than 1.4 million properties in the United States alone have accessory dwelling units (ADUs)? ADUs are more popular than they have ever been before, so it’s no surprise that ADU contractors are more sought after than ever as well. But there is a problem: how should you go about finding the best ADU contractor for you and your property?
What should you look for when choosing an ADU general contract and what should you avoid? Keep reading and learn more about what to look for when building an ADU with the help of a professional contractor.
Check the Online Customer Reviews
Every company, including ADU contracting companies, has at least a handful of customer reviews on the internet. Customer reviews can tell you quite a lot about a contractor and his services. They can also save you a lot of time, energy, and money that you would have otherwise spent on mediocre ADU contracting services.
Suppose that you do a bit of research and find an ADU contractor online that seems to be professional and reputable. Even the contractor’s website looks good and discusses the available services. However, upon closer inspection, you find that the online customer reviews for this contractor are awful.
The previous customers might complain about various things such as the contractor’s quality of work, the speed at which the contractor works, and the contractor’s behavior, among other things. Of course, the last thing you want to do is hire a contractor who will only provide mediocre services.
Fortunately, by reading the customer reviews ahead of time, you can save yourself the trouble. On the other hand, if you find a contractor with very good reviews, you should give that contractor a closer look. Whenever a contractor has a lot of good feedback, it means that the contractor cares about his customers and wants to make them happy.
This is important when hiring an ADU building in particular.
The last thing you want is to start building an ADU and realize you don’t like the result. Plus, building an ADU can be an expensive process.
You don’t want that money going to waste because of an unprofessional ADU contractor. You always want to take the time to read a few customer reviews in detail. This will tell you what makes a particular contractor good or bad.
For example, one ADU contractor might provide good services but his cost might be too high. Or, another ADU contractor might provide good services but he might work too slow. You will need to consider all of these factors when choosing an ADU contractor for your property.
It can take some time to make the right choice, so be patient. After reading some of the online customer reviews for different ADU contractors, you should begin to narrow down your choices. Once you do that, you can start being more specific with what you want in an ADU contractor.
How Many Years of Experience Does the Contractor Have?
Once you start to narrow down your choices in ADU contractors, you will want to start asking some important questions. In particle, you will want to ask a potential contractor how many years of experience he has building ADUs. This is perhaps one of the most important questions you can ask.
After all, do you really want to risk hiring a contractor who has not yet constructed an ADU before? While hiring a new contractor is not necessarily a bad thing, such contractors don’t have any experience and there is a good chance that their results may be mediocre. Instead, you will want to opt for a contractor who has at least a few years of experience building ADUs specifically.
The more years the contractor has, the better. Keep in mind that contractors might have experience building other structures such as garages or houses. While this extra experience is good, you will want to make sure that the contractor has plenty of experience constructing only ADUs as well.
ADUs often have a specific design that is unique to your house or garage, so you will want it to look right when it’s done. Fortunately, finding out how many years of experience a contractor has is not as hard as you might think. Most contractors will list their years of experience on their websites.
Preferably, you will want to opt for a contractor who has two or three years of experience, if not more. A contractor with 10 years of experience will know all about the details of building an ADU compared to a contractor who only has 2 years of experience and only knows the basics.
What You Need to Know
If you want to make sure that your ADU is perfect, you’ll want to choose a contractor with many more years of experience.
Otherwise, you can settle for a contractor who only has a few years on his belt. If the website doesn’t list the years of experience, it is best to call the contractor yourself and ask a few questions about the contractor’s experience. While on the phone, you’ll also have the chance to ask a few more important questions such as how long the project will take or how expensive it will be.
Getting referrals from others can also tell you a lot about a contractor’s experience. Try to seek out people that you know (such as friends or family) who have hired a particular contractor in the past. Then, ask them what they thought of the contractor and his services.
Depending on their responses, you can decide whether or not the contractor is right for you. For example, if the people who ask give positive answers and tell you that the contractor is very professional and experienced, it may be a good idea to hire him. On the other hand, if you get a lot of negative reviews and people say that the contractor hardly knew what he was doing, it is best to skip on that contractor.
Remember the Cost and Your Budget
Many people get so caught up in the excitement of constructing an ADU that they completely forget about the ADU you cost and the cost of hiring a contractor. You shouldn’t let this happen to you, otherwise, you might regret building an ADU and hiring a contractor in the first place. Instead, you should always keep your budget in mind.
You should also research the cost of a contractor’s services before hiring. One contractor’s services might be much more expensive compared to another contractor’s. The last thing you want to do is overpay for the same service.
But does this mean that you should opt for the cheapest ADU contractor you can find? Not at all. In fact, opting for the cheapest option is usually not a good idea.
If you hire a contractor who provides unusually cheap services, the quality of those services may not be all that great. If this is the case, you aren’t really saving all that much money. While the services might be cheap, such a contractor might do a bad job putting your ADU together and you might have to get the entire project redone anyway.
More than that, an unusually cheap contractor may not have all the proper permits, skills, or other necessities to construct an ADU. This, of course, is a problem that no one wants to deal with. However, this doesn’t mean that you should opt for the most expensive ADU contractor either.
While expensive contractors do often maintain a certain quality of service. they are not necessarily the best choice. This is especially true if you’re on a tight budget. Hiring the most expensive ADU contractor in your area will only get you so far and it will likely leave a big hole in your budget.
More often than not, the best solution is to stick with contractors in the middle ground; those whose services are not too cheap and not too expensive. Contractors in the middle ground usually provide high-quality services and you won’t have to worry about breaking the bank just to construct an ADU.
However, while choosing an ADU contractor, you will also want to keep your own budget in mind. Of course, when constructing an ADU, you will need to have a budget of a certain size to cover the majority of the costs. This is true even if you’re only building a very small ADU.
If you want to build a very large ADU, on the other hand, you will obviously need to have a bigger budget. Whatever the case, you will never want to go over your budget. Doing this can cause you a lot of stress and can make you regret building an ADU at all.
If you’re unsure about your budget, make it larger than it needs to be. That way, you won’t have to worry about overspending at all and you’ll have a chance to relax.
Ask About Licenses and Insurance
You should never hire an ADU contractor who doesn’t have a license. This is unprofessional and the results that such a contractor would provide would also likely be unprofessional. An unlicensed contractor might take your money for the job, start the job, leave, and never come back to complete the ADU.
This is not to mention that unlicensed contractors are hard to find once they leave. So, if yours disappears in the middle of building your ADU, you may never see him again and your ADU will remain unfinished.
Instead, you will want to do a bit of extra research and make sure that a given contractor has all the right licenses, permits, and insurance. That way, you’ll know that the contractor is serious about his work and will work hard to complete the job.
You can often find these qualifications on a contractor’s website. However, if you can’t find the contractor’s licenses there, it is best to make a call and see if you can find out that way. If you can’t get an answer about the licenses over the phone, it is best to ditch that contractor as he might not be as professional as he seems.
You will also want to make sure that the contractor you’re hiring is insured. If the contractor is not insured, this could cause you a lot of trouble and stress. This is also another sign that the contractor is unprofessional.
Insurance and Permits
If an uninsured contractor gets hurt on the job, there is a good chance that you’ll have to pay him some kind of legal compensation. This is not something you want to deal with when you’re just trying to construct a simple ADU. To save yourself the trouble, make sure that the contractor is completely insured.
Again, you can often find this information on the contractor’s website or by giving the contractor a call. Finally, you’ll want to make sure that the contractor has the right permits. A professional contractor will get all the necessary contracts on his own without pestering you too much.
All About Finding an ADU Contractor
Finding a good ADU contractor isn’t as difficult as you might expect, but you will need to keep a few things in mind. For example, when looking for an ADU contractor, you should always check the contractor’s customer reviews first. You should also check how many years of experience the contractor has, how much the contractor charges, and whether or not the contractor has all the right licenses, permits, and insurance.
As long as you do all that, it should be easy to find the right ADU contractor for you. To learn more, click here.