How To Hire A General Contractor: What You Need To Know 

Hiring a general contractor can be an intimidating if not unfamiliar process for many homeowners. The process should be what you would expect and you should feel confident in making your home improvement decisions. This blog will give you all the information and tips you need to hire a general contractor.

hiring the right general contractor

What are some of the questions you should ask a general contractor?

The questions you should ask your general contractor will change depending on what type of project you are working on. Here are some questions that are important to know when hiring a contractor. What is your expertise? What is your experience? How many years have you been in the business? Where are you located? What is your process for this particular project? What are some of your past projects? What will you be doing for me? How much will the project cost? When will the project be done? Who will be doing the work? How much will it cost? What is the expected timeline?

What are the benefits of hiring a general contractor?

Hiring a general contractor is one of the best ways to ensure that your project succeeds. When you hire a general contractor, you are guaranteed to get the job done to your satisfaction. The benefits of hiring a general contractor is that you get a huge amount of work done, and you get it done faster. General contractors have all this experience, so they know what they are doing. When you hire a general contractor, you are safe from mistakes and delays. You can give your contractor a budget and trust that you will get the job done in a timely manner.

What is required to get your project started?

This is why you hired a general contractor, allowing them to tell you what they need to get started. Typically, they’ll need approved designs and partial payment up front to get started. Actual start date will be determined on your project and permits being issued. The nice thing is your contractor will take care of all permitting for you and keep you informed on progress.

What should you pay the contractor?

When you contract out a project to a general contractor, you should be prepared to pay a down payment. A general contractor is likely to request a down payment to add you to their schedule and also to ensure the project continues to move forward after they have purchased materials. If a contractor has a reputable reputation, they're happy to negotiate. You should have a discussion with the contractor about what amount would be appropriate for a down payment and what payment terms would be acceptable. You should also talk about the scope of the project and what you expect the contractor to do for you.

Your contractor and you will negotiate payment terms for payments throughout your home build or home remodel.

Your final payment should be paid when your project is complete and you have signed off on the work. Prior to final payment, make a checklist of all the items to review and questions to answer. Do not wait until the last minute, throughout your home build or remodel, make sure you have a notepad to keep notes and questions. This will help you upon your final walkthrough. Once final payment is made, your project is considered complete.


It’s important to protect yourself. There are a lot of horror stories about people choosing the wrong contractor, it’s important you take the necessary steps to ensure you have chosen the right general contractor for your home build or home remodel.

Hartigan Construction is a licensed and insured general contractor in Phoenix and Sacramento with over 25 years of experience. Give is a call if you have questions about hiring the right general contractor for your next home remodel or home build in Phoenix or Sacramento.


1 comment

Alice Carroll December 12, 2022

Thanks for the reminder that it's also important to discuss payment options right away when planning to hire a general contractor. I'd like to look for one soon because I'm thinking about getting a home extension done soon. Being able to get that done early next year would be the most ideal scenario.

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