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Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring a General Contractor

If you are thinking about putting a new room in your house, or if you are renovating an old home, you should be aware of the right questions to ask before hiring a general contractor. You should also be familiar with the licenses and permits required for your project.

Workers compensation

If you’re planning on hiring a general contractor, it’s important to ask questions about workers compensation. Whether you’re a homeowner or a business owner, having a workmans’ comp policy can help you prevent lawsuits and pay medical bills should an employee be injured on your job site.

Workers’ compensation coverage is required by all businesses. In general, you must have coverage if you employ more than four employees, though there are exceptions. Agricultural laborers, farm laborers, officers of a corporation, and sole proprietors are excluded from mandatory coverage.

Depending on the state, penalties for not carrying workers’ compensation vary. The penalties range from fines to criminal charges. Businesses without the coverage can face heavy lawsuits.

Unlike employers, self-employed individuals do not have payroll taxes withheld from their paychecks. This means you’ll have zero coverage if you don’t have a workers’ compensation policy.

Liability insurance

It’s important to check the insurance credentials of any contractor before signing on the dotted line. This includes checking if they carry the right coverage for your job.

The right general contractor insurance San Marcos policy can help protect you from legal liability. Not only will it help you recover from third party claims, but it can also cover costs related to injury and property damage caused by your contractor.

If you are hiring an independent contractor, it’s also a good idea to make sure they have the right professional liability insurance. Otherwise, they may end up being held liable for damages, including bodily injury or reputational harm.

Other insurances to look for are the right umbrella liability and business owner’s insurance. These policies offer increased levels of coverage that can be less expensive than buying them separately.

Experience with renovating historic homes

When it comes to renovating historic homes, it’s important to make sure you hire the right people. The process can be quite daunting, and mistakes can lead to unforeseen problems. Luckily, there are steps you can take to avoid these pitfalls.

First, you’ll want to find a contractor who has experience with historic renovations. They should have the proper permits and insurance and should be fully licensed. It is also recommended that you hire a team. This will help alleviate many of the headaches associated with a big remodel.

Another useful tip is to work with a design-build construction company. These companies often have templates for historic projects.

You should also check out your local historical society to see if they have any recommendations for contractors. You may be surprised to find out that there are contractors who specialize in renovating historic homes.

Documents to keep in a folder

The best way to keep track of construction plans, invoices and subcontractor scurry is to get organized. This will not only save you time, but a lot of headaches down the line. There is a plethora of apps and websites that offer free storage, but you might be best off entrusting your most important documents to a reputable service like Dropbox or Google Drive. You may even want to invest in a top of the line scanner to make sure you don’t miss a thing.

What should you do with all this documentation? As you might guess, the best option is to create a filing system of sorts. For example, a folder for each contractor or subcontractor would make sense. Also, you may want to repurpose the files to document certain aspects of your project such as change orders, insurance policies, etc.


If you want to begin a business in the construction industry, you will need to acquire a general contractor license. This license will help your company perform work in many different specialties.

Licenses vary by state. For example, you may have to take an exam and pass a criminal background check. You must also secure liability insurance and workers’ compensation. In addition, you must pay compulsory license fees.

To apply for a general contractor license, you will need to fill out an application. The application includes questions about your past convictions. It also asks how long you have been in the construction trade. Some states require that you have five years of experience.

You must also register your company with the secretary of state. Having a business registered with the state will allow you to advertise your services.

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