There is NO OBLIGATION to hire any of the companies who submit a quote.
Many benefits exist in hiring professional contractors to construct or repair your garage. These include the following:
1. Professional contractors provide work by well-trained, educated individuals who may be union or non-union. They may have completed a vocational program to earn an educational certificate or a degree in construction from a college.
2. Professional contractors have experience doing the work you hire them to do. In order to become a carpenter, electrician, plumber, or another professional tradesperson, the individual must complete an internship called a journeyman. During their journeyman service, the individual trains under a certified construction or trades professional who has already achieved the level of Master in the field and worked for many years doing that job. This phase of training comes after educational attainment and can last more than one year.
3. Professional contractors purchase their own insurance. The construction firm’s insurance covers the liability of its workers and their activity on your property. Their worker’s compensation insurance covers the medical bills and time off from work of an employee who gets hurt on the job. If you try to do-it-yourself or hire a handyman friend, your homeowner’s insurance must cover any accidents. You would need a separate insurance policy to cover your construction project.
4. The tough project management decisions and day-to-day work remain in the hands of the professional. They handle everything and manage the project for you including obtaining appropriate building permits from your local municipal government. While you tell them which flooring you want or how many garage bays, they handle the details like pricing and obtaining materials and they handle any sub-contracts necessary to get the job done. The professional contractor keeps the project on schedule.
5. A professional contractor is a licensed contractor, a requirement by some cities and municipalities under their zoning regulations. A licensed professional contractor only hires other licensed individuals. This helps you pass post-construction inspections.
Before hiring anyone, you need to interview them. The questions to ask when building or repairing a garage are similar to those to ask when constructing a home or workshop.
1. Are the members of your construction crew union members or non-members?
2. How much experience do you have constructing garages specifically?
3. Do you typically build single car garages or multi-car garages?
4. What percentage of your projects finish on time?
5. What percentage of your projects finish under or at budget?
6. What references can you provide for projects like this one from this year? (Please, provide at least three.)
7. What permanent positions do you hire on your construction crew?
8. What positions will you need to sub-contract?
9. What say do I, the customer, get in the choice of sub-contractors?
10. Do you pay the subcontractors or do I, the client?
11. What is your hourly rate?
12. How do you handle materials acquisition? Can I provide the materials I already have or that I purchase? Can you purchase materials for me?
13. What vendors do you use? Do you have a standing agreement with any vendors?
14. What insurance do you carry? Please, provide a copy of your insurance policy.
15. How long do you anticipate it to take to construct this garage?
16. When was the last accident on one of your work sites?
17. What is your Better Business Bureau rating?
18. Are you a member of the local Chamber of Commerce?
19. Where did you receive your education? Where did your foreman receive his or her education?
20. What is your license number and how long have you been licensed?
21. Which of your personnel are also licensed? How many journeymen do you employ?
22. Can I get a written estimate that shows material costs and labor costs separately?
23. Please provide a timeline for the work with a starting date of [starting date you provide].
24. Do you run background checks on your employees and subcontractors?
Your garage contractor expects you to share your design plans when you meet. You will typically have purchased a garage plan from a site like ArchitecturalDesigns.com that fits your needs and the available building space you have. The contractor will review the plans with you and ask clarifying questions to determine your goals and the most important features. You need to know what you want and be able to discuss it fully with your contractor before you hire them. If you change your mind while working goes on, you delay your own project and increase your costs.
You need to know what a garage costs to build and what factors influence its cost. This protects you from getting ripped off. The cost to build a standard two-car garage ranges between $17,000 to $37,500 with an average of about $26,305. Factors that influence the cost include whether you choose an attached or detached design, the garage’s size, your location, and the materials you choose. A typical single-car garage costs between $7,500 to $10,000. The detached design costs more to build due to its stand-alone nature. Expect building a detached design to add about $4,000 to the cost. Essentially, the total cost of building a garage ranges between $35 to $45 per square foot.
You should reasonably expect the construction contractors to come set up in an orderly fashion. They should clean up after themselves at the end of each day because work site cleanliness and order help prevent accidents. Some of this order is mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). They will expect you and your family, friends, and visitors to the home to stay out of the construction site. You may need to block off a portion of your home if you chose an attached garage style. The contractor also assumes responsibility for cleaning up the job site once they complete the work. While construction should go smoothly, delays do happen. A key employee may quit or materials may get delayed. Weather plays a huge factor in construction. The contractor should keep you apprised of the work progress and any delays.
All employees, contractors, and subcontractors should behave appropriately. They should use good manners and show respect to you, your family, and visitors to your home. You should expect them to remain within the construction site and not enter your home without permission.
As briefly mentioned above, licensed, professional contractors go through years of schooling and on-the-job training. Those who join a trade union go through even more. The team that builds your garage will be comprised of carpenters, electricians, cement layers, and perhaps bricklayers and plumbers. The team would include the latter if you decided to put a wash sink in or a bathroom off of the workspace area or service porch. Each of these tradespeople goes through a professional training program. Many earn a bachelor of architecture in construction or a degree in construction science. Some may attend a vocational program at a technical school instead. The undergraduate degree requires four years of school; the vocational school program typically requires two years or less. After the individual receives their education, the tradesperson must undergo their internship, known as journeyman service. This is true of all fields – carpentry, electricity, plumbing. They typically serve in journeyman status for one and a half years to work the minimum hours required. This varies slightly by state but must meet the national standard as well.
The construction worker can then go to work in their field once having completed their education and on-the-job training, plus receiving their license. If they want to become a union member though, they must complete any additional training required by the union. This can include courses taught by union foreman or other representatives. It can include classes provided by the union or college classes required by it offered at specific, accredited schools.