Many contractors find a sense of freedom in giving you a single overall price for the total project, but this leaves you in the dark about what they are charging about each phase of the remodeling project. Think of it in terms of a project initially calling for a granite counter for a large preparation counter in the area just off the kitchen, but you swap the idea for a poured concrete counter. How much do you need to be given as a credit for eliminating that work? Without an itemized bid, you have no way to know what you should be credited.

Getting an itemized bid will show the costs for the various elements of the remodeling project from the demolition to the fixtures and everything in between. Having an itemized bid allows you to compare the different prices from all general contractors, and see where any discrepancies exist. An itemized bid will also serve as valuable documentation about the overall reach of the project, and potentially halt any disputes in the future.

If a general contractor refuses to give you an itemized bid, please consider this a giant red flag for sure.

Most home owners assume that the bid they are receiving is a fixed price, but some general contractors view their proposal as an estimate that can increase in price as the project moves forward. If the proposal is called an “estimate,” you need to work on eliminating whatever unknowns are causing the general contractor to feel an estimate is the only format for the proposal.

A general contractor who has been working locally in Tampa for at least five years has an established network of subcontractors and supply resources in the area and a reputation that must be upheld. This makes the general contractor a safer bet than a brand new Tampa general contractor.

You have found a few potential general contractors and you have checked out their references, now it is time for one additional piece of homework. You are going to talk to some of their primary suppliers, as there is no better reference for a general contractor than the lumber yard where they know him by both his first name and his reputation for a job well-done.

It is not only the answers to these questions that will help you find a Tampa general contractor; it is the way that they answer them. Was the easy to talk to and free with the details, or did you have to pull the answers out with a little pushing? Ease of communication now means ease of communication as the remodeling job continues.

Rossi Construction has been working in the Greater Tampa Bay area since 1979.

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