States, counties, municipalities, and even neighborhood homeowners’ associations have building codes to assure homes are safe to live in while not devaluing the area and causing an eyesore for the neighbors. However, building to code is only the minimum of acceptable quality with contract jobs. A great contractor who works with pride and contributes to the neighborhood often views codes as the minimum while conducting much nicer jobs than required.
Worse than barely building to code is to not quite build according to code standards. Often, the devil is in the details. Realistically, everyone knows a carpenter can properly install a lighting fixture or electric outlet, but such jobs have to be done by a licensed electrician. The training and experience an electrician assures the job is up to code and isn’t going to present a fire hazard in the future. Other examples might be using pressure treated lumber where wood meets masonry, or properly distancing structural supports. Although building codes may seem like unnecessary bureaucratic rules at times, it’s important to remember the codes have a reason as they prevent structural failures.
Vetting a Great Contractor
It’s always important to get three bids for a building project if you aren’t already familiar with a contractor you trust. Price isn’t the only consideration, but also vetting the contractor to assure a great job is done. When one contractor quotes a slightly higher price along with a detailed description of what needs to be done to achieve your goals while another contractor seems as if he plans to “play it by ear” and figure out the job as the job proceeds, the slightly higher price is going to be well worth its value. One of the easiest ways to distinguish a great contractor is by the pride they display while describing previous jobs, showing a portfolio of previous work, and providing references to confirm the style of work they conduct.
Not all contractors are the same. Your home is important enough to spend the necessary time finding a great rather than an ordinary contractor so you can relax knowing the job was done right.