mcbride-credentials

What to Consider When Hiring a Contractor

Trying to hire the right contractor to work on your home can sometimes be a daunting task. As a homeowner, if you don’t hire someone with the right qualifications, you can put yourself at risk. Before you hire a contractor, make sure you have completely researched him/her and his/her company.

Here are some important credentials to check out before signing the contract:

  1. Make sure the contractor has a license. Hiring an uninsured contractor can potentially cause problems and risks.
    1. Get the license number, name of contractor, name of company, phone number, and address so that you can confirm legitimacy of the company.
    2. Call the Contractors State License Board and BBB to check for any complaints, and past or pending lawsuits.
  2. Ask the contractor to provide client references, as well as supplier references so that you can check him out.
  3. Make sure the contractor will obtain the necessary permits before starting the job so that you don’t have to be concerned with doing it yourself.
  4. Find out if the contractor/company is insured for Workers Compensation and General Liability. Make sure the subcontractors are also insured; otherwise you may be liable if there are any injuries on your property.
  5. Ask the contractor to provide a complete fixed price contract with start and end dates, and accurate design drawings so that everything that is agreed upon is clearly stated and in one place.
  6. Find out what the warranty policy is.
  7. Find out what the policy is for changes that need to be made, but is already defined in the contract.
  8. Make sure there is a No Smoking, No Drinking, and No Drug policy on the job.
  9. Confirm that the job site will be cleaned up at the end of each day to ensure safety and orderliness.
  10. Make sure the contractor is someone you will be comfortable with having yourself and/or your children around.

Shopping for contractors takes time and effort, but is a necessary duty. You will be glad you did it when everything goes smoothly and efficiently, and you can enjoy the results of a job well done.

For over 34 years, McBride Construction Inc. has provided superior quality construction and remodeling service in Northern Michigan. We have succeeded in consistently delivering a first-class product and our reward is that our clients return for generations and refer their discerning friends. Contact us about your remodeling project today!

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Value in what you don’t see: Foam Insulation Around Windows

Part of the value of hiring McBride Construction, Inc. is in the hidden details. At McBride Construction, we make it a point to to go the extra mile and ensure that even the unseen areas of your home are finished correctly. Case in point, we utilize foam insulation around every window we install.

Historically, the only method of insulating around windows was to pack the cavity with fiberglass insulation. The downsides of fiberglass are that it is nearly impossible to fill all of the nooks and crannies and that this form of insulation soaks up moisture rendering it ineffective. Currently, many contractors still rely on this method of insulation. At McBride Construction, Inc. we keep our eyes and ears open to learn of advancements in building and remodeling practices and have adapted the method of insulating with foam around windows.

Being located in Northern Michigan where our winters are long and cold, the fact that spray foam insulation saves on energy costs and lowers utility bills is important to us. In fact, studies by the US Department of Energy show that 40% of a home’s energy is lost as the result of air infiltration through walls, windows and doorways. Buildings treated with spray foam insulation typically insulate as much as 50% better than traditional insulation products.

 An insulating material’s resistance to conductive heat flow is measured or rated in terms of its thermal resistance or R-value—the higher the R-value, the greater the insulating effectiveness. Learn more here.

At McBride Construction, Inc. we know there is more to the science of remodeling and new construction than just nailing a few boards together. Obviously, we strive to make the visual appearance of our work appealing but we are proud of our work behind the scenes to ensure superior functionality.

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Why McBride’s Designations Matter to Your Remodeling Project #1

In the “Our Team” section of the website my name is listed and then followed by a series of initials:  CGR, CGB, CGP, CAPS.  Listed out like that, they may look impressive; but they may not seem to have a whole lot of meaning nor much bearing on the kind of work we are able to do for you. In a series of blog articles, I’ll explain the meaning of each abbreviation and describe why I invested the time and money into earning the right to use these initials—for the sake of the jobs we undertake for you.

These initials are actually “designations” awarded by the University of Housing, which is the educational branch of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The NAHB has approximately 50,000 Builder Members across the country, of which McBride Construction is one. One of the primary purposes of the NAHB is to improve the professionalism of its members in order to provide better quality housing stock throughout the country.  For that purpose, they have developed educational curricula concentrating on the kinds of projects that builders and remodelers throughout the country undertake. They have also selected experts from around the country to teach the classes required by any particular curriculum. When a student meets the requirements of the designation by taking classes, exhibiting experience, and passing examinations, they graduate and are entitled to use that designation after their name—for a period of 3 years. To keep the designation beyond that, they keep taking Continuing Education classes. What this means is that the builders and remodelers who hold these designations stay on the top of their game.

If you are considering a building or remodeling project, consider your options:

  1. You could choose a contractor who does not invest in ongoing education. They do the work to the best of their knowledge, but it may not be using the latest best practices of the industry. They are as good as what they have been able to learn through experience.
  2. Or you could choose a contractor who is committed to investing in continuing education. This contractor has a network of associates who are the best in the country and is able to gain from their experience. This contractor dialogs with others who also strive to build businesses that provide a great customer experience.  They learn about new and upcoming laws and regulations, so that they can complete jobs without unnecessary interruptions and unexpected costs. This contractor stays on top of new products and trends, so that they can educate their clients about possibilities which they hadn’t even yet envisioned.

This contractor has invested time and money into building themselves and their company to be able to offer unequaled service and the most satisfactory of results. As a result of this investment, they have a network of people from around the country who can advise them when they meet challenging situations. They are committed to their clients’ for the long haul.  After investing so much into their professionalism and business, they can’t leave it all behind easily.

Because of my commitment to providing excellence to my customers, I’ve chosen to continually train myself and my crew on the latest best practices in the industry. I’ve joined and been active in the association. I’ve traveled to where the courses were offered. I’ve networked with the best minds in the industry. I’ve learned so much—and I’m still learning. I’ve passed the tests and earned the designations. And over the years, as I was investing in my education and in my company, we’ve remained here as solid as a rock for over 30 years.

Stay tuned for explanations of each designation and how those designations can mean better results for your project.