Our customers are often surprised when we decline to recommend a builder or remodeler. It’s not that we are unwilling to do so but we do business with literally hundreds of different builders and remodelers. It would be unfair to give preference to some builders and not others. However, that doesn’t mean we are unwilling to help you make educated decisions when choosing the building contractor.
In our experience, there are 9 questions you should consider when interviewing and choosing a building contractor.
1. How long has the builder been in business? Be weary of startups. It often takes 5 years or more to establish a sound business that is financially backed and proven. Should you decide on a relatively new contractor, approach with caution and do your homework!
2. Does the builder have a permanent business location and a good reputation with local banks and building suppliers?
3. Contact the Better Business Bureau. They may be able to provide you with information regarding the company, their reputation and any outstanding complaints against them.
4. Request referrals from previous customers. Be weary if a contractor is unwilling to provide these.
5. Request to see examples of their work. This would include completed homes and homes that are still in progress. Examine the quality of the work and the materials being used. This may be in the form of photographs in a portfolio, but you can also request to see one of their homes in person.
6. Consider your communication with the builder. You will be working with the builder for quite a while. Do you feel that you can communicate freely with him or her?
7. Educate yourself on average building costs and be weary of any unusually low bids.
8. Be sure that the builder or remodeler has sufficient worker compensation and liability insurance.
9. Finally, you should receive a complete and clearly written contract. Read it carefully and if you don’t understand it then ask. A reputable builder will be patient and willing to explain and answer your questions.
Remember that building your new home is the largest investment you will make in your lifetime, you want it done right the first time. These 9 tips should help you to make an informed decision.
Lastly, although we will not recommend one particular builder or remodeler over another; if you have narrowed your search down to one or two builders we may be able to share some our personal experiences with you without trying to influence your decision. We’ll try to help you whenever we can!