Many people think that choosing a good builder is the most challenging part of building a home, and they’re right. Because a home is a huge investment, you want to be sure that your contractor is fully qualified and of great reputation.
As you probably know, there are so many home builders these days, so supply is not an issue. As you likely know, there are lots of home builders today, so there is no question about supply for sure. But knowing that they’re not all the same, the real question is, who among them is the right one for you? The only way to know the answer is by doing your due diligence and planning the project well in advance.
Making a List
First and foremost, list down all contractors that are building homes in your location. Approach your local home builders’ association and ask for names of contractors in the area, together with their phone numbers.
Also take a look at some local real estate ads or talk to realtors who can surely make some recommendations. Or try asking people around you about any good contractors they know or have heard of.
Relatives, friends, coworkers, neighbors – anyone may be able to help. Word of mouth is still the best form of advertisement because people are actually sharing a piece of their own lives. Obviously, you need to approach only those people who have your full trust and confidence.
After making a list of good candidates, you can start researching on the background of each one. One of the first things you’ll want to know is whether they have insurance. You certainly need that for protection, in case somebody gets hurt on site. Insurance is a licensing requirement though, so as long as you’re dealing with a licensed contractor, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Visit their websites and take a good look at the projects they’ve worked on before. You’d like to make sure that they have built houses similar to the one you would like them to build for you.
Certainly, you’d like to ask for client references (at least three) so you can talk to them and listen to their stories about the builder. Also ask the builder about any recently completed or continuing projects they have so you can visit sometime just to take a good look around.
Finally, do a cost-benefit analysis of each builder on your list. The cheapest company may give you lower than best value. Make sure to examine what exactly is part of the quote.
On top of that, examine the contract very carefully so there will be no unwelcome – and likely costly – surprises down the road.