Building a new custom home is a dream for many people. Choosing the right contractor can help turn your dreams into reality, while choosing the wrong one can turn the entire project into…a bad dream. Based on our years in the industry, we have compiled a list of 10 factors to consider when choosing a building contractor for your new custom home.
Look deep into a builder’s reputation. If a builder is very active and successful in your area, chances are that builder has developed a reputation for being a high quality contractor. While reputation isn’t everything, it’s a good starting point for narrowing down the field of contractors. At a minimum a very popular, and active, builder will have a great deal of customers you can use to gage satisfaction!
Using a contractor with the proper experience is still “mission critical” in the custom home builder business. You want to choose a company who has years of custom home building under his belt. An experienced contractor will be able to guide you through the process, point out potential pitfalls, and in the end, make your home even better than you envisioned.
Building a custom home is a huge personal and financial project. Choosing someone you can depend on during this time is vital. You want your contractor to be someone who can answer questions, come up with solutions to problems as they arise, keep a cool head, stay on budget and on schedule. Perhaps most of all, you want to trust the contractor to be making the best choices for your new home.
References are an excellent way to determine what other customers have experienced. If your contractor is unwilling to provide a satisfactory amount of contact information for previous customers… chances are they are not someone you want to work with. Good contractors have plenty of customers who are ready to sing their praises!
Because building a new custom home is a complex and detailed project, it can take a considerable amount of time to complete. When choosing a contractor, you want to make sure they will be available for the full duration of the project. Contractors who take on too many projects at once, may be compromising the quality of your home.
When building your home, your needs should be a top priority. You want a contractor you have a “connection” with that you feel you can communicate well with over a long period of time. There can be surprises along the way and how well each party handles those little surprises, will go a long way to ensuring a great outcome. A good contractor will respond to questions and problems promptly and be able to explain things in terms that are easy to understand.
7. Attention to Detail
Your new home will last you a lifetime; you don’t want to be staring at an error for the rest of your life. Your contractor needs to pay attention to details – both small and large – to ensure your satisfaction. Tour other homes he has built and note the quality and attention to detail.
Sometimes a contractor will agree to do a project that’s beyond their usual scope. At times it is good to stretch, but do you really want to be the trial case for a new product, service or technique??? Before hiring, you want to make sure that your contractor is fully capable and has already displayed the necessary workmanship for all aspects of your project. If you are highly impressed with their workmanship, and you have seen strong evidence of it… you can be more open about trying “new” things.
No doubt, the cost of your custom home is still an important component of the equation. If you are building a custom home, you likely already understand the value of quality and are willing to invest in it. Make certain you are working with a firm that keeps an eye on the financial aspects of the project; has a manageable pricing system and gives you regular checkups along the way.
Remember, when interviewing contractors, there will be some you feel confident in and others that you don’t. You’ll be working closely with this company and it’s team for months…look for a strong connection and for a company you can believe in. You don’t have to reply on your gut or intuition. Use this checklist to take some of the uncertainty out of the selection process.