How do you pick the right builder among the multiple contractors?
Developing a good relationship with a builder is essential as this directly affects your end product – your dream house. Use the following parameters to ensure that you’ll make the right decision.
1) A good builder pays attention
All builders will initially display interest in your demands and ideas. It is important to find a builder who truly understands your ideas and needs, in order to translate them into a house. Discuss your requirements with the builder to see if he is open to inputs, and to measure how much of a say you get to have once the work has started.
2) Experience matters
Find out for how long has the builder been in business. Conduct a background check on their previous assignments to see if they meet your requirements. Try and schedule a visit to any of the houses they have built in the past. Ask your builder for references from their previous clients. However, when gauging experience, be warned that a highly experienced builder may also charge you exorbitant rates. Occasionally, you may run into a builder who might not have enough experience, but seems to truly understand your requirements.
3) Check all paper work
At all times, tread cautiously. Check if they have the necessary documentation and licenses required for the task at hand. Be sure to verify your builder’s credentials and accreditation as well as the insurance covers offered by the company. Find out where your builder sources the materials from so as to understand the quality that is being offered.
4) Clear cut costs
Ask your builder for a breakdown of the essential costs, instead of giving you one rounded figure. This helps you keep track of all expenses and helps deflect any sort of foul play. Always clarify if the costs being presented to you are estimates or actual prices, because estimates can be easily, and often unfairly inflated. Minimize the risks wherever possible. If your builder refuses to give you a fixed price, citing uncertainties, then try and separate those costs from your final amount, in the form of a new work order.
5) Unconventional pricing
Stay away from contractors who demand large upfront payments. This is a far cry from the accepted practice of an initial deposit, followed by payments in part paid as the work progresses. This might also indicate that the builder company is not stable enough to handle your project as they are unable to meet the costs from their end. Also, be wary of low rates as this is often a sign of poor quality construction material and shoddy work.
6) Meet the workers
It would be helpful for you to meet and interact with the construction team as this is the group that will be doing the majority of the work. Ensure that the subcontractors your builder will work with are reliable and that your builder has a good working relationship with them.