Most people believe finding a good builder is the most difficult aspect of building a home, and that couldn’t be truer. A home is a huge investment, so you want to make sure that you only work with a trusted and qualified contractor.
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 since they’re not all the same, the real issue is, who among them is the best option for you? To know the answer, you need to do your due diligence and plan far in advance.
Creating a List
First things first, make a list of all the contractors within 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 and friends, neighbors, colleagues – anybody who may be happy to help. As they say, word of mouth is the best form of advertisement because people are actually talking about their real life experiences. Obviously, you should only approach those whom you completely trust.
After making a list of good candidates, you can start researching on the background of each one. One of the first things you should ask is whether they have insurance coverage. You sure need it for your protection, just in case someone gets injured on the job. Part of the requirements for builder licensing is insurance though, so most probably, this will not be a problem if you’re working with a licensed company.
Go to their websites and look at the projects they’ve had before. They should be experienced making the type of house that you want.
Definitely, you need to ask for client references – at least three will do – and listen to what they have to say 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.
Lastly, perform a cost-benefit analysis of every builder you’re considering. The least expensive company will likely not give you the best value. Make sure to examine what exactly is part of the quote.
Moreover, examine the contract very meticulously so you don’t have to deal with unpleasant – and probably costly – surprises later on.