Finding a good builder to build your dream home
Finding a professional builder is never easy.In fact, this is one of the hardest parts of the whole building process. In order to find the best builder that suits you, you will have to spend days searching, interviewing and doing background checks.
In case if you don’t want to spend that much time, read on and find out what can make this process a bit easier:
- Your designer is the best source of information
Your local designers surely have experience with dozens of projects similar to yours. Depending on the type of your relations with your designer, they may be able to help you with the search of a good contractor. Many builders and renovators who take on large projects may partner up with designer in a full supervisory role. They not just take on design services but project advisory and certification element.
This way they become the site administrator. Thus they are involved in the tender process – getting in quotes from local builders – and they are able to highlight the contractors they have worked with in the past. Even if your designer do no such things and only cater to design needs you still can use him. He has connections and can surely ask around. This way you will find a few contractors worth considering.
- Boards are worth checking
Trusting a reputation is not always the smartest move. Circumstances or people that made the company great a couple years ago might not be around anymore and everything might change. One of the most reliable ways to find good builders is to check out the building work that’s going on around you, that way you will be able to find currently active builders. Boards are still one of the most effective forms of advertisement so do not ignore them.
Style of work is not something you should like, after all builders can only produce what is asked of him and what is on the plans in front of him. Tastes differ, keep it mind while you evaluate their work. If you see a board that is a sign that the builder is proud of his work and is looking for the next project.
A small tip – when you are a person with a builder on site make sure he put up a board. That way your project is immediately associated with them and either failure or success of your project is now their responsibility. It will reflect on their reputation and that means that delay or mistakes are not an option.
- Do not forget to askinspectors
Undeserved reputation for officiousness local authority building inspectors have is not something that should stop you. Your local inspector, as a matter of fact, is a much under-utilized resource that can help you with your building project. Their task is to make sure that the new building in their area is built in accordance with the best possible standards and many are happy to give advice on early stages of the project. The sooner they notice the problem the better.
Sure, some inspectors are not thrilled about doing anything off the record, but if you look hard you will find those who are ready to help you out by giving hits and nods. They will surely point to some trusted builders they have worked before. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that no building inspector will guarantee a trouble free project, he can only offer you advice, but the result is not his responsibility.
The same goes for your warranty inspector, who again is likely to have worked with the builders you should consider.
- Recommendationsfromfriendsand family
Neighbors, friends and family are a reliable source of names oftrusted builders in your local area. Nothing beats the recommendation of someone you know or, someone you don’t know — but has had work done that you like the look of.
Chances are that there is a home in your neighborhood that has had work carried out recently that you admire — almost everyone who has went through a major construction will be only too happy to spend five minutes on their doorstep discussing their builders and project with you, particularly if you can spare a few polite compliments.
In today’s world Internet can help you with almost anything. Here you can find a number of building companies and contractors. But instead of browsing through hundreds of pages we offer you to use online platforms. Modern online platforms offer their clients a number of verified service providers. On those platforms you will find rating, feedback, quotes. This is a good way to compare available services and make a decision. You can easily avail any builder you like, check out his works, look at reviews, compare prices and if everything is fine you can meet in person. The beauty of these platforms is that you don’t need to look, ask and verify a single thing. The hard work has been done for you. All you need to do is consider all the options and pick the best.
Tap into the local tradesman community and you’ll be able to find out the most popular and respected names and those you should avoid by all means. Most tradesmen are used to seeing the same familiar names around the sites they are working on and often have preferences for who they like to work with — and who they see as a good source of work. Tradesmen are those people who have to work with the result of builder’s work, so they are interested in telling you the truth. If you can engage with one of them, you can avail the whole network of local, reliable names.
- Low prices are a stop sign
A high price is not always a sign of quality in a building firm but, more than that, it is highly important to resist the obvious temptations of low prices. In case if one firm comes back with a price for your project which is significantly lower than the other tender prices, you need to be suspicious.
Cases when all quotes are excessively high and that one firm is offering a fair price happen, but more likely the one firm is putting in a speculative bid to try and get the work — it aims to make more profit on the project by, for example, cutting corners or introducing a range of extra charges as work progresses.
This can lead to seriousdisagreements further down the line — when it is much more difficult to do anything about it. Either that or, as they start to realize that the work is highly unprofitable and they end up gaining almost nothing, they simply pack up and walk off to more lucrative pastures.
It is much better to have an accurate and realistic quote in the first place and it is your responsibility to make sure of this.
The best way to do this is to find out the approximate cost of similar projects.
It doesn’t matter what way you find your builder, make sure you get references from them for previous work they have carried out. You should ask to see major projects they have completed for past couple of years and visit them, preferably without the builder, so that you can talk to the owners. People tend to give details if you ask for their help. Two or three references can provide significant peace of mind.
Once you have found a perfect builder it is highly important that you don’t let them go. Here are several tips that will come in handy.
How to keep the builder you’ve found:
It’s all about the contract: contract that has all the details and the extent of the work to be carried out in return for the agreed price – in addition to recording any extras as yet unagreed – is a useful point of reference in case any dispute arises.In order to be completely sure it is advised to hire a lawyer. He will help you draft the contract and change it if necessary. This way you will have no reasons to worry.
Pay on time: Don’t be a cowboy client — pay promptly at each stage. Also talk about additional expenses, how will they be handled.
Upfront payment is not an option: Paying for work that has not been done yet is a recipe for disaster and any request that comes from a builder for labor payments upfront might be a sign of financial troubles. However, you should be willing to fund large material items yourself upfront — but make sure they are bought in your name.
Don’t change your mind: The best guarantee of success is to not change your plans. Stick to the initial plan and be sure that the work will be done in time.