Life is full of decisions – If you plan to build a custom home, your decision-making skills will need to be drastically improved. One of the most important decisions will be: who will build my future quality home?
The first step is to get an idea of the scope of the project. For example, you will need to know the size of your proposed custom home, how many bedrooms, how many bathrooms, etc. If you have a copy of the floor plans, it will be easier for the custom home builder to provide an accurate quote. Note: These guidelines also apply to home remodeling work.
The process of selecting a general contractor to build your custom home will require several meetings to exchange information:
At this point you are probably wanderingWhere can I find good licensed general contractors? There are several reliable sources:
- Start with the web. You can find anything on the Internet, as long as you use the right keywords. In this case, you may want to try the following keywords in your favorite search engine: “licensed general contractor” + “state where you live”.
- Better Business Bureau. Your local Better Business Bureau will provide you with a list of home builders that meet your criteria.
- Your local home builders association can provide members to meet your needs.
- Visit construction sites and try to get the names of the builders.
Before the first meeting, you should contact the home builder and ask him to provide proof of his documentation:
- Current General Contractor License.
- Current liability insurance.
- Current workers’ compensation insurance, if the builder has its own employees.
- The home builder must be a member of the local builders association or a member of the Better Business Bureau
- Make sure the General Contractor has a permanent address and not a PO Box.
- Review the photos in your portfolio.
- Ask your potential builder if you will get all the necessary permits. If you ask him to do it as a homeowner, he is not the home builder you want. You could have a problem with your license.
- Ask your builder for references to their previous work.
If your potential candidate goes through your interview quickly, it will be time to brush up on your project.
- You, the owner, must be able to visualize all the rooms and corners of the house so that you can explain your special needs to the home builder.
- If you have floor plans available, please provide a copy of the floor plan. It will be easier for the general contractor to provide a more accurate estimate on your project.
- Request a detailed quotation for your project with separate components of material and labor. In this way, you can compare different offers.
- Request the warranty in writing
Before selecting your contractor, you will need at least 3 proposals. All verbal agreements and promises should be put in writing to protect all parties involved in your project.
In addition to the project start and end dates, the contract should have a detailed description of all the work to be done. It should also include the total cost of the project and a schedule for payment to the General Contractor.
Some additional items to include are:
- Daily cleaning around the workplace and final cleaning.
- A binding arbitration clause in case of disagreements.
One last word. Before signing any contract, make sure you understand all the components. It is your house. You have the right to ask questions and explanations. Do not do you decision on price alone; Reliability, quality of work, and on-time performance are also important.
Remember that the Contractor you select will end up knowing you better than your doctor. You and your family will see the contactor during the project every day. The relationship between the home builder and the client is critical to the success of the project.