Building a new home requires that you find the right home plan and the right team to build the home.
That team will be led by a general contractor. Taking time to plan when hiring a general contractor will help ensure you get a good fit. Here are some hiring-a-contractor tips that will guide you in finding the right one.
1. Start With References
Asking for recommendations will help you start the search, but look for recommendations from people who have worked with a contractor. Has someone you know recently built a home or done a major remodeling project? Talk to this person about his or her experience. If he or she had a positive experience with a contractor, add that contractor to your list of people to call. Starting with vetted professionals endorsed by those you trust should cut your research time significantly.
2. Schedule Some Phone Calls
Schedule a time to call the contractors on your list. Be aware that a busy contractor may not be able to take your call immediately, so leave a message and a time that would be good for him or her to return your call. You may have to play phone tag a few times before you connect with a contractor, but a full calendar is a sign of a quality professional.
3. Ask the Right Questions
When talking to a contractor, be sure to ask the right questions. Some questions to ask a contractor before hiring include:
- Do you handle home builds? (Some specialize in remodeling, not building a home, so this is a necessary starting question.)
- Can you offer a list of previous clients for me to call?
- How do you manage multiple projects at the same time? (Make sure the contractor will have the time to focus on your new home.)
- Who are your subcontractors, and how long have you worked together?
- What licenses and insurance do you carry?
- Do you have the availability to do my new home build?
- How do you handle down payments and payment plans?
The answers to these questions will give you significant insight into whether or not the contractor is worth hiring.
4. Meet Face-to-Face With Your Final Selections
After narrowing your list to two or three contractors, schedule a face-to-face consultation. Because hiring a general contractor represents a sizable investment, this meeting will give you the chance to see if the contractor is a good fit for you and your personality. Good communication between you and the contractor is essential as you start your home building project — so this in-person meeting is important.
5. Do Some Digging
Before making the final hiring decision, check with the Better Business Bureau and trusted online review sites. Consult the references you were given and make sure the credentials the contractor claims to have are legitimate. If you can, visit a current job site to see the contractor and subcontractors in action.
6. Get the Bids
After making a final selection between a couple of contractors, get bids. You will need to have your home plan decided at this point for the bids to be accurate. Donald A. Gardner Architects makes it easy to find your home plan. With so many styles from which to choose and an easy-to-use search feature, Donald A. Gardner Architects will help you zero in on a home design that fits your needs.
Search our database of home plans or consider working with our customization team to make your favorite plan fit your specific needs and style. Feel free to contact us today to learn more about our home designs. With the right home design in hand and a carefully chosen general contractor, you will be well on your way to building your dream home!