Learning how to select a general contractor when building a home is one of the most important steps in building a dream home. The final decision is often a matter of personal taste, but weeding out the contractors and home builders less suited to your construction job is a more refined process. Selecting a contractor or homebuilder is a step by step process which narrows the choices from every contractor in town, to the prefect contractor to build your dream home.
How to Select a General Contractor when Building a Home Tip One: Make a List of All the Local Contractors
Compile the list using the internet, phone book and by the membership listing of your local home builders association. You might also ask around your community for recommendations. Make a list of any comments you receive regarding each contractor.
How to Select a General Contractor when Building a Home Tip Two: Avoiding Bad Contractors and Home Builders
There are many qualified home builders and contractors in every part of the world. There may even be a few who are not so qualified or capable, or who do not care if you get a quality home. Among these are a handful of truly bad contractors who honestly don’t care about quality, don’t care what you want, and make a living by scamming people. These types are rare, but they do exist. Avoiding generally bad contractors and home builders is the first order of business.
Use online resources, building community references and real estate tours of existing homes for sale to spot bad contractors. There are a lot of sites on line devoted to slamming bad contractors. If you find any of the contractors on your list on one of these sites, read the comment and if it sounds reasonable take them off your list, and stay far away from them. If someone in your community has expressed legitimate complaints to you about their new home take those contractors off your list as well.
How to Select a General Contractor when Building a Home Tip Three: Assessing Complaints
Some people do complain about things others wouldn’t mind at all. When considering complaints, listen to what others are saying and categorize the complaint. The number one red flag against a home builder or contractor is structural defect. Common structural defects are cracking walls, slab or foundation, inadequate materials, squeaking or sagging floors, water drain backup, structural instability or even partial collapse. These complaints are huge red flags. Other complaints might be less alarming, but consider the content of each complaint carefully before dismissing anything.
How to Select a General Contractor when Building a Home Tip Four: Finding a Contractor to Suit your Style
Once you’ve weeded out potential problems, the next step is defining the type of home you want and finding a home builder who specializes in that type of home. Most home builders have a limited number of styles they do well, and if none of their styles look like your dream home, then cross them off the list.
How to Select a General Contractor when Building a Home Tip Five: Defining Green Construction
Green home builders and contractors generally advertise their specialty. Green construction varies a lot by definition however. In exactly what way do you wish your home to be green? Discuss your desire for green construction very specifically with green construction contractors and home builders to discover whether or not you are on the same page with them on the definition of green construction. Discuss solar energy, energy efficiency, specialized green materials, and find out if they are able to create your home with the green features you want.
How to Select a General Contractor when Building a Home Tip Six: Narrowing the List by Interview
Once you have narrowed your list to five or six contractors or home builders, visit a few and discuss your design with them. In the interview consider the following attributes.
• Is the contractor or home builder listening to what you want, or trying to force your construction into his basic plan?
• Is he willing to build the house you want, or will he continually force his own ideas?
• Is the contractor or home builder sufficiently knowledgeable in construction?
• Does the contractor use quality building materials of the type you desire?
• Does the contractor hire only licensed or otherwise qualified subcontractors?
• Is the price reasonable and based on standards congruent with actual cost of materials and labor?
• Are the materials adequate? Inquire to make sure that all construction materials are strong enough for the application and meet with your specifications.
Take quotes from several contractors, making sure that the standards of quality are equal, and to your satisfaction. Compare quotes, and consider any advantages or disadvantages for using each of the contractors and make your decision based on viewing homes they have built in the past, and from speaking with a few former clients of each home builder or contractor. Price is a factor, but it certainly should not be the only factor in deciding how to select a general contractor when building a home.