If you wouldn't trust someone without a license to drive your car, why trust someone without construction experience to build your house?
Picking an experienced contractor to build your residential property is one of the most important parts of the home design process. After all, a design is only as good as the outcome.
The supervision and execution of your new home are solely dependent on choosing a quality contractor. They're the person responsible for bringing your design plan to life.
Contractors handle the build process from start to finish. Construction staff hiring, product orders, compliance with ordinances and code, budgeting, and on-the-fly adjustment all lay in your contractor's hands.
It's not hard to see why picking a quality contractor is vital for a positive outcome.
Whether you're a real estate developer hiring on a large project basis, or a property owner building your dream home, it's important to know you're working with the best residential construction contractor possible.
Residential Construction Contractors - Look For Recommendations and Demand
The best things in life come to those who wait. The best hotels are always booked, the best restaurants have reservations, and quality products are on back order.
The same holds true for residential contractors. The best man for the job probably isn't available to start next week. Or next month, or even the month after that. Finding quality work takes patience.
Exceptional work also comes to those who ask around. Again, similarly to back ordered products, contractors whose names are recommended by others were recommended for a reason.
Both ideas work in conjunction together to give a strong indication of which residential contractors do exceptional work.
Think of it like Yelp. People who encounter quality products write positive reviews, which in turn make the product more popular and harder to obtain. Substitute in contractors and you have a good metric to judge work sight unseen.
Yelp and other websites may even help you beyond word of mouth. Check your contractor for licenses or previous legal issues by using the internet. Much of this information could be included in a poor review, or in state-run databases.
Put The Contract In Writing
A quality residential contractor will have no problem hashing out the entirety of your agreement in writing. Ask for a start to finish contract that includes everything from agreed upon cost, to clean up responsibilities.
The idea here, is to test your contractor's reputability.
He or she will know that certain aspects of the job may be beyond their control, and will likely want safeguards against those events in writing as well.
For example, you'll need to have the agreed upon price, and time until completion, written into your contract, while your contractor might want a contingency for a contract extension if a worker quits or unexpected circumstances arise.
Any residential construction contractor of merit will understand the importance of an all-encompassing contract to protect both you as the client, and themselves.
Inquire About Pricing
Negotiating price is a large part of hiring a contractor. You'll need to set a price that you can afford, and the contractor will try to maximize profit margins.
Before negotiating, remember to set your price lower than your budget.
Contractors can't see the future, and sometimes things happen that increase costs. Pricing also gets extra complicated if subcontractors become involved.
Once your budget is set, give the contractor a low ball offer. Don't think of this as insulting. A contractor who knows their worth, and isn't cutting corners or desperate for work, will tell you the work isn't possible for that price.
However, also stay mindful of the average competitors pricing so you don't pay too much. An extremely high counter offer can indicate dishonesty as well.
Meet Contractors In Person
Never agree to work with anyone without a face-to-face meeting.
It might sound old-fashioned but always go with your gut. Get to know potential contractors before making a decision.
This includes asking questions that might indicate their trustworthiness.
Questions about payment schedule serve this purpose well. A standard payment plan includes a down payment, several payments at predetermined milestones, and a large payment after the project is completed.
A contractor who wants extra money upfront indicates poor finances, desperation, or unwillingness to negotiate with clients.
In-person meetings also make a good time to inquire about licensing and familiarity with local ordinances.
Consult With Your Design Firm
Your residential home designer probably has a list of contractors in your area they frequently work with. Here at Designblendz, we're always willing to lend our opinion of your contractor or recommend our own favorites if the need arises.
Specific designs might call for expertise in certain areas of construction. Your designer will know which local contractors excel in your desired architectural style.
Designers also hear feedback from clients on different contractors. We serve as yet another impartial source of information.
Better yet, design firms cannot exist without quality construction contracting work. This means we have a vested interest in making sure only the best contractors work with our blueprints.
Contractors understand designer's interest in their work, and in turn, strive to win contracts from the best designers. This symbiotic relationship leaves us with quality insight into the contracting business.
Follow these 5 tips and you should feel confident that you're working with the best residential construction contractor possible.
Shoddy work is a waste of good design, causes a logistical nightmare for property owners, and even causes faults in structural integrity that can lead to an unsafe building.
If you're looking for a quality residential home designer, get in contact with us. We specialize in many different home design styles, including 3D modeling and construction blueprints.
If Designblendz looks like a company you'd like to work for, we have great news! Our team is currently looking to fill several positions. If you love innovative designs, you'll fit right in with us.