When you decide to build a home instead of buying one, you will most likely want to hire a contractor to get the job done. With so many different factors that play into a good home, a contractor can make a big difference. Some contractors, however, have earned a bad reputation because they have failed to live up to home buyer’s expectations. Checking on references is necessary when you’re looking for a good contractor. Here are some tips for checking builder and contractor references and how to find a good home builder.
Picking a good contractor
The first step in building a home is to find a good contractor and then check their references. Here are some tips in helping you in your search:
1. Talk to a realtor. When it comes to contractors, some realtors really know their stuff. Some of them even know the ins and outs of home construction and they can help save you time and money in the process.
2. Talk with family and friends. Another good resource for finding a good contractor is to talk with family and friends. You’re bound to find someone who has worked with a contractor or knows one in the area that they like.
3. Talk with the City or Chamber. If you go down to the City or Chamber, there are ways you can find out about local contractors to see if they’re actually licensed and talk with individuals about their track record.
Tips for builder and contractor references and terms
The next step in the building process is to check references. There are several different ways you can go about doing this. Let’s talk about what you can do about finding good references:
1. Talking with previous customers is one way of finding some good references. Ask the contractor to give you 3 or 4 names of projects they have done so you can give them a call to talk with them. Some questions you might want to ask them are: How well did the contractor stay on schedule? How happy were they with the finished results? Does the contractor communicate well with the buyers? Were there any concerns? Make sure you call them without the contractor present. Look at the builder’s website for testimonials, too.
2. Another ways to check on references is to actually go and visit homes the contractor has built. This will give you an even better idea of what their work looks like and you can then talk with the buyers in person. You will want to ask most of the same questions we’ve talked about, as well as any other questions you need answered.
3. It’s also a good idea to visit projects that are partially finished so you can see the quality of work in different stages.
Other important tips regarding builders and contractors
1. Always check for the contractor’s license. If you’re going to pay big money for a contractor then make sure they’re licensed. Check with the state’s Contractor License Board. This will help you confirm whether or not they are licensed. Don’t just take their word for it. Ask to see their pocket license as well as other forms of identification. (Note: Some cities/towns do not require license; the Hill Country is one of them).
2. Always check for the contractor’s insurance. Have them show you proof. Don’t just take their word for it. You shouldn’t be expected to buy insurance to cover the job.
3. Make sure you like this contractor! You will be working together. Personalities are important.
4. You should get a signed agreement between the builder and yourself. Also, make sure the builder gives you a schedule on the project.
5. Make sure the builder / contractor warranties their work.
6. Always make sure they give you an affidavit at the end of the job indicating all bills have been paid.
Hopefully, these tips for checking builder and contractor references will help get you started down the right path for building your dream home.
Information for this article was taken from www.homebuildingremodeling.com
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