Finding a Reputable Building CompanyWhen planning any home building project, whether it’s a kitchen remodel, master bathroom addition or entirely new construction, it’s important that you find a reputable contractor who can deliver hassle-free results at a fair price. The best building companies create plenty of satisfied clients, eager to share their success through reviews and testimonials online. Internet-savvy shoppers can visit review sites like Yelp, Google and Facebook and see what previous clients have to say about a company’s work efforts. You can tell a lot about quality, pricing and ethics by reading reviews authored by past customers. Additionally, sites like Houzz and Home Advisor offer not just a list of residential builders, but ratings and reviews, portfolio pictures and videos, as well as informative content regarding the project you are about to take on. If you really want to do grade-A research, you can even directly call up or email those past clients – ask your potential contractor to provide a list of references that you can contact to talk with about their experiences. A reputable building company will have a list on-hand, ready to deliver at a moment’s notice. Of course, another time-tested way to find a worthy home builder is to seek out family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers, and ask for a recommendation. Word-of-mouth is as strong as ever in the contracting industry and will help you get your search off to a good start.
Finding the Best QuoteWhen requesting quotes from companies that seem like a good fit, it’s important that you start by getting multiple bids. The bare minimum recommendation is to get at least three bids to ensure you’re getting the best team for the job at the fairest price. Pick a good variety of large and small companies, and make sure to follow up with any references they provide. The second part of finding the best quote involves contacting suppliers to determine material costs. The majority of the contractor’s bid will involve the cost of materials, however, nothing is stopping them from marking up prices higher than they should be. Calling suppliers and determining material costs yourself will ensure that your contractor’s prices are reasonable. Finally, keep in mind that the estimate or work proposal is a good reflection of that company’s work habits. If the quote doesn’t include everything you’ve asked for, it’s poorly presented or it’s delivered late could translate into how they build houses.
Questions to Ask Your Building CompanyWith so much to consider, you probably don’t even know where to start. Here are some questions that you can ask your potential building partner to find someone who fits your style.
- Is your residential building company insured, and does the coverage provide adequate protection? When you find a contractor you think you want to hire, make sure that employer has workers’ compensation and general liability insurance in case of accidents on the job. Ask for copies of these policies and keep them on file.
- How many years have you been in operation? If a contractor doesn’t have much experience, you’re taking a gamble on the success of your project. A long-time, well-established contractor is likely to be the better option.
- Do you put everything in writing? A contract must be signed before you start work to prevent any problems that arise during the project. The contract protects both you and the contractor by putting costs, timelines and promises in writing. Don’t accept vague proposals or prices written down on the back of a business card.
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