Hiring a contractor to build your home can be one of the most important decisions a person or couple may ever make. When you begin this process, you probably have in mind the features you want, you may know where you want built and possibly already have the land.
Thus, hiring a contractor should be the next step.
You should ask people you know who have had homes built what contractor they have used. You should check them out with the Better Business Bureau and the local government office that grants construction permits, to determine if there are any outstanding complaints.
You should have at least a list of three contractors. This is where the real work begins.
First, you need to arrange a meeting with each contractor. If you have already purchased property, bring a surveyor’s diagram showing its locations, size, zoning information and any other data that might affect your ability to build in that spot.
Next, tell the contractor what kind of home you want, the number of bedrooms, one or two stories, formal living room, man cave, sunroom, patio, what size garage, swimming pool, gazebo, fencing, the type of construction, access from the street and other things like that. Tell the contractor if you want a burglar and fire alarm system wired into the house. Do you want a safe room—a room where family members can occupy if they fear an intruder is approaching?
Then you ask the contractors a lot of questions. Has he ever built this type of home? Can he give you some examples you could view from the street? Does he have any references of people he has worked for that you can call? Is he bonded and does he have the adequate insurance? Will his crew do all the work, or will he be using sub-contractors? Can you get references from them?
Then you get to the serious questions. You are going to want to know how much this house is going to cost to build. If the house is a basic house with a general floor plan, the contractor can probably give you a price. If you are going for a custom home, you will need to consult an architect to draw up rough plans and come up with a cost estimate.
Then you have to ask the contractor, if you agreed to hire him, how long would it be before construction begins, how long the project will take and what would is his cost going to be.
Finally, while not requirement, it is wise to ask whether the contractors will be using legal workers, which include those who are citizens of the United States or have a valid Green Card.
If you are building a home based on the design that is in your head, it is going to be more expensive, and some of the unique features or amenities you are including may not be practical. A good contractor will tell you up front if all your wishes are possible. A person that says, “No problem,” may not have a full grasp of what you are seeking.
So to sum it up, ask the contractor if he can build the home that you want. Ask for references that you can call and samples of his work that you can visit and ask him if he can realistically include all the extras you want and stay within your budget. Some of the answers may not be what you want to hear, but those are likely to be the most honest.
The final decision is up to you. There is no check sheet where a contractor where scores eight out of ten and gets the job. Your decision will be made upon your desires, your investigation and the answers to the questions that you ask.
If you happen to live in Southern Oregon and need a recommendation I can whole heartedly recommend VanWey Homes in Medford Oregon.