Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How To Pick The Right Contractor

This is going to be a long one; I am going to give you my personal opinion as well as just some common sense ideas as well as just good cold hard facts. The truth being in selecting your building contractor is where you should spend the largest majority of time aside from the selection of your new home itself. This one person will be the biggest factor in you having an enjoyable and cost effective experience.

First of all I think a lot of the housing industries problems right now are to be blamed on too many contractors as well as the bank and mortgage institutions. We all know everybody wants to get in on a good thing, knowing all the while they don’t have a clue what they are doing. Bingo, did that ring a bell? Well guess what, that happened in the housing industry as well, you see if you had the money ($12,000.00 in the bank you could qualify to take your contractors test) and could take a test ( most of it open book, way to hard for me) and pass, bingo you are a contractor. Don’t get me wrong this only qualified you to build homes $500,000.00 and less, guess what the majority of homes built fall into that range. There are three tiers of contractors, the more money you can come up with the bigger the house you can build.
Class Dollar Value Cash to Qualify
up to $500,000.00 $12,000.00
Limited up to $1,000,000.00 $75,000.00
Unlimited anything $150,000.00

But get this you don’t have to have the money in your account except for one day to get verified, loosely speaking just a snapshot that you had the money there, not that it was your money, hell you could be broke the next day, some way to make sure you had the financial ability to run a business. I don’t want to pick on all those poor contractors because there are truly a lot of good contractors that have been in the business a long time, either growing up in it, or working doing framing or some other related sub-contracting aspect of the housing industry. So you see the builder/contractors that got into the housing market to make a quick buck cost you a lot of money, they could not budget correctly or manage a construction site in a timely manner , this is where the cost you the homeowner the most, in interest added to your mortgage payment.

There are several methods you can use to pick your contractor/builder, but I would highly recommend hiring a realtor, it is their job to protect your interest throughout the entire process of building your new home. They will more than likely already have knowledge of who the contractors/builders are for the area you interested in building.

The next method I would suggest is checking with your local building supply center, I don’t mean Home Depot or Lowe’s, I have nothing against these types of supply houses they just don’t have the personal contact with the contractors as your regular supply center. I also don’t recommend the national building supply centers as well they are more interested in the production builders and usually don’t have the knowledge that your local suppliers will have. The local building suppliers also are usually more than willing to give you a list of contractors/builders they work with, take this list and pay attention. They are not going to give you the names of contractors that don’t pay their bills, this is a good indication they are reliable.

The building suppliers I suggest in my area:

These are all suppliers I have worked with over the years and they all give excellent service. If you know of any other building suppliers in this region and would like to add them just leave name in comments.

Got off track so here we go again, I would also ask your contractors for a few of his sub-contractors names and phone numbers. These guys have a wealth of information and if the contractor is not around sometimes they are willing to talk. These guys more so than suppliers or realtors know more about what is going on, they can tell you real quick if the contractor knows what he is doing and if he is paying on time. Believe me these guys talk to each other and can give you an inside look at your home. Take note sub-contractors are usually very loyal to their builders, they don’t work to look for work any more than you do, so if your contractor/builder has a high turn over rate with his subs, beware.

Last but not least you may think you are being smart by going out and getting 10 bids from different contractors , not quite , these guys talk to each other as well and if you go for that many bids the good contractors usually decide they are not going to even bother . It is a long tedious process to bid an entire house and they think you are just going for price and not quality, you and I both know on any given day anybody else can beat a given price , so don’t spread it out so much that you lose the most competent builder.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you find this information helpful. I hope your new home construction project is an enjoyable one.

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