How do I choose a contractor to build my custom home?
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If you’re in the market for a custom home builder, there’s a good chance you’re feeling a little overwhelmed right now. Building your dream home is exciting, and it can also be rife with stressful decisions, unexpected developments, and challenging elements.
Which is why it’s so important to find a contractor who’s a good fit.
Your contracting company is responsible for bringing your vision to life: they’re going to be around for many, many months (or even years!), and you’re going to be communicating a lot.
Picking the right company isn’t an exact science, but, from our end of the equation, the six tips below go a long way towards removing the guesswork.
6 Things to Consider When Hiring a Contractor
What’s Your Vision?
There’s a ton of room for brainstorming and collaboration with your contractor, but you should walk in the door with an understanding of your must-haves, and your non-negotiables.
Make a list: what elements (think south-facing patio, a ton of reclaimed wood, or a bright home office) are absolutely essential, and what could you live without? A little bit of prep work before meeting with candidates will ensure you find someone who shares your vision.
There’s a fine line when it comes to timing: sometimes it’s worth waiting a year or two for the perfect contractor, and sometimes you can’t put your dreams on hold. Knowing your absolute drop-dead date – aka how long you’re will to postpone building if you have to – will help you eliminate some candidates right out of the gate.
Your friends and family are likely to know your style and expectations, which makes them excellent referral sources. Ask around, and, in particular, ask friends, colleagues and peers whose style you admire.
Personal recommendations are also great because they give you the inside scoop on any potential difficulties, or any added value a contractor may have to offer.
Do Your Homework
Even if you do get a personal recommendation, you’re not off the hook for researching potential candidates.
Most reputable contractors will be comfortable with you contacting their previous clients to ask questions, and there are always platforms like Yelp and Houzz, where companies are reviewed and/or rated. Check them out!
One hot tip: even the best companies make mistakes from time to time. Don’t focus so much on complaints (unless there are a ton of them), but rather on how the company handled any snafus. A contractor that owns their issues and updates their services as a result is worth their weight in gold.
Budget (But Not JUST Budget)
It goes without saying that you have to understand your maximum budget – this will help you narrow down the companies you approach.
That being said, building a custom home isn’t just about the money. If you’re going to invest in a custom-built house, you should invest in the best – even if that means stretching your finances a bit. If you find a company with a great track record, a style you love, and a culture you can get behind, consider making the leap. 20 years from now you’ll be glad you did.
Company Personality and Values
Did we mention you’ll be spending a LOT of time with your contractors while you build? At Naikoon we consider relationships our most important resource, because a good working relationship almost always equals a stellar job and beautiful end product.
Trust your gut when you’re interviewing potential builders – if someone looks perfect on paper but their in-person manner leaves you cold, there’s a good chance they’re not the right contractor for you.
Hiring someone to build the home you’ve been daydreaming about for years is big job, with big ramifications. With proper consideration and prep work, plus a little bit of intuition, you’re sure to find a company that’s a perfect fit.