Choosing a contractor to build your dream homes could spell both success and disaster. Construction delays are costly and could be frustrating. Hiring the right home builder to construct your luxurious custom homes or even simple homes is key to success.
Do not settle on the first home builder that you meet! While our gut instincts are sometimes reliable, it is not worth the risk. You spend not just money and time but also effort on the project. It’s always better to have more choices so that you can compare and weigh the pros and cons.
You can post an ad online or in print that you need a reputable home builder to build your house. Create a list of prospective contractors and contact them for an interview regarding their construction capabilities. Make sure you let them know your objectives, your financial requirements, and your deadlines. You can also invite them to the project site to let them see and inspect the location.
After listing the prospective builders, you can now select the best among them that may help you build your dream luxury home. To help you choose the right home builders, we outlined some criteria or considerations for you to follow.
1. Choose local as much as possible.
Homebuilders that are based and are operating in your community for many years could mean that they are credible and experienced. Areas such as Toronto have home builders that are experts in constructing luxurious homes that fit your budget and time requirements.
Local contractors can easily let you see their actual finished projects. In that way, you can accurately inspect the quality of their work. Any conflicts and issues in the project implementation can be addressed promptly when the contractor lives near your project.
2. Consider the feedback and reviews from their previous clients.
Reputations have always been an asset for most home builders. Do not hesitate to ask for references from the home builders. Honest and reliable contractors will give you all the list of references that you need. Once you have the list of contacts, you can ask these former clients everything you need to know about the contractor: time considerations, resources, skilled workers, etc.
Be sure to ask them the following:
- Is the home builder attentive to your questions and queries?
- Did they complete the job on the specified deadline?
- If there are delays, what circumstances lead to the delay? What actions did they do to cope up with the delay?
- Does the home builder have legal documents, permits, or licenses to build?
- Did they go overboard the budget, or did they have some savings?
- Can you inspect their homes to see the quality of their work for yourself?
- Are they satisfied with the finished project? Will they recommend the builder?
Online reviews that can be found on websites are also helpful. There are reviews from Yelp, Google Business, Yellowpages, and Facebook that may help you decide. There are also community reviews on the home builder’s website that may be useful in your selection process.
3. Ask for the details of the builder’s completed projects.
Nothing will give you a more realistic overview of a contractor’s capability to build your custom luxury home than seeing their actual finished projects. You can ask for a company profile or go to their website and inspect their previously-finished projects. Quality of work is the best brand of credibility.
You can even ask the home builders if they have a showroom or even ask them if they can arrange for the both of you to visit their previous clients. This way, you can see the quality of the homes that they built.
Additionally, these previous projects can give you additional ideas. You can utilize these ideas and incorporate them into the design of your own home. There may be designs in bedrooms, kitchen, or living room that you love, and would want to incorporate in your own home.
4. Ask for estimates or quotations for your home construction.
Ask the prospective home builders to make a quotation for your home construction. Be careful about costs that are way too low compared to the other quotations, the same way that you should also be cautious about costs that are too high. Make sure that you ask the following:
- Brands and types of the materials that they are going to use for your home;
- Availability of raw materials in your location for verification of delivery fees;
- Work methodologies and processes;
- Estimates for the labor costs;
- Equipment costs, or rentals;
- Government taxes;
- Overhead, Contingencies, and Miscellaneous costs (OCM)
Money matters in home construction. Contractors or home builders must know how to give you high-quality and luxurious custom homes at an affordable cost. There should be no hidden charges and all additional job orders mean additional costs.
5. Seek a builder that can deliver based on your time and financial requirements.
Communicate as to how many months you would want the project done. Select the home builder that can meet your deadline. As I have said, delays are expensive. Let them know that the deadline is a deadline. You can ask the former clients if they have experienced delays in their home construction. Always choose the builder that can deliver on time.
6. A home builder should always maintain good communication with you.
Poor communication between clients and home builders can lead to misunderstandings and confusion. Furthermore, this can escalate to delays in the project and errors in the construction. Construction errors are hard to rectify and could require you additional costs.
The construction of your own custom homes does not rely solely on the contractor. Certain aspects and processes in the construction stage sometimes require decision-making. Contractors should relay any complications or actual site conditions that may affect the construction process, financial requirements, and deadlines. This is to prevent further damages and problems. Always choose a home builder that is available at all times in case you have your concerns.
Clients should communicate the deliverables that he or she expects from the home builder. The home builder should deliver timely progress reports to you, and ask what kind of support they needed from you. Always keep the communication process professional.
7. Will the home builder employ subcontractors for the project?
Some home builders employ subcontractors because it makes their construction process more flexible. A subcontractor is a type of contractor that general builders employ to do specific jobs. For example, in your house project, the home builder may hire subcontractors to do the masonry works, another subcontractor for the plumbing works, and another for interior fit-outs. They have areas of specialization that they are focused on.
It is important to determine if home builders will hire subcontractors or not. This is to control the chain of command in the project site, which group of workers should you go to for certain issues and aspects in the construction of your homes.
You should also ask for the following to determine the credibility of the subcontractors:
- How many years have they been working with the home builders?
- What is the quality of their finished works?
- Can they provide references?
- Do they have complete permits and licenses to work on their areas of specialization?
- Will they also meet the project deadline and cost requirements?
- Do they have the right skilled workers and professionals to do the job?
- Can they deliver the project requirements?
- Who should be held liable in case of construction defects or errors?
It is important that home builders only hire qualified subcontractors for the home construction. After all, clients expect a high quality of workmanship from them.
8. Contracts should be secured and agreed upon between you and the contractor.
Contracts provide security to both of you and the home builder. Contracts usually detail all the building details and specifications for the beginning up to the completion of the project. The contract should cover the following:
- Who makes and provides the design
- Who secures the building permits
- Start and finish dates (time requirement)
- Budget for the building project
- Considerations for any additional items or variations from the plan
- Payment/ Billing Schedule and its requirements
- Warranty that enables home builders to have liability over damages in the house due to low quality or construction mistakes (usually given at a specific time in months or years)
After the finalization of the contract with your home builder, you can now proceed to the construction stage. The contractor will now do the work based on your agreement in the contract. Ask them regarding your participation during this process. Always ensure smooth communication between the two of you. The right contractor that you will select will help you achieve your dream home.