HOW TO CHOOSE A CONTRACTOR ?
BUILDING, RENOVATING OR REMODELING YOUR HOME IS PERSONAL
Trust is essential. If you don’t trust your contractor your experience will be based on fear and mistrust and ultimately lead to poor decisions. You want to trust your builder to guide you through some occasionally complex challenges, and know that he has your best interests in mind.
Make sure the contractor you hire is licensed. Ask for a copy of the contractor’s license or simply check the state’s license verification page. Florida law requires that all contractors be licensed.
All buildings are not created equal and all builders do not create equally. Don’t take a prospective contractors word about the quality of his or her work. A picture is worth a thousand words. Check out their website or portfolio. Ask to see some of their projects in progress. Are their jobsites clean and organized? If possible, ask to see some completed projects.
A quality builder will have the key personnel in place to supervise the job and oversee the work in progress. A conscientious builder combined with a properly supervised job is the best way to assure a quality product.
Foremost among these is compatibility – you will be working together for an extended period of time with your builder, so it is critical that you get along well. The building process can be stressful and an amicable working relationship with your contractor will help to smooth the journey. In the end, a vital aspect of any successful construction project is teamwork between owner, contractor, and architects/designers. Good communication is vital to teamwork. Choose a builder who you can talk to easily.
A solid foundation is the key to building a successful home – a solid reputation is the key to building a successful company. Over time, a quality builder will have garnered the recognition of his peers. A good builder will be recommended by previous clients, architects, designers, sub contractors and other building professionals. These acknowledgements are the building blocks of trust. If other people had a positive experience with a prospective builder, it stands to reason that you will too. At least it’s a good place to start.
Will the contractor be on site to supervise your job or hand it off to a foreman. How much time will they spend supervising it? Who will address your concerns and be your point person?
BEST VALUE VS. LOWEST PRICE
While price is important, you don’t always get the best builder or the best deal based on price. A building is no different than anything else you buy- you get what you pay for.
Most of the horror stories you hear about in construction started with a low bidder. Unless every detail of your project is specified, from fixtures to finishes, it leaves it up to each bidder to determine the level of quality of the products being used to construct your home.
The “best value” is not likely to be the “lowest price”. It is common that the low bidder has omitted elements, either intentionally or otherwise, that the other bidders have included. This is not always evident on the estimate and unsuspecting clients are often subjected to many costly “change orders” after the contract is signed. It is better to find the builder who you feel is the best value and negotiate a fee with that contractor.