Whether you’re looking to save a little dough by purchasing land and hiring a builder to erect a simple structure on your lot, or money is no object and you’re willing to spend a fortune constructing your dream home from scratch, there’s a lot more to having a home built than buying into turn-key real estate or even opting for the renovations of a fixer-upper. Of course, there are many benefits associated with hiring a home builder and planning your abode from the ground up. But the process can also be a learning curve for the buyer that has always had a real estate agent helping out with home purchases. So if you’ve decided to forego the traditional route of homeownership and strike out on an adventure in home building, here are a few things you’ll want to consider when it comes to hiring the right construction company.
- Previous projects/referrals. There are likely many suitable vendors in your area that could meet your needs for building a new home, from contractors to established construction companies. So picking one might not be as easy as pulling out the phone book. And considering the amount of money going into your project, you want to make sure you select the right home builder. A good place to start is by asking for referrals. And if you don’t have friends who can help you out here, you may want to do some research by checking out what the Better Business Bureau and your local Chamber of Commerce have to say on the matter. From there you should take the time to look into previous projects completed by any builders you’re interested in. By looking at prior work and even ringing a few doorbells to ask other customers how they like their homes, you can get an idea of what to expect.
- Time frame. Building a house takes time to be sure, but you obviously want to secure the fastest time frame possible for your build (without sacrificing quality). There’s a balance between moving fast and making sure things are done right, and you’ll need to speak with several contractors in order to get an idea of what a reasonable time frame might be. It’s generally somewhere between the shortest and the longest timeline you’re offered.
- Cost. You should definitely get several bids for cost before you build. This can be a little difficult unless you have floor plans in front of you, a list of materials, and a time frame in mind, but any builder should be able to come up with a rough estimate if you at least have the floor plan mapped out and you can answer simple questions about the quality of materials you prefer. Like the time frame, your bids for cost will help you to settle on a standard median.
- Credentials. This is important. Any builder you hire should be licensed and bonded, whether your state requires it or not, and there are a couple of reasons why. Licensing shows a standard for knowledge and experience in a trade, which you definitely want when you’re having a home built that’s supposed to last you for the foreseeable future. And bonding protects workers on your property so that you’re not liable in the event of accident or injury common to construction sites.
- Contract. There are many important home builder tips to take in before you hire, but none are more important than this: require a contract. Most home builders won’t work without one, so you should be wary of any that will. The contract is in place to set forth the details of the build, including the cost, the timeline, and other particulars. And it acts as your legal protection in the event of problems (although it also protects the builders if you fail to pay, for example). So whether you decide to hire a friend or you go with a reputable builder like CastleRock Communities, it behooves you to get your agreement in writing before you start the building process.