Choosing a Builder
First, you should choose someone on their ability to get your project or new home done on time, at a fair price and who has the competencies to make that happen. You must deal with someone that you can TRUST. You check these qualifications and trustworthiness by doing some background checking, by contacting relatives and friends that may have worked with him or her and checking with those in the industry that the builder or remodeler may have worked with, hired or bought materials from. You check with people that the builder or remodeler did projects for. Ask your builder or remodeler for a complete list of customers he or she has worked for over the last year. If he or she is reluctant to provide you that list or won’t do it, don’t hire them. Also don’t forget to check with your local Home Builders Association, Better Business Bureau, Professional Remodelers Council and NARI.
Also, ask to see if they are a registered contractor. Summit County has a contractor registration program. Ask them if they carry workers comp insurance and have a liability policy. They should want to show you certificates verifying compliance in all those areas.
Your builder or remodeler needs good communication skills. Let him know how you want to be communicated with (ie. Text, e mail, phone). Ask him how often he will communicate with you.
Ask to see his contract. Ask about his or her warranty clause and how he or she will settle any disputes if they arise.
There are some key areas where conflicts usually occur. Changing your original plans that may require more materials and labor should result in a change order that will be signed both you and your contractor. That signed change order will protect both of you. Know what your original contract includes. If it is new construction you should receive a specification list. The list should state the materials to be used in your home. Your contract will probably include a clause that gives the contractor the right to substitute a product of the same or similar quality but produced by a different manufacturer. This is there because certain products aren’t always available. If a product isn’t available and waiting for it will delay the completion of your job your contractor has the right to use a different brand. If a conflict does arise you should immediately notify your contractor and try to work it out. If hat can’t be done you should have the ability to use mediation or arbitration to settle the dispute. Most good contractors will not let a dispute get that far.
A good contractor will make your project an enjoyable experience. Almost every job has its challenges that need to be overcome. If you as the customer have some flexibility and a willingness to work with your contractor you should have a pleasant experience.
Get more than one bid but often over three will only confuse the situation. Never choose the lowest bid based solely on price. There is usually a reason why one bid is substantially lower and it is seldom ever good.
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