Torron Group Blog

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tips on Choosing a Contractor to Build Your DREAM Home

Building your dream home will be one of the most substantial investments you will ever make. The key to making your dream a reality is having the right contractor.  Feeling nervous about choosing a contractor? Relax, we have a few tips to help you; and rest assured, most contractors are honest, dependable, hard-working people. 

Getting recommendations!

When choosing a contractor, the first thing you need to do is get recommendations from friends and family. You can search online for contractors in your area, or call the folks at Torron Group; they are always ready and willing to assist in making your dream become a reality!

Do phone interviews!

Once you have your list assembled, do phone interviews! A few questions you may want to ask potential contractors include:

Ø  Will you give me names and addresses of previous clients for whom you have built homes?
If a contractor isn’t willing to give contact information from prior clients, there could be an issue that he doesn’t want perspective clients to know.

Ø  How long have you been in business?
You want a contractor with experience to be building your DREAM home.

Ø  Do you have any liens against your finished projects?
If a contractor has liens against finished projects, this could be a red flag that they have spent the clients’ money in ways it wasn’t
intended. And this is someone with whom you do not want to get involved.

Ø  What sets you apart from the rest?
A contractor should have a sense of pride and very easily be able to tell you what sets him apart from the rest.

Ø  Do you have any other outstanding bids right now?
If these turn into jobs, will your job drop to the bottom of the list?

Ø  Do you have insurance?
If you hire a contractor without Workers Compensation insurance, you may be held liable for any injuries to the workers. Be sure that the contractor has liability insurance, also.

Ø  How many jobs does your company have in progress right now?
If he has too many, will your job get lost among these?

Ø  How do you manage your jobs on a day-to day basis?
All jobs require management. Ask for details! Who checks for quality, mistakes and progress?

Ø  Who will be on-site and in charge of my job each day?
Get a name and cell phone/pager number!

Ø  Who are your top three material suppliers?
Contact the General Manager at each place. Is the contractor in good standing? You don’t want them using your money to pay off previous debt.

Ø  Do you supply notarized affidavits or release of liens BEFORE I give you payment of any kind?
The answer to this must be "YES!" It is unconditional.

Most contractors use sub-contractors. Some information you want to know about the sub-contractors may include:

Ø  What is the average length of time they have worked for you?
You are looking for five or more years here!

Ø  Do these individuals have Workman's Comp & General Liability coverage?
The answer to this better be YES!

Ø  Can you supply me with the individual certificates from each company to prove this? When will I have them?
Write down the date he says he can deliver them.

Investigate facts!

Once you have the names and addresses of previous clients, drive by their homes to see the quality of work the contractor does. If the homeowner is available, he may invite you in for a tour of the home, giving you the opportunity to see firsthand the quality of work done by the contractor. Thoroughly interview the homeowner; however,
you don’t want to make him feel uncomfortable. Explain to him that you are considering hiring the contactor to build your home. A few questions you may want to ask the homeowner include:
Ø  How was the builder to work with?
Ø  Did the builder stay within the budget or were there additional expenses?                        
Ø  Would you hire him for another job?
Ø  How was communication with the contractor? Was he accessible?

Visit one of the sites where the contractor is presently working. Is the site neat and safely maintained? Are the workers polite and considerate of the owner’s property?

Contact the consumer protection agency and the local Better Business Bureau to see if the contractor has any complaints against him. Contact the liscensing office if your state has one to be certain that he has a license and to find out if the contractor has any complaints against him.

Now that your investigating is finish and you have weeded out the contractors that are not suitable for you needs, it time to make plans and get bids!

Stay tuned for some helpful tips on making plans and getting bids!

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