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How to Choose a Contractor to Build Your New Home
Home construction is one of the most significant investments most people will ever make. The average family lives in a home for 30 years, making payments and adding touches along the way. If it isn’t built well to begin with, the investment could be a drain through those three decades. So the choice of a contractor is a big decision. Here’s how to make a wise decision.
Look at homes the company has already built. Tour the houses while they are empty, but have been completed. Pay close attention to the detail, to the fit and flush and true. This is the true measure of a careful home builder, and it speaks to a number of things. It speaks to the quality of the crews and subcontractors used. It speaks to the follow up and inspection procedures that the contractor has in place. You want HIM to find the imperfections, rather than you having to do it all when you make a punch list at the end of construction. Ask the contractor about subs that he uses. In a perfect world he will tell you that he maintains his own crews, but realistically things must be subcontracted. Ask if he uses the same subs every time and insist that he contractually vouch for their work. Talk about materials. A good contractor should be able to have access to top construction materials. This is everything from framing wood to final coats of paint. You don’t want corners cut on the grade of building materials used. Ask for names and addresses of people for whom he has built homes. Drive by the houses, if you are shy about contacting them, although we recommend that you give them a call and then ask if you can stop by. They may invite you to tour the house, but what you are really after is a tour of their satisfaction with the contractor. Ask about the finished product, ask about any hitches along the way, and ask about how informed they were kept during construction. How did the builder respond to requests for changes? You want to learn as much as you can about the project management style of a contractor. You want a house construction specialist who makes it his business to be on-site frequently. You want him checking up on progress; able to update you on the timetable and make adjustments when things inevitably have to be changed. Want to learn more about home construction
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