Choosing a Contractor Part 2
This is the second post on choosing a contractor to build a residential home, a decision which will greatly affect both your peace of mind and your wallet.
Today we have advice from two great residential builder. Dave McBride runs McBride Construction in Petokey. Chris Miller and Scott Naumes own Mapleridge Construction in Traverse City. Here are some great tips they provided.
- Ask how often you will be updated, and how you will be updated. Will you get weekly updates, with pictures? Are you welcome on the job site? Who will answer your questions? Both McBride and Mapleridge provide weekly updates to their clients, with pictures. The frequency and type of updates is especially important if you are out of town during the building process. Make sure you get a builder who is comfortable providing the type of update information you want.
- Ask to see an ongoing project and note how clean it is. Are materials kept clean and tidy, and is the equipment in good shape? Does the builder use a dust control program?
- Ask what type of arrangement they have with workers and trades. Almost all builders subcontract out the mechanicals (HVAC, plumbing, electrical). For the rest of the building, some builders have their own employee crews for certain jobs while other builders use subcontractors for everything. There is no one right way, but make sure your builder has a good relationship with its trades and subcontractors. You want good, happy workers building your home.
- No house is finished perfectly. Ask if a warranty is provided and what sort of service is offered after the home is built.
- The bidding process can be confusing. Always demand a very detailed quote/estimate. The bid should be broken down into at least 50 categories, with detailed explanations of what the number includes. There should be no gray areas or doubt as to what you are paying for and what will be installed. Too often an owner chooses the "cheaper" bid only to learn later that items they wanted or needed were not included in the bid, or inferior products were specified. You want to hire the builder that bids the job in detail, not the one who bids it to get the job and then cuts corners and adds extras.
Great advice. Thanks, Dave, Chris, and Scott!