How to Hire a Contractor to Build Your Home

9 June 2020 | Construction

Okay, so you’re ready to build your dream home… where do you start? What’s the best way to hire a contractor to build your home? Do you use a big home building company or do you go to a custom home builder?

The first thing to do is a little homework. Go to Google and type in “home builders {your city name}” and start exploring those websites of some home builders in your city. It’s best to put together a top 5 list. When you are viewing their websites look for pictures, testimonials, and anything else that is important to you. Often times home builders will specialize in certain styles of homes so make sure you are connecting with the right contractor based on the type of home you want.
Build Your Home

Once you have your top 5 list you’ll want to contact them and setup a meeting to understand their process. It is very important you understand things such as:

  • How do they provide their home building estimate?
  • How accurate is the estimate? Often times home builders will draw you in with a low estimate but the finishes are cheap and then when you upgrade your price goes way up. So be careful. There’s software that contractors can use like that help prevent this.
  • How many homes have they built?
  • What’s their design process? Do they have an in-house designer that works with you?
  • Who will manage the project? Is the project manager experienced and do they have references you can call?
  • What’s the warranty on the house? Often times home builders will purchase or allow the customer to purchase an extended home owners warranty.
  • Are they likeable? Building your home will take several months and you’ll be interacting with your contractor all the time. Make sure you like them.
  • How do they handle change orders? Change orders are usually very tedious and disorganized and yet are extremely important. If change orders are done manually they might not be a good choice.

After you gather information list all of your home building contractors in a spreadsheet and put together the pros and cons of each one. You’ll want to score them based on the data you’ve collected. Remember, building a home can be an emotional decision and doing a simple exercise like this will help remove emotion out of it.

Don’t make the mistake of settling with the best price. Often times the best price doesn’t indicate value… the quality might be poorer and the service might not be as good. The saying “you get what you pay for” is generally true. However, just because a contractor is quoting a much higher price doesn’t necessarily mean they will be better quality either. So look for value… which is a good price for quality craftsmanship.
Contractor to Build Your Home
Most home builders don’t have a system in place to make the entire process easier from estimating to re-estimating to change orders and budget tracking. It makes sense that in 2020 you should choose a contractor who is leveraging technology to make things a lot clearer and more organized and overall a better experience. There’s plenty of tools out there that your home builder can use such as and they are free for the home owner.

In conclusion, building a home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your life. It’s for sure going to be one of the most expensive things you ever do! So just make sure you take the time to properly select the right contractor.

This post has originally been featured in Residence Style.