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Build Your Own Home, Issue #017, What if I can't Find a Building Contractor
March 01, 2006
Hello,

What if I canít Find a Building Contractor?

This monthís issue of Build Your Own Home is going to focus on our friends, the Building Contractor again. I know I spend a lot of time talking to you about them but they are OH so important in the home building process.

Unless you can build your new home all by yourself... you are going to need them. I cover many aspects of finding and qualifying building contractors on the building contractor page. It might be a good idea to go there and have a look if you are not familiar with locating building contractors.

Ok, where was I? Thatís right... what if you canít find a building contractor? I have received several emails from the contact us page about this very subject. So I am going to cover this for those of you that are, or will have difficulty, finding building contractors.

First, for those of you that have not encountered this problem let me give you a little background. Why would you have a problem finding a qualified Building Contractor? I will list some reasons below:

  1. If you live in a rural area that does not have much construction and the contractor directories like Service Magic donít have any local listings.

  2. All of the local contractors are busy and canít do your job.

  3. You have a project that requires unusual skill and perhaps in your area, there are very few qualified tradespersons in the field.

  4. You and are not happy with the contractors you have found while doing your initial research.

  5. You want to find the maximum number of qualified contractors to insure you have the best of the best.

  6. You had a Contractor quit on you, or you had to fire one, and you need another one FAST. (God forbid you have to switch contractors in the middle of you building project, but it can happen.)

Here is a short list of my recommendations to help you find Building Contractors:

  • In the area that you are going to build, visit home building sites and ask the contractors that are working if they would be interested in bidding on your project. For instance, say you need a framing crew. Go to a house being framed up and ask for the foreman. Believe me they will be happy to do so. At worst they can give you the phone number for the right person to contact. Many times they will know other trades (contractors) to recommend also. Do this for every trade you are having trouble finding. Don't be shy.... they will be happy to help. This is how they make their living.

  • You can also call the big lumber suppliers in the area (not Home Depot or Lowe's). I am talking about the big lumber yards that supply the contract trades for your area.

  • If you donít know the names of the lumberyards contact the local chamber of commerce or the Better Business Bureau and ask them.  They will know. The lumberyards do business with the contractors you need all of the time. They usually have a large bulletin board that these guys post their business cards or numbers on. You can also visit the lumber yard and go to the order counter and look for the bulletin board.  

  • Whatever trade (building contractor) you are seeking, they must buy their supplies or materials from somewhere, and that supplier knows them.

Here is a short list of some good examples:

  • Concrete Contractor for your foundation / Concrete Company

  • Framing Carpenter / Lumber Yard

  • Finishing Carpenter / Lumber Yard and /or Trim Specialty Supplier that supplies doors, trim wood, and exotic wood.

  • Roofing Contractor / Roofing Supplier

  • EtcÖ.

Now you have the idea. If you want to find Building Contractors you can go to the source of their materials.

One more tip: search as close to your own building site as you can. With the building boom we have been having over the last few years, the contractors whine if they have to drive too far, or charge you more money on the bid.

Remember to obtain more than one quote/bid (three preferably) and get references (More info about this is available on the Building Contractor Page).

Just because they say they can do a good job does not make it so. Past performance almost always equals future behavior. Check your building contractors out. It may take some time but is well worth it in the long run.

Happy Home Building,

George, from Build Your Own Home.


If you want information about Construction Loans or Home Loans go to our Home Loan & Construction Loan Page.
If you want more information about building your own home go to our Building Knowledge Center.
If you want information on hiring qualified contractor go to our Building Contractor Page.
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