OK, everybody is back and here we go! What do you need other than land, materials, plans, knowledge and money (unless we do all the work ourselves)? Yes, you are right; We need Building Contractors from framers to electricians. We need the skilled workers that can build our dream home.
Building Contractors are different than you and I, in what way you ask? They start a job knowing that it will end in a short period of time usually on a set budget, or bid price. So, the quicker they finish the more they make. Time is money! If they have another job behind yours, as they often do they go rip roaring ahead to get your job done.
That is why you control your Building Contractors very closely. How do you do that? With the money! Money is the reason they show up and work, not because you are a nice person. So, how do we control the money? Good question! I will cover it in a minute.
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Ok, where was I? Controlling the Building Contractors. It starts with posture. Like sitting up in the chair right posture? Nope! Like I got the money and you need to do this job right posture! How do we set that posture? Simple; we do things in the right order the way they are done in the Home Building Industry. The Building Contractors are accustomed to doing things a certain way and being treated in a certain way. Here is the Order: First you do What? 123 Research! You take the time to search for the Building Contractors that you will need. You can compile your list of Building Contractors on the Home Construction Process Page. Follow the process and see what they do step by step, then come back here, we got Contractors to find!
Learn more about the Building Contractor on the Home Construction Process page
All right you have a list of the Building Contractors by Trade name that you need. Now take that list and do some searching on the search engines below (by the way these are free, isnt the internet grand!). Search for each trade ie framer, electrician, plumber etc Why do it now you ask. Another excellent question! You do it now because you need time to what? Yes, RESEARCH! You need to do your homework and find the best Building Contractor for you. OK, go do some research find some contractors and come back here and I will tell you what to do with them.
Did you do your research? Good deal! Lets get back to work. Now you have a good list going, and you have collected at least three contractors for each trade discipline. I didnt tell you that before the search? Sorry about that. Anyway, you now take the list and check them out. How? You call the BBB in your area and make sure there are no outstanding complaints. If they pass this test you call them and ask for a list of references and customers you can call. You make sure they are bonded and insured (they will send you proof of this upon request). I know this sounds like a pain but trust me it is worth the time. Keep working this process until you have 3 of each trade discipline. You can be working on this while you shop for land and plans (we will get to that later).
This next step happens after you have a set of plans for you dream home. How are you going to find them? I have set up a page just for that, go have a look, and come right back.
Now you need to put together a bid package to send to your perspective Building Contractors. This will include a letter of intent, a set of plans (only include the pages that pertain to his or her craft), a general scope of the work they will perform, anticipated construction schedule and bidding information. It will tell them the deadline for returning the bid and the general specifications of the project, materials used and methods of construction. You also will include a copy of a non-executed contract in the bid package for their review. If they do not return the bid on or before the deadline it is an indication of how they run their business. As I said above do this with 3 Building Contractors for each trade. In the previous paragraph I brought up a contract. This brings to mind the legal issues surrounding building a new home. Go have a look at the Legal Page and come back here.
Now you can choose the right one of the 3 for each trade. If they all fail repeat the process go search again and repeat the above. I know this sounds like a big job but you have to look at it this way, you will save 30% or more doing it yourself. You will also take the guesswork out of who does the work on your house.
Now we have narrowed it down to three, we must choose one. The general rule is go with the cheapest. If you have checked their references and they have no complaints the next criteria is go see them and ask to see a project they are working on or recently completed. If you get any hesitation or just dont like them, choose someone else. Remember you will have to work with them.
Some advice on paying your Building Contractors. DO NOT PAY A BUILDING CONTRACTOR UNTIL THE WORK IS COMPLETE! I cannot stress this enough. I know I mentioned this earlier but it is so important. If they need materials you buy them DO NOT give them money for materials. When I built my house I did set up a draw schedule with the larger contracts. This was done with the Electricians and the Plumbers. They both have to come to the site at different phases of construction. When they had finished one phase say rough in they got a draw not until they were finished with that phase. It is to be noted that the bank draw schedule is set up to make these payments. In other words until these phases are complete the bank will not release the money to pay these guys.
Believe me they will ask for money before it is due. JUST SAY NO! There is no quicker way to get in trouble. Let me give you an example. Lets say you paid the electrician 1 week before he was finished because he cannot make payroll for his guys. Then he or his crew does not show up to finish your electrical. Now you have a situation. You have to hire another electrician to finish so you can get the next draw from the bank. Who is out the money? YOU my friend!
That brings me to one last point. It is so important to do your RESEARCH prior to hiring a Building Contractor. You must do everything in your power to stick with the ones you start your project with. Why? Because if you have to hire another one in the middle of the project it will cost you time and money. Life is much easier if you choose correctly up front.
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