Home builders are groups of individuals or companies engaged in home improvement undertakings. These projects can be renovations, modernizations, or an actual construction job. Some of the jobs may include repairs, replacements, restoration, remodeling, painting, moving or the demolition of residential properties. There are usually teams of sub-contractors responsible for finishing a job before the proposed date of completion. Each person involved in the completion of a job is usually designated individual responsibilities, such as working on driveways, landscaping, installing windows, exterior or interior designs, roofing, fire protection devices, heat regulating devices, plumbing, walling, flooring, and the installation of security and protection equipment.
Since these tasks include the overall design of a house, it is vitally important to select the right contractor to be in charge of the overall construction project. Therefore, when searching for the right home builders, the following are some important considerations.
- Clean Business Record – Consumers can contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to ensure that the company has no recorded customer complaints and no litigation filed against them. Getting in touch with the BBB will also help to determine if the company is a legally registered builder.
- Written Estimates – Written estimates are very important in a renovation project. It allows for a determination to be made whether or not to proceed with the project depending on the projected cost. Getting written estimates from three different builders is ideal to finding the best price possible.
- Licensed and Registered – Licenses and registrations differ from one state to another. Sub-contractors may need special types of licenses ranging from a very simple certificate to a detailed pre-qualification requirement in order to process the license. It is important to ensure that any contractor used is registered and licensed by asking to see a current certificate of registration as proof. As an alternative, local licensing agencies or consumer protection agencies can be contacted to verify that a chosen builder is licensed and registered.
- Number of Projects Completed – The number of projects that have been completed by a home builder will help indicated how long a contractor has been doing this line of work. It is appropriate to ask for a list of the projects previously done work completed and to check out the work quality.
- Building Permits – It is the responsibility of the contractor to acquire all necessary permits required to start a project. If a builder asks the customer to get the required permits, this is a strong indication they are not registered or licensed in the local area.
- Customer References – It is wise to consult with at least three different references that were provided by the builder from a list of recently finished projects. The builder should provide the name of the client, exact location of the job, and contact numbers as well as provide information on how long the project took from start to completion.
- Insurance Coverage – Usually home improvement companies form a team made up of different sub-contractors in order to a sufficient number of workers to complete the project. Therefore, it is imperative that the general contractor be responsible for providing current insurance certificates for liability and worker’s compensation insurance.
- Mechanic’s Lien – It is appropriate that the builder supply a ‘lien waiver.’ This is to protect the buyer from any claims if the building company does not pay suppliers and sub-contractors for work on the project. If these bills are not paid, a lawsuit can be filed to compel the homeowner to pay all incurred bills by these workers.
Searching for a home improvement contractor is not a daunting task if proper research has been done prior to making such a selection. Basic knowledge always helps to prevent an incompetent contractor from being hired. The factors listed above are only a few of the many things that need to be considered in order to hire the right home builder. As long as these qualifications are known and understood, it should not be a problem to choose the most reputable contractor in that particular area!