Constructing a home is a colossal undertaking, so it’s a good idea to prepare yourself as much as possible before you start the building phase. One of the most important ways to prepare yourself for the construction of your home is to choose good contractors and make sure they understand your expectations. Scroll down and keep reading to learn about nine important topics you should discuss with your contractor before your home construction.
When building something as personal as your own home, you’ll want to choose a general contractor with good qualifications and experience. Getting recommendations is one good way to find a qualified contractor. Conducting phone interviews is an excellent strategy you can use to talk to several contractors before meeting them in person. After you’ve narrowed your list of potential contractors down, you should call up former clients and find out their experience with your potential contractor. You can also look up contractors in your state’s free contractor directory in order to get a sense of their work.
In addition to choosing a good general contractor, you’ll want to hire quality subcontractors to assist with the building of your house. The process for choosing these subcontractors will be similar to that of choosing a general contractor; you should conduct phone interviews, call up former clients, and research contractors online in your state’s free directory. You can also research other general contractors who have worked with these particular subcontractors to get an idea of the subcontractors’ quality. You can ask if they accomplish work on time, and if they fulfill their clients’ expectations.
Most everyone knows the phrase “time is money.” In the construction world, this phrase is true. Before starting construction on your house, it’s important to get a good idea about how long the entire project will take through talking about the schedule with your contractor. You should choose contractors who can do the job quickly while also doing quality work. In addition to talking about the schedule of the work, you should set a payment schedule with your contractor. With large projects, such as building a house, contractors usually ask to receive ten percent at contract signing, with other payments spaced evenly throughout the duration of the project, and then a final amount after every item on the punch list has been completed.
Communication is key in any relationship. When constructing a house, you will be combining your personal life with a business relationship, so communication here will be even more vital. Without clear communication, the finished product might not be what you wanted, and you could end up being disappointed or losing money. One important thing you can do in terms of communication is to set clear expectations with your contractor before the work even starts on your house. Make sure you both understand the contract, and that you have enough necessary information to get a hold of each other throughout the construction process.
Throughout any construction process, there will be a certain amount of waste, so figuring out how to remove waste is an important consideration. Self-dumping hoppers make worksites safer by clearing waste in an organized manner. Talking to your contractor about waste management is important so that you don’t end up having to dispose of all the construction waste by yourself at the end of the project.
When building your own home, you’ll definitely want to make sure your contractors are paying close attention to detail and giving you the best quality product. If you are unfamiliar with the world of construction, hiring a third-party inspector can help you ensure quality control throughout the building process. While your home will go through a series of inspectors by city and county building inspectors, hiring a third-party inspector will help you have someone to work with closely to make sure your home is everything you want it to be.
Even if your contractor accepts your building plans at the start, situations will always arise in which the builders need to adjust and adapt to unexpected changes. These situations will likely require something called a change order—a formal request to change part of the building process. Sometimes change orders will cause you to pay more money, so it’s important to communicate closely with your contractor and set up your expectations for how to proceed in the case of change orders.
Permits and Regulations
Many prospective home builders feel they have the right to build their home however they want. While this situation would be ideal, the reality is that you will have to comply with city and county building regulations while building your home. You may need special permits to build, depending on where you live. Talking to your contractor about these situations will help you know how you can balance your dream designs with the requirements of the city.
Budgeting is one of the most important considerations when starting any building project. It’s important that you and your contractor are on the same page in terms of understanding your financial situation. Your contractor should be able to comply with your budget and work with you to complete your dream home. However, you should be aware that in most building situations, you get what you pay for. Hiring the lowest bidding contractor often means that you might not get the product of highest quality. If you’re on a tight budget and don’t want to pay for expensive contractors, you can research ways to complete portions of the labor yourself. This can save you money in terms of construction costs. But of course, if you’re uncomfortable with doing your own labor, paying for the expertise of a professional contractor will be worth the money.
Having a pre-construction meeting with your contractor is vitally important to the success of your home. In this meeting, make sure to discuss questions of their experience and qualifications, subcontractors, schedule, communication, waste management, quality control, change orders, permits, regulations, and budget. It’s also a good idea to keep a notebook on hand so that you can discuss other questions that come up throughout the building process.
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