When you want to build your dream home, there’s a great deal of planning that goes into the process. From buying a plot of land to choosing your contractor, every decision will affect the quality of your home. When it comes to hiring a contractor, taking your time to choose the right builder is essential.
Finding the best contractor will involve multiple steps that will help you evaluate the builders in your area.
Ask for Referrals
Your first step in searching for custom home builders in South Carolina, or wherever you live, should be to generate a list of potential contractors to consider. The most efficient way of doing this is to ask friends, co-workers, and other people in your community about the contractors they have used to build their homes. If you know of someone in your community who had their dream home built, ask them which builders they used.
If you don’t get many recommendations, turn to your social media accounts. Ask your online friends and followers for suggestions. In making a public post of this nature, be sure to specify your area to avoid getting recommendations for builders who are located too far from you. Keep looking for recommendations until you have a list of seven to 10 contractors to consider.
Look at Online Reviews
Once you have your list of potential contractors, you can start narrowing them down by reading online reviews. This will help you evaluate each company by their customer satisfaction rating. As you read reviews, look for patterns that indicate common problems that several customers of the same contractor experienced. You can also look for good points that past customers have highlighted.
In reading reviews, you should expect some negative reviews and poor ratings for every builder, but a good company will have a higher number of positive reviews. Those companies that have more poor reviews should be eliminated from your list since you won’t want to waste time considering them as you move forward.
Inspect Their Work
Now that you have shortened your list, your next step in searching for a home builder is to evaluate the quality of their work. Begin by looking at the social media pages for each contractor. Most builders will post pictures of their work for potential customers to see, and you can use these photos to gain a general impression of their work quality.
When you find builders whose work appeals to you, ask them if they can provide references from past customers. You may be able to inspect those homes up close with the permission of the homeowner. This is an opportunity for you to examine the work more closely to identify flaws in the contractor’s workmanship. You’ll also be able to get firsthand insight from those homeowners.
Ask for Estimates
By now, you should only have a few contractors left on your list. You should also have had plans drawn up for your home construction. This will be helpful in asking for estimates from the remaining builders that you’re considering hiring. Once the contractors turn in their estimates to you, compare them side by side.
Look for differences in the details on the estimates to see why the costs are different. This will tell you which contractors are cutting corners and which ones are simply able to offer a better price. While you don’t necessarily want to go with the cheapest estimate, you also want to ensure you’re getting value for your money.
Interview Each Lead Contractor
Now it’s time to choose a contractor. If you’re still torn between two or three builders, the best way to make your final choice is to meet with the lead contractor for each company. To prepare, you should have a list of standard questions that you’ll ask each contractor. As they respond to you, pay attention to how you feel about them. Do you feel as though they’re listening to you? Are they answering your questions to your satisfaction? You should also consider how you feel about them personally. You don’t want to hire a contractor who makes you feel uncomfortable or doesn’t engender your trust.
The Bottom Line
Once you hire your home builder, be sure to pursue open and honest communication. Your ability to communicate with your contractor will ensure your home meets your expectations once it’s finished. People who pursue good relationships with their builders are usually more satisfied with the quality of craftsmanship they get from them.