The problem with undertaking the construction of a brand new home or adding an extension or renovation to your existing one is finding a good builder who is going to do the job well and not charge you an arm and a leg for it.
Ask friends, family and coworkers
If you know someone who has had work done to their house, ask them wherever they can recommend a good builder. Find out how the project went, such as wherever there were any problems with the builder, and see if you can check out the finished project. This can also be helpful in knowing which contractors to steer clear of.
Licensing and accreditations
When researching builders for your project, check that they are licensed to work in your state and that the license covers the type of work you are looking to get done. Also check for their relevant accreditation.
Ask for references
Contact some builders what you are interested in and ask them for details of their past jobs. Any good builder will be happy to supply you with these things, as they should be proud of their work. Try and visit the project and talk to the customer if at all possible.
How professional does your potential builder come across as? Remember that this does not just go for their conduct – business cards, company letterheads and having landlines and mobile phones listed are generally a good sign of professionalism and reliability. A builder who insists that they are paid in cash is one to be suspicious of, as they may not be entirely above board.
Find out whether your potential builder has all the correct insurances, such as home warranty insurance, just in case something goes wrong during the job. You need to ensure that both yourself and your builder are covered.
Builders often specialize in a particular area of the construction project, such as bathrooms or stairs. Make sure the builder that you are hiring is good at the job you are paying him to do. People may rave about his kitchen renovations, but that does not mean he's going to be able to build a house from scratch.
Sign a contract
When you've found the perfect builder for your job, ask them to draw up a comprehensive contract that you will both sign. If the builder refuses or tries to tell you that you do not need one, resume the search. Contracts protect not only your interests but those of your contractor, so they should have no problems signing one.
Luckily, good builders are not actually all that hard to find – just make sure that you follow these tips and do your research before deciding which one you hire.