Coming unprepared in front of the home builder you plan to hire is like asking him to take more money from you. If you do not have the time to evaluate a few contractors in order to make an informed selection, it is preferable to delay the construction project until you do.
Here are some things to keep in mind when meeting with representatives of home building companies.
- Have a detailed, cost-optimized project, especially when you have one of the lakefront homes Arkansas neighborhoods
- Have a document detailing the structural and architectural measurements, including details of perfectly executed installations
- Have all the right building permits
- Have a solid documentation, based on the evaluations of other builders, on the price and duration of the construction (it is preferable to note down all the information, because there are lots of things to discuss and you might omit important details).
Now that I have all papers needed, how do I evaluate a home builder?
Here are a few research and negotiation tips that everyone should know:
- Ask all your friends, relatives and colleagues for recommendations and make a list of five builders that inspire confidence due to their quality standards, as well as their qualification, experience and interest in your construction project. Also take into account the prices each home builder asks for the work.
- Imagine you are making a casting and the best one will be the chosen one. Make a separate file for each home builder and put there all the information, recommendations, reviews, price offers and any other relevant details.
- Make a first selection according to these criteria and choose three home builders to study further.
- Ask each of them for a detailed estimate of your future construction project. Explain them that you expect every detail to be present in that estimate, related to materials, cost and time. Tell them you expect to receive the estimates in two weeks; this way, you can also observe a contractor`s availability to fit in your time requirements.
- Compare the estimates you get and analyze the differences. Negotiate with every home builder on price and time. Consider the possibility of a 10-15% reduction over the best rating. Be careful not to gain on costs and lose on quality!
- Choose the home builder that looks to be the best to collaborate with and negotiate the home building contract. The contract should be written by a trusted lawyer and include the currency and timing, penalties for delay, conditions for termination of the contract in case of non-compliance with the quality standards, the deadlines, or the initial estimate etc. Responsibilities of each party, warranties, exact dates indicating the beginning and the end of the project, fixed cost, etc. are other very important aspects that must be included in the contract.
- Make sure to encourage communication between the two of you, keep in touch even before starting the project to create a bond, but avoid getting too friendly, as some people may fail to accomplish their duties properly when they are friends with their employer.