Hiring a builder is a significant investment, both in terms of time and money. It’s essential to carefully vet each candidate to ensure that they will be able to do a proper job and won’t leave you scrambling to find a replacement. Here are some questions you should always ask before committing to using a specific builder.
1. Is the Price Final? Will You Have to Pay Extra for Finishing Touches?
Some builders like to quote a price that only covers basic work. Finishing touches and cosmetic details can raise the final price in these cases. This can be an unpleasant surprise, especially if the project requires a lot of extra details. It can also be worth asking the opposite question – find out if there are any services that are specifically excluded from the quote. If the builder mentions any additional costs that are not listed in the original contract, it can be a good idea to request a revision.
2. Is the Builder Planning to Outsource Any Parts of the Project?
An impressive working history is an important factor in hiring a good builder. If the builder is planning to outsource parts of the project to a contractor, you should be informed of that in advance. Verify any contractors involved in as much detail as you can. Some builders may attempt to use their past projects as negotiation leverage, only to dump most of the work on a cheaper, less experienced subcontractor.
3. Are They Properly Insured?
This should go without saying, and yet you can still find a surprisingly large number of people who fail to verify the insurance details of the builders they work with. One small mishap can cost you a lot of money if the builder doesn’t have adequate coverage. While you’re at it, ask them about their licenses as well. Pay special attention to any special licenses that will be required for your project.
4. What Potential Issues Does the Builder Anticipate in Your Project?
An experienced builder should be able to outline how the project will go from start to finish, including any obstacles they expect to encounter. Don’t be concerned if they start listing various potential problems. This shows that they’ve done this long enough to know exactly what to anticipate. The opposite is actually much more concerning. If a builder tells you that everything will proceed smoothly and they’ll “make sure” that nothing goes wrong without going into any details, this might indicate that they’re out of their depth.
There will likely be more points to cover, depending on the specific details of your project, but these questions should give you a good idea of who you’re working with and whether they’re fit for the job. Don’t be afraid to shop around a little longer if you’re not convinced by the answers you get. Given the scale of your investment, you should be certain that you can count on the person you’re hiring to do a proper job – this is the kind of project that leaves no room for compromises.