9 Pro Tips for Selecting a Custom Home Building Contractor

Planning to build your custom home that matches your personal taste in architecture? First, you have to find a contractor you can rely on. Selecting between different residential contractors can be tricky at times, because every other company claims to be the best in business. Here are the 9 pro tips that you need.

1. Ask around. When you are looking for custom home builders, references always count. Talk to your friends, colleagues and neighbors to know about the services that they have tried so far. Ask them about the experience and why they liked or disliked a service.

2. Check if the company is genuine. Don’t be surprised to find that many of the contractors don’t have any experience working with clients. They often offer the best discounts and sell the contracts to smaller subcontractors to make some easy money.

3. Make sure the company is licensed, insured and bonded. You need to check if the contractor has the required permissions to work in your city and area, and they must be insured, as well. These are basic aspects that people often ignore while comparing the options.

4. Are they open to your ideas? A good and reliable general contractor will take the time to understand the needs, expectations and requirements of their clients. They will also discuss the ideas that you may have in mind, and depending on the practical aspects, they may suggest the right things.

5. Will they offer an estimate? As a client, you should be extremely careful about your choice of contractor, especially with regards to the estimate that they provide. Check if their prices are genuine and in sync with the standards. Getting an estimate is also important because you can compare the options.

6. Specialization counts. Always work with a contractor who has worked on and managed projects similar to yours. Not all commercial contractors deal in residential projects, so ask them about their areas of expertise.

7. Check their previous projects. You can never rely on a service that doesn’t have enough clients. Check the work they have done so far, so that you know the kind of experience they have with residential projects.

8. Ask for references. It is not enough to see a few pictures of their previous projects. You need to know the experience of their clients with regards to their services, and for that, nothing is more important than references. A company that has been doing business for more than five years will have enough clients.

9. Ask why you should hire them. As a client, you need to know why a company believes that they are better than others. Know about their highlights and ask them questions about their work. They should be able to convince you about their highlights and the kind of things they do.

Finally, take the time to set up a personal meeting. You may need two to three meetings before you can give a nod for the project.

5 Tips for Choosing a Contractor for Your Construction Project

With the economic outlook so bleak these days, how is Los Angeles construction doing? Well in looking at the numbers we are doing pretty well against last year. And this year it is only going to get better with leading indicators giving us hope for a better future. Looking for a contractor is not any easier though.

Every day you hear of some contractor scamming someone out of money. How can you avoid this? There are many things that you can do as a prospective client to protect yourself from a bad deal. Here are 3 tips to get you past through that process:

1. Get references. Ask your friends and co-workers. Los Angeles construction is varied and sometimes specialized so don’t just rely on one person, ask a lot and look for reviews of the contractor. The more feedback you get the better your decision will be and the happier you will be. DO YOUR RESEARCH. You are going to be spending a lot of money so spend the time and check them out. Go online, call the better business bureau, and the Builders association.

2. Design. Try not to start with an architect as they draw pretty pictures, but they have little regard for the bottom line. If you do start with an architect involve the contractor along the way. If you can find a contractor with “in-house” designers and architects, as they will have a better grasp on the budget components of the job.

3. Building Site. Another thing to consider in Los Angeles construction is our topography. With the varying terrain in the LA area it is imperative that you consider your surroundings. Ask the questions that need to be asked about the costs and process of building on your specific site. What experience does this contractor with hillside construction if its on a hill?

4. Ask questions. Can I talk to some of your past clients? Can I see some of your work? Can I see pictures of similar work to my project you have done? The answer to these questions could save you years of grief if you do the work of checking them out.

5. Multiple bids. You should get 3 bids to make any kind of rational decision unless the contractor comes from a very reputable referral. You are not obligated to anyone, don’t be pressured by a sales person, friendship, or any other emotion. Your goal here is to get the best value for your dollar. Does that mean that you are going to take the lowest bid? Not always, there are a lot of factors in play and you need to look carefully and the bids. One contractor will include things that another will not. Be careful of things not included, they can add up to be staggering amounts of money and heartache.

A good reputable builder will sit down with you, go through the construction process, timelines, and budgets, and answer all the questions you have. If, they don’t make you feel completely comfortable that they have total control of what is going to happen, MOVE ON.

The most important thing to remember about Los Angeles Construction, is that is can be specialized and know the ins and outs of the area and its challenges is important.

Things to Ask at the Time of Selecting a Contractor for Your Project

Hiring a commercial general contractor is not an easy task. There are a lot of things involved. At the time of selecting a contractor, you must take care of a few important things. A right selection can bring your success easily.

First of all, you need to be sure about your budget, required time frame and probable cost of the project. Depending on all these, you can decide a commercial general contractor to do the job on behalf of you. He will supervise the whole matter.

You should choose one that you can afford easily. You need not go to select one who is beyond your budget.

Budget: You must be sure about the maximum amount that you can spend for it. If it is a bidding project, an accurate calculation is intensely needed.

Lowest Bid: You should not be the lowest bidder. If you try to become the lowest bidder, you may make a loss. Sometimes, you may need to compromise with the quality that can increase the chance of losing your reputation.

Cost: Your project cost should not be more than your capacity. You have to calculate your budget and affordability at every step. More expense increases the chance of project incompletion.

Duration: You must set your plan and goal perfectly so that you can meet them exactly. You should try your level best to complete the project righteously before time or on time.

At the time of selecting a commercial general contractor, you should weigh and consider a few important things to make your project highly successful.

Given below are the tips:

Experience: This is the most important thing to consider. To choose a right contractor, you should know his experience. He must be professional and experienced in handling commercial projects like institutional buildings, IT parks, and big commercial constructions. Furthermore, he must keep himself updated with the latest construction styles.

Expertise: Your contractor must be an expert in planning, organizing, staffing, controlling, and completing your project perfectly. He must be capable of meeting your need within your budget. The estimated cost should not exceed the real cost. He must have the capability to calculate it perfectly.

Area of specialization

You should choose one who specializes in commercial construction. Make sure whether he is capable of meeting your need righteously. If the contractor has a website, you can visit it to have a look at the services and his areas of specialization and you can get all the benefits of selecting a commercial construction contractor.

Commercial Construction Tips – How to Know If Your Contractor Is Doing a Good Job

Big construction project or little one. An historic renovation in the heart of old downtown or a new retail center. No matter what kind of construction project you are undertaking, you want to feel assured that you have chosen the right contractor for the job. But how do you know that your contractor is doing a good job?

The success or failure of a contractor is often closely linked with you – how effectively you complete your hiring due diligence, how clearly you state your expectations, and how well you and your contractor communicate with each other during all construction phases.

Preparation and Selection

Before you begin your search for a contractor, you should clearly outline the responsibilities for which you will hold your contractor accountable. Those accountabilities should be included in the contract between you/your company and the contractor.

Next, you need to do your due diligence.

• Ask friends and colleagues who have worked with construction projects similar to yours for contractor recommendations. Ask these questions:

o How did the contractor handle the budget and materials?

o Was the project done on or ahead of time? If it was off schedule, why?

o Was the work done according to agreed-upon terms?

o Would your source work with that contractor again?

If their referral did well on each of those points, he or she may be a good contractor on your project as well

• Check ALL references!

Get it in writing

All good business relationships should begin with, “get it in writing!”

• Each contractor candidate should provide a written bid. Red flag: nothing in writing.

• You and your contractor should have a signed contract. Include details on the budget, scope of work, materials, the schedule, and the contractor’s specific responsibilities. Red flag: the contractor who won’t sign a contract.

• Your contractor should take notes during each walkthrough and meeting. Red flag: “I’ll remember… “

On the job

These are some important on-the-job clues that your contractor is doing a good job:

• Communication: you and your contractor communicate frequently and clearly according to your agreed-upon methods (text, fax, email, phone). Red flags: doesn’t return calls, is difficult to reach, provides limited responses to questions, communicates poorly with work crew.

• Subcontractors: contractor hires quality subcontractors with verifiable references. Red flags: conflicts on the job, petty thefts, on-the-job substance abuse, wasted time, etc.

• Safety: contractor diligently observes safety practices and insists that all workers comply with safety rules. Red flags: avoidable injuries, safety issues.

• On the job site: contractor is working at the job site for the majority of the time. The construction crew is busy during all working hours of the week. Red flags: contractor is infrequently on site, workers have too much idle time.

• Security: appropriate security measures are observed at all times. Red flags: equipment and materials not secured or missing, the site is poorly secured during non-working hours, unauthorized people are on site.

Schedule and budget

Ideally, every construction project is completed on budget and on schedule. Realistically, there may be some schedule interruptions and unexpected costs.

Ask yourself some final questions:

• Is my contractor providing me with accurate, up-to-date information on all aspects of the job and construction progress?

• Is he/she managing resources, budget, crew, and materials effectively and appropriately?

• Are crew members working fairly harmoniously with each other?

• Are my objectives for this project being met?

When you can answer yes to these questions, it is most likely that your contractor is, indeed, doing an excellent job for you. Congratulations on your choice, and your new project!