Hiring a reputable contractor can be accomplished if the research is done before making a decision. New home construction, like any other industry, has both good and not so good people involved in it. Taking the time to assess the situation (and the contractor) before hand can save time and money throughout the project.
Bids for the Project
The best practice for securing bids from contractors is to provide each contractor that will bid on the project with a copy of the small house plan designs, and prepare a form for the contractor to submit the bid on. Each contractor should have the same exact information and the same exact forms to submit the bid on. Providing each contractor with identical information will insure that there is no miscommunication in getting what is needed.
Once the bids have been submitted review them diligently, keeping in mind that the lowest bid is not always the best. Any possible candidate for the job should be fully licensed, bonded and insured to work on your property without liability to you; if someone falls off the roof, whose insurance covers that? You need to find these things out in advance. A reputable contractor will also have his own insurance.
About Low Bids
Value for your dollar is more important than lower and higher when reviewing bids. When reviewing the bids keep in mind that value is what the goal is – finding a contractor that will provide the best value for the dollar. Best value can be determined by, best service, experience, best materials, and length of time that the contractor takes to complete the project once he gets started. Essentially if something seems too good to be true with a contractor it probably is.
Accepting the lowest bid could compromise the quality of the project. Unfortunately many times the lowest bid is submitted by a contractor that does not have the staff to commit to a larger project hence the lower bid, or the contractor may use subpar materials on the project which is another money saver for the contractor but not something anyone would like for their project. In extreme cases the contractor provides the lowest bid to get the job takes fifty percent up front than never does the job.
Take a Couple of Additional Steps
Before making a decision, take a few additional steps. Contact the Better Business Bureau in your area and make and inquiry about the contractor. Look out for a few flags from the contractor. If the contractor gives only a PO Box as an address, if the contractor asks for more than half the money up front, if the contractor asks that you file for permits -these are all signs of bad business practices.
There are also a few other indicators that should be noted; if there are complaints on record with the Better Business Bureau take heed, don’t ignore the complaints. Don’t be pressured into quick decisions, do the research and keep in mind the lowest bid is most likely not the best bid.