So, you are ready to build or renovate your perfect home – you have plans, ideas and dreams but don’t know where to start. Well, it’s time to find the ideal contractor, someone who will be your partner in this exciting new endeavor. Choosing the right contractor is as important as choosing all the elements for your home. Whether your dream is a condo, townhouse, custom built home or a renovation, you know you want someone who is honest, hard working, punctual, and a superior craftsman, but is this an impossible dream? Not necessarily, especially if you take the time to shop for the best company possible.
Here are a few tips that we, at Kingsmill Homes, recommend for anyone looking to find the right contractor.
1. Listen carefully, understand the quote
Don’t just rely on just dollars and cents. Luxury features in homes are expensive and a low quote may mean that the contractor is inexperienced or using poor quality material. You have to remember that it is also the company’s business practices that you are purchasing. Do not accept a quote that does not verify every aspect of the cost and do not trust a contractor who doesn’t carefully answer your questions and concerns. You should be able to identify each stage of your project, and how much money is being spent to ensure that you both understand what still needs to be done.
2. Do your HomeWork
All good contractors have a list of references detailing various clients and projects with up to date contact information and type of work done. Call their clients and ask careful questions about the quality of work, any problems that occurred and most importantly how well did the company communicate and handle unexpected issues? In addition, make sure that the contractor supplies permits for renovations, electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling and has a valid license. Finally, make sure the contractor has expertise in the type of work you want done – you wouldn’t want a homebuilder quoting on a painting project and vice versa.
We suggest making a detailed plan of your project to provide a definite idea of the scope of work, remembering to include all items that you expect of the contractor and anything that you may plan to have others do. If a project has to meet certain provincial or local building codes, ask that the work be completed to that specification. This way everyone has a clear understanding of expectations and the type of work needed.
Once you have selected your building contractor, the final step in this process is working out the final details of your vision for your home and putting it in writing. The bottom line here is that you want a straightforward, contractual agreement that spells out all payments and materials, that protects both your rights and the contractor’s.
Ultimately, the decision on finding the right contractor will be instinctive, and at some level, you may have to, “go with your gut feeling”. Choose a contactor who has experience but also understands that this process is not only creating a new home or renovation, but also is the building of a new relationship together. Our credo at Kingsmill Homes is, “We Listen – We Care”. We have worked very hard at building our reputation for excellence through integrity, and continually strive to create amazing, beautiful homes for our clients.