Building Your Dream Home: Tips for Successful Collaboration with a General Contractor (Also See “Getting Started” on our website – and schedule and office visit)
A custom build is the quickest route to a dream home for most people. However, that dream can turn into a nightmare quickly as issues with the general contractor arise. Inaccurate quotes, missed deadlines, and unsatisfactory responses to homeowner concerns are just a few of the problems that plague the custom build process for many. To help you avoid these issues, keep reading for 5 pro tips on how to successfully collaborate with a general contractor when building your dream home!
Perform the Proper Research to Find a Reputable and Experienced Contractor
It’s important to do your research to find a reputable and experienced contractor. Some ways to accomplish this include taking reviews into consideration, reviewing their portfolio of past work, and checking what types of bonds and licenses they have.
If a contractor has a lot of positive reviews and testimonials, it’s likely that they are doing good work. While a lot of negative reviews can be a red flag, definitely dig a little deeper if you see just a few negative reviews floating around. Some people are notoriously finicky when leaving reviews, so make sure that the low review is warranted before drawing any conclusions.
Reviewing a contractor’s portfolio of past work is important because it can give you an idea of the contractor’s capabilities. They should have a robust website with many photos and videos of past projects. If they don’t have a lot of experience with the type of work you need completed, it may be hard for them to do the job successfully. For example, if you want a stone veneer fireplace installed in your living room but the contractor does not have a track record with such projects, it may be a good idea to search for other options. Click here: https://www.mountainconstruction.com/design-details-2/
Checking what types of bonds and licenses the contractor has is important because it can give you an idea of what type of work they are permitted to do. It can also help guarantee that you are insured in the event of poor workmanship or if an accident occurs during construction.
Get Off to a Good Start With Initial Planning
Once you have done the research and decided on a provider, it’s important to get off to a good start in initial planning. This includes factors such as defining project goals, setting realistic timelines, and establishing a general budget.
Defining project goals is important because it helps everyone understand what the project is trying to achieve. Is comfort the ultimate goal, or are you more interested in creating stunning aesthetics? By getting the goals established early, everyone is on the same page and working to achieve the same result.
Setting realistic timelines is critical because it helps everyone know when they can expect the project to be completed. This will help avoid any surprises or delays later on in the project. Simply put, too many homeowners want their dream home completed yesterday, so it is important to get the timeline hashed out early to keep expectations under control.
Establishing a detailed budget helps everyone have a clear idea of how much the project is going to cost. This will help avoid any surprises or disagreements later on in the project. Remember, most projects tend to go over the initial estimate, so it is important for both parties to include a minimum of a 20% buffer into the budget to guarantee that there is enough funding to complete all of the proposed work.
Establish Clear Communication
On a more micro level, there are numerous reasons to establish clear communication between a homeowner and a general contractor.
First, it helps to avoid misunderstandings and confusion. Although most GCs are seasoned at their trade, some homeowners are very particular about what they want, and it may be the first time the contractor has ever worked with a particular concept. For example, many types of gable roof design ideas can be a bit complex, with some homeowners specific about the type of colors and materials they want on the flat end. Therefore, clear communication can help avoid any misunderstanding that may arise as the gable roof unfolds.
It can also help to create a stronger working relationship between the two parties. Every homeowner wants to feel like they can drop a line to their contractor at any time. Likewise, the GC wants to feel comfortable reaching out to the homeowner with questions as they arise.
Go the Extra Mile to Establish Trust
Trust is hard to build, easy to destroy.
However, when working with a GC, it is critical to work hard to establish strong trust over the course of the relationship. You never want to feel like you’re caught up in a racket or feel like the contractor is looking for ways to squeeze you at every corner.
Clear communication is obviously a huge component of establishing trust. Being open and honest about your needs and expectations should be met equally by the contractor. It can also help in getting to know the contractor on a personal level.
Contractors should also be transparent with you about how they source their materials. As an example, some contractors may only look at xps vs eps insulation due to their existing partnerships, forcing these insulation types when there are better options available. If you develop trust with your contractor, they will work toward your best interests at all times and be transparent regarding all of these issues.
Have a Unified Vision
Remember, compatibility is not always a guarantee when choosing a contractor. There are some contractors, no matter how highly rated, who are simply not a match for some homeowners. Therefore, share your vision upfront to ensure that you’re not trying to force a square peg into a round hole.
For example, if you are working on a rustic porch ceiling design, there are many different styles to choose from. Do you want exposed wooden beams, or do you want more of a finished white shiplap concept? By sharing your vision with your contractor, you can guarantee that there are no competing interests as to which style to choose.
Contact Mountain Construction Today – We have 2 businesses: 1) local general contracting and 2) regional Timber Frame and SIP hybrid homes: https://www.mountainconstruction.com/timber-frame-galleries/
The custom build process can be frustrating for many people looking to build their dream home. In addition to these 5 tips, check out the resources at Mountain Construction today to make building your dream home as painless as possible!
Andrea Erickson is a freelance writer that loves sharing her knowledge and expertise in renovation and landscaping. She lives in her hometown of Austin, Texas where she enjoys spending time with her husband and decorating with her children. Andrea’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisor, a new construction industry resource site.