Things To Know Before Custom Home Builder Start Building

What questions should I ask a builder before hiring?

Building and remodeling are big undertakings. These types of projects are exciting, and we want you to feel that excitement as the experience should be a fun one. We enjoy what we do and it’s important to us that the experience for our clients is equally enjoyable. There are so many decisions to make with a new build or remodel. Take a deep breath. The number one thing you’ll want to do in the pre-planning stages is to do some in-depth research before hiring a contractor by asking the right questions. Knowing which questions to ask a potential contractor can help you to feel much more secure in the decision-making process, helping you to make a confident decision in who to ultimately work with.

Are you insured and can you provide validity of this?

This one might seem an obvious question to ask a contractor before working with them, but you’d be surprised how many people skip this simple yet all-important question…and often end up suffering for it. A good, reputable contractor will be happy to show and proof of insurance. They will often showcase this on their website, marketing materials, and even offer it up in conversation, which only adds to their credibility. Do yourself a huge favor and ask them if they’re insured, regardless of whether or not they were referred to you by even your best friend.

Will you provide me with a full list of references?

A good builder will happily provide you with a list of solid references. This is not an unrealistic expectation. Ask for a list of recent references (clients they’ve worked with within the past 2-3 years), as this would be the most relevant and up-to-date. In addition, create a list of specific questions you’d like to ask these individuals to help guide the conversation and keep it productive. Ask questions regarding timelines, communication, and quality of the work they received. Keep in mind that some delays are unpredictable, but previous clients can offer insight into how their timelines were affected and more importantly, how well the builder communicated the details throughout the process.

Are you a licenced builder?

This is the first question you need to ask. Only ever work with licenced tradesmen. It may seem like an obvious point to reinforce but people either don’t ask or go with an unlicensed builder to save money. The results can be disastrous. Each state allows you to run a search on builders to check their licence, a simple Google search for ‘check a builder’s licence’ will get you started, please do it.

How long will the building maintenance period last?

A builder agrees to perform building maintenance for a period of time after the property is handed over to you. Most experts recommend a six month maintenance period for residential units and 12 to 18 months for commercial properties.

What’s included in your price? 

What are the standard finishes and items, and what are upgrade items?  More importantly, throughout the entire process, what isn’t included and may come up?

Most of this should be outlined for you in the contract details, but knowing what’s not included will help a lot with budget planning.  Does the builder include the design drawings, permits, landscaping, appliances?  Do they include hazardous material removal?  Avoiding the dreaded hidden/unknown charges will be dictated by how well they’re able to answer this question.

How do you ensure that I will not exceed my budget?

Yet another question that past customers will help you confirm, but here’s where you want to know how the builder’s communication style works.  It’s critical to feel confident that your builder will work with you to keep you within your budget and communicate how changes impact the budget.

Can I show your construction contract to my lawyer prior to signing?

Does this builder have a contract which clearly outlines all the details of what’s included throughout the process, and do you have sufficient protection?  Asking this simply question will help filter out those who do not like to bother with details and will be the people who you’d like to stay away from.

Can you give me references from prior home buyers?  Do you have any completed homes I can view?

Checking references are extremely important as it will help you make a much more informed decision based off of their prior experiences with the builder.  Also, as quality is very subjective, seeing a completed home for yourself will help align your expectations.

Etiquette Tips For Working With A Custom Home Builder

There are tons of horror stories out there that people have from working with contractors and home builders. Sometimes it’s because of poor research, misaligned expectations, or someone just lying, most of the time though it comes down to communication. With communication comes its own set of problems. Building a custom home is a stressful and personal undertaking. Having a good relationship with your home builder will help ease the process and will likely result in better quality work. Here are a few etiquette tips on how to deal with and communicate with your custom home builder.

Respect work hours

The normal 9-5 hours might not completely apply but don’t call or text your home builder at 2 am. Ask them for their work hours and if you have any questions or concerns after those times you should email them. While your custom home builder is committed to your project, they’re also a human being with a life outside of their job. This project might be all you can think about but respect the work/life balance they have.

Stop designing

At a certain point, you will need to stop yourself from going on Pinterest and Instagram. These sites are full of great ideas but after a certain stage changing things around really isn’t feasible. Continuing to look will just make you wish you could continue to add and change.

Get everything in writing

Get everything that you want your home builder to complete in writing. In the end, this will save both of you from arguing about price and jobs completed. Make sure everything little thing is included too. Having a firm understanding of expectations, design choices, and job lists will help with communication and expected end results.

Communicate with visits

Any good custom home builder will encourage you to come see the project during its construction phases. You’ll read a lot of people telling you to randomly drop by to make sure work is getting done. While you can drive by and do this, don’t expect a full tour at random. Your home builder will be busy working. Call ahead and set up pre-arranged times. This way they can go through everything with you in details. Stopping by unannounced also poses safety and time issues.

Expect delays

Even if the most researched and well planned out projects by the most experienced builders will encounter delays. Whether or material deliveries are a few of the most common causes for delays. Letting a delay unravel you and send you into a panic is never helpful. Don’t blame your contract unless they made a blatant error. Expect delays and learn to cope with them. Most home builders will work hard to compensate for them but if you throw a fit they’ll probably be less inclined.

Don’t take your stress out on them

Custom home builders are used to absorbing some of the stress people are under during a build. Try to keep this at a minimum though. A slight tone is one thing, but a complete blowout is unacceptable. A home build is extremely stressful, but having a good working attitude with your home builder will make things go smoother. Taking your stress and frustration out on them will only make things worse.

Be on the same page

If you’re building a home with a significant other, make sure you two are on the same page. It even helps if you select one person as the designated contact person. Preferably pick the person who is available the most. Miscommunication and mistakes get made when you and your partner are telling your home builder different things.

Set reasonable response expectations

There are a lot of times during a project where you or your home builder will need a response quickly. Many aspects have strict deadlines. Before you begin, set up an ideal timeline and means of communication for these types of situations. But also set up a time frame for non-time sensitive questions or concerns. A day or two is normal. Both you and your builder will be busy. Don’t expect them to respond within an hour to a general question.

Tipping and gifts are nice but not necessary

People often stress about tipping or gift giving as a project begins to wrap up. Here’s the thing about tipping, it’s always nice but it isn’t necessary for a custom home project. There’s no set percentage so figuring out can be complicated. Some people like to give money, other’s gifts, some just throw a party for their builder and contractors at the end. If you feel they did excellent work and have a good relationship with them some gesture to show your appreciation is always great.

The Pros And Cons Of Bathroom Remodelling For Resale Homes

Choosing a Contractor for a Bathroom Remodel

when choosing a contractor to head up your bathroom remodel, a few simple steps can mean the difference between complete confidence and sleepless nights.

Ask for Referrals

Word of mouth — hands down, it’s the best way to find a qualified professional to tackle the job. Ask relatives, friends and neighbors whom they have had good experiences with. Also ask what made it a positive experience, how the contractor handled problems and whether he or she would use the same contractor again

Look at Credentials

With recommendations in hand, do some preliminary research, whether that’s with a phone call or a visit to the contractor’s website. Find out whether he or she holds all the required licenses from the state and local municipalities, as well as designations from any professional associations like the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) or the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB). Look for contractors who have invested in coursework and passed rigorous tests in order to earn a particular certification. Be aware, however, that all certifications are not created equal. “I would find out what the certification is and what it took to get it,” says Sara Ann Busby, NKBA president-elect and owner of Sara Busby Designs in Elk Rapids, Mich.

Interview Candidates

Narrow down the list of contenders, and set up meetings. What is the magic number of contractors to interview? “Ultimately, the right amount could be one,” says Al Pattison, past president of NKBA, but he recommends talking with no more than three. “With too many quotes, it gets too confusing trying to make a decision.” NARI offers a list of questions to ask potential contractors on its website.

Check References

Once rapport has been established, ask to see some of the contractor’s projects. If they meet with approval, request references and then actually call the contractor’s former customers to check up on them. Ask how the contractor did at executing the project. Was it on-time and on-budget? Were they pleased with the outcome? Was there anything that could have been done differently?

Picking Materials for a Bath Remodel

before you shop for vanities and choose the material for your countertops, make sure you have a well-thought-out plan for your bathroom renovation. You should identify goals and priorities, with the help of your completed Day in the Life of Your Bathroom Questionnaire and Bathroom Goals Worksheet. You also should have a clear vision of what your new bathroom will look like, after exploring various bathroom designs and layouts.

Now it’s time to drill down to the details of your bathroom remodel. It’s best to choose all of the fixtures, materials and finishes down to the hardware before the project begins. That way, you will have a truly realistic idea of how much the project will cost.(Allowances can quickly get out of hand.)

As you choose among fixtures and materials, visit specialty design showrooms for plumbing, lighting, flooring, cabinets, etc. You’ll get a real feel for what’s available in the market, and you can talk to the professionals who work there about your ideas and what products will achieve your goals.

“Make sure you have chosen everything down to the lighting fixture to the medicine cabinet before you begin that project, because if you don’t, that is where a $30,000 project becomes a $50,000 project,” says Cameron Snyder, president, Roomscapes Luxury Design Center, Boston, Mass., and past-president of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA). “Allowances that contractors give you may or may not be realistic.”

With your goals, floor plan and budget in mind, consider all of the possibilities you can include in your bathroom and focus on choices that meet your needs.

How to Choose the Right Bathroom Remodeling Contractor

Choosing someone for your bathroom remodeling project can be a daunting task. Not only is remodeling a lot of money, but if it isn’t done correctly the first time you may be stuck with a room you really dislike. It takes a little research to find the best fit for your renovation job. Following these simple steps to finding your contractor can help make sure you have complete confidence in the people working on your bathroom.

Ask for Referrals

When you can find people who have had work done by someone and are happy with it; that may be the easiest way to find the qualified professional you want to tackle your bathroom renovation. Ask your neighbors, friends, family, or coworkers about the remodeling done in their house and how their experience was with the contractor. If it was a positive experience, ask if they would use that contractor again

Look at Credentials

Do your homework. With all of the recommendations you receive, make sure you do some preliminary research on each contractor. Make sure the contractors you are interested in hold all the required licenses for you state. As well as, you need to check that they have all of the certifications from any professional associations such as the National Kitchen & Bath Association and so forth. Do some homework and find out the requirements because not all testing and certifications are equal, but you want to make sure your contractor is qualified for the tasks you want done regardless of all the testing. You need to know they can do the work, and do it properly.

Interview Candidates

Once you have narrowed down you list of contractors, set up in person appointments with all of them. Make sure you are asking plenty of questions because those answers are extremely important in getting what you want for your bathroom. As well as, this interview is the first point of reference for how all communication will go for the rest of your renovation.

Get It in Writing

The final step after selecting your contractor is to make sure you go through the final paper work with a fine-toothed comb. Scrutinize the contract, make sure it is fair, and make sure you are getting everything you want for your bathroom. Take a look at the documents he or she has prepared. Do they look professional? Remember that when you are hiring your remodeling contractor, you are purchasing a service from them and not a product. This is a legal binding agreement, don’t just sign it. If you have to take it home first before you can sign it in confidence, do so. You want the quality of the service to match the quality of the final project so take everything in to mind before you agree to sign. Once everything checks out, sign the dotted line for your remodel.

Tips for Hiring a Bathroom Remodeling Contractor

Remodeling a bathroom can be one of the most satisfying home improvement projects of all. Results are immediate and personal—a sparkling new shower or bathtub, a cheerful paint scheme, a bathroom vanity with a beautiful countertop, and more storage than ever. A high-quality bathroom remodel can also pay you back by boosting resale value. One way to ensure the best bathroom remodel is to hire a bathroom contractor with experience who can see your project through to its successful completion.

Interview Three or More Bathroom Contractors

When you speak to just one or two bathroom contractors, you gain only a limited set of viewpoints. If you go ahead and solicit bids from these contractors, the bids might be higher than expected. By increasing the number of contractors that you interview, it is easier to find the contractor who is the perfect fit for your job. Plus, you’ll have a greater range of bids to choose from.

Review the Contractor’s Previous Work

Bathroom contractors typically show up for the interview with a picture gallery of the previous bathroom remodels, either in a picture book or on a screen. You can also view the contractor’s portfolio on their website or on contractor-matching sites that they belong to. Aim to look past the pretty pictures and decide if this bathroom contractor does the type of work that is right for you.

Get Estimates in Writing

Verbal estimates are worth little—for either the homeowner or the bathroom contractor. Numbers get forgotten or misinterpreted or misheard, even if everyone has good intentions. Well-written estimates are understood by all. It is perfectly fine to ask a bathroom contractor for a verbal ballpark figure. Just understand that no one is being held to that figure, and that you should follow up with a written estimate of costs.

Pin Down the Schedule

Before signing the contract, be sure to clarify with the bathroom contractor the date that the remodel can start and the overall duration of the project. Scheduling matters both to you and to the contractor. When both of you are in agreement, then you can proceed with the contract. “Time is of the essence” is a familiar contract clause that defines the amount of time the contractor has to work on the project, along with a payment schedule by the homeowner.

How to Choose a Bathroom Remodelling Contractor

If you are planning on doing any renovations at your home, you need to find the right contractor for the task at hand. Whether you need your bathroom, laundry or kitchen remodelled, knowing how to find a reputable contractor who can complete the project you have is crucial for your project and your sanity. Every contractor has their own specialty, so this is something you should look into before you decide on a contractor for any project around the home.

ASK FOR REFERRALS

You should always ask for referrals first. So don’t forget to ask your friends, families, and coworkers to see what their experiences have been with their contractors. They will be very willing to share with you any positive and negative experiences that they have had, especially if they had a very bad experience with a specific company. This can be one of the best ways to narrow down a list or create a list of contractors to look into

CHECK CREDENTIALS

It is essential to look at the credentials of any builder hat you are looking to employ. A reputable builder will be fully licensed and insured in the state that they are working in. This is very important because if something goes wrong on the job, they will be liable for damages and not you.

GET QUOTES FROM YOUR TOP CHOICES

Lastly, you should get quotes from a few of your top choices. Be very clear about what you want done in the home and your preferred look and feel. Do not just pick a company because they are cheapest, often you are going to get exactly what you pay for.

GET A QUOTE FROM MY BATH

At My Bathroom we offer a wide array of services that are sure to meet your remodelling needs. My Bathroom is a family-run company that handles laundry, kitchen, and bathroom renovations in the Melbourne area.