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How to Pick a Custom House Builder

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What To Look For In a Custom House Builder

One thing you’ll find out as you search for custom house projects is that no matter what the price, or what the turnaround time, or what the project capabilities are – you’ll always be at the mercy of your contractor. What this means is that even with the highest quality materials, you’ll have a short life span if the building methods are not right.

At the same time, a contractor can only do so much – this is why not skimping on materials and giving legitimate deadlines is so very important. This all may sound confusing, but understand that a quality contractor can make your renovation go that much more smoothly. An experienced project manager makes a world of difference when dealing with many separate jobs coming together on one project. They’re on your side and want to get the project done to satisfaction just as much as you do. That being said, here’s what you need to look for in a custom house builder:

First Off, Some Things to Remember

The first thing you should know is that you shouldn’t select a builder based solely on price. High quality contractors will actually save you money when working with them either from their strict attention to deadlines, their ability to follow procedures and code, to their connections to get lower material prices.

Custom home from scratch

Custom Home from start to finish

Established contractors have relationships with all the subcontractors that are going to be needed to complete the work, specifically plumbers, electricians, and building inspectors to name a few. The project manager can obtain all the proper permits and paperwork to greatly reduce your headache.

Get Multiple Bids

You know what to look for in a custom home builder: quality customer service, an established reputation, etc. There is one way you can also look for pricing, turnaround times, and project scope and that’s by obtaining multiple bids. Getting numerous quotes will help you set the average project cost and give you a detailed look at exactly what work is going to be done for the price.

Make sure to get a detailed scope of work and design concept however! An unrealistic low bid is often a sign that costs and deadlines will  be out of your control from day 1. A detailed scope, plan, and concept will lay out exactly what work needs to be done, who’s going to do it, when it should be done by, and how much it will cost on labor and materials. If the contractor does a full design to build service, ask about seeing a 3D model of the proposed plan. It’s much more intuitive than technical drawings and will help you identify what you like or don’t like.

Local Definitely Helps

It’s always beneficial to support your local Ottawa businesses but there are other advantages of working with a local contractor that include:

  • Familiarity with other local companies including plumbers, electricians, etc.
  • Knowledge of city building codes and ordinances
  • Relationships with local material suppliers
  • Close proximity to answer questions and avoid project delays
  • Their use of other local laborers to keep money in the community

Of course you should never hire a contractor just because they’re local. It’s always recommended to start your bidding process with a small nearby radius and then move outward.

Know What YOU Want

The most difficult types of questions that contractors get are, “How much would it cost to build a garage?” The answer to that can range from $5,000 to $50,000 depending on what you want. Size? Finished? Windows? Type of Siding? We love to help with the design process. Come by for coffee and a chat about your project. We’ll help you nail down the details about your custom house so you can make an informed decision.

Written by Alex

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