It doesn’t matter if you’re building a $500,000 house or a $5 million dollar mansion, if you choose the wrong home builder, it can sink your ship in a hurry. So when you’re researching who should build your new Dallas home, by all means take your time and get second opinions!
Let’s start with the basics but you can scroll down for the quick checklist.
A building contractor (otherwise known as a general contractor) oversees building projects from inception through completion. They have a wide range of duties and responsibilities when it comes to the construction of residences or businesses.
A contractor’s job entails preparation, hard work and thorough review of many processes which accompany the building of structures.
What exactly does a building contractor do for their clients?
A building contractor engages in the planning, developing and coordinating of activities which coincide with the building of structures. They are responsible for who oversees the construction of a project and ensure all necessary measures that have to be are taken in order for a project to be completed efficiently.
What are their responsibilities?
Individual planning and carrying through of any activities relating to the construction of the project while complying with all laws, rules and regulations that affect construction. Also, they hire workers, develop a timeline for job completion, and then chart out the steps necessary from start to finish.
Who they subcontract work out to is also very important. Many new home buyers don’t know that the best builders contract work out to people they’re familiar with and know do a top notch job. This is definitely something to ask about. If a home builder has constant turnover for every project, it means they can’t guarantee you on the quality of work or the estimated completion time.
Another huge duty is the contractor is responsible for obtaining materials for the project. This is big because 1) you want to make sure they build with quality materials and/or as instructed by you and 2) you have to make sure that they’re representing the cost of these materials accurately.
We recommend you ask potential custom home builders how they handle this directly.
In addition, a building contractor must acquire all necessary licenses and permits from relevant entities so that the building project can begin. These range anywhere from building licenses to zoning permits and there are many regulations that relate to these documents which each building contractor must follow in order to engage in construction.
Basically, your home needs to be build according to code and within the zoning regulations of Dallas County or Tarrant County or wherever you build it. Look into the companies history when it comes to code compliance on this one. You need to dig to make sure they do everything by the book.
Budgeting is Big
A building contractor must also budget for the construction project and follow that budget as closely as possible. This will allow the building contractor to obtain supplies, hire workers and finish the construction in a cost-efficient manner. Because it’s so important to not paying more later, your budget must be dealt with in multiple candid conversations with your home builder.
Honest and straightforward talk. Be very leery if you make requests for a $750,000 brand new home with a budget of $650,000 and all you hear is yes. A reputable home builder will give you an honest assessment about how your desires reconcile with your budget. It’s not rude if they temper your expectations. It’s always prudent to do a cursory check of the Texas Attorney General’s Office consumer department (website here).
Although each and every building contractor is a little bit different from others, there are certain positive traits which comprise a good building contractor. The first trait which all building contractors should possess is decisiveness. Due to the fact that important decisions need to be made on a daily basis, it is best to have a building contractor that knows what they want and acts on it.
Experience is also a crucial quality. You can’t have a rookie frontrunning your home project. You want someone who’s been in the business for at least 5 years and knows all the ins and outs.
Finally, clients should be able to ask a contractor for references and reviews (more than just online reviews because those can be faked). Follow up with those references and dig as deep as you can. Before hiring a home builder, you should search the Dallas area and see if you can’t find past customers who aren’t connected to the company.
Extra costs and add-ons after the budget is made are always disappointing. Learn how to work with extras and amenities in our DFW custom homes with extras article.