Tuesday, November 19, 2013

How do I know my builder is a good businessperson?

How do I know my builder is a good businessperson?


In residential construction most general contractors started out in the field swinging a hammer before they ever decided to move into the office. Most contractors moved out of the field because their business required more of their attention and the supervision of workers in the field could be left to someone else.

When interviewing a general contractor that you are considering to construct your dream home you should observe everything you can about them. There are certain things that you should look for when you sit down with one of these potential general contractor;

Do they have an office, a building that is not in their home, and a place of business that you can go if there are any problems?

Does it look like they have office staff? Is there someone answering the phone? You don’t want to have to call someone and they have no one to answer the phone.

Are they tech savy? Do they use email? Or are they still using written paper for everything.

Is the place busy, phone ringing, people coming and going? If your contractor has a good reputation one of the signs is that they are always in demand.

Ask to see a copy of a typical bill, can you understand how they accounting is done, is the bill clear and easy to read?

Will they allow you to see the bills from their suppliers if you are planning to build a home that will be time and material?

Ask how long they have been in business, in that area? Are his employee's from the area? How many employee's does he have?

Ask if they are a registered Tarion Home Builder and could they give you their Tarion Builder Number. You can get information on this builder from the Tarion homeowner’s portal on the web.

Asking the builder for an "insurance certificate" from his carrier will prove the amount of insurance coverage on his business.

If a builder ever asks you to set up your own account at the local lumber yard so that he can charge things to it while they build your home this is a major red flag. This basically says that the builder doesn’t have good enough credit to secure enough trust in the suppliers to build a home. A builder with a bad credit rating usually means a builder that is not running a very good business.

You should ask for and follow-up with references to the company's trade partners, and suppliers.

All of these things will help you form an opinion of the person and kind of business that this person is running. Remember to always go with your gut, if you don’t like the feeling of the place or the person keep looking.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

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