The most important factor in making sure the where, when, what and how go smoothly is making sure you pick the right who. Because picking the right builder isn’t just another decision in the process – it’s the decision that will make or break the process altogether.
The right builder is the builder who is working long before any building begins. They are taking care of the less obvious, yet critical things like dirt work, plumbing, slab work, concrete, foundations, and all of the things that may never be seen but will definitely be noticed if not done well.
So now … how? How do you know when you’ve found the right one or how do you even begin the process of looking? Before you ever meet and shake hands with any prospective builder, there are several factors you can investigate to help you narrow down the choices.
- Look for a company with an established history. A company who wows you with their low prices or by being the new name in town may not be all they seem. Companies stay in business for many years and through multiple generations because they have earned a solid reputation and repeat business by treating people well and doing quality work.
- Talk to people. Talk to former and current clients of the builder. Talk to their suppliers and their subcontractors. These are the people who know the way the company does business and if they are fair and responsible. If they have not built a quality reputation with the majority of them, you have cause for concern.
- Determine if their capabilities and experience match your needs. Do they specialize in a specific type of construction? Or are they general contractors who do a little bit of everything? Depending on what you are building, the company’s project history and areas of expertise make a difference in the outcome.
Once you’ve narrowed down the best candidates, asking the right questions can help you further refine the decision making process. Every building is different, but in general, a lot of important details can be covered by simply discussing what you need the building to do for you: will you be using large equipment in the building? Do you need extra storage space? Refrigeration? Special consideration for stored products? Any details you can share with the builder will help streamline the process and avoid costly oversights.
Lastly, if you don’t currently have an option for financing, ask your prospective builder about it. Many builders can provide resources and guidance, which is a great added value for you.
Once you’ve gathered all of the facts and data and information, ask yourself a few questions: is this a person you like? Is this someone you could see yourself doing business with 10 years from now? Did you feel like their answers to your questions were honest and direct, even if not always exactly what you wanted to hear? Never underestimate the importance of just good old-fashioned human connection in matters of business. The most successful building and construction companies in the world will tell you – the most important thing you and your builder can build together is a trusted, long-term relationship.