Most investors start their search for a construction team from the local press and the Internet. References to friends who have already gone through the construction of their own house are also very important.
Where to find qualified contractors to build the house?
If other houses are being built in the vicinity of our plot – it is also worth taking a Sunday walk and watching the construction sites. If one of them draws our attention positively, this is an excellent reason to add the team working there to our list of potential contractors.
Lists of certified contractors are also ubiquitous among manufacturers of building materials. It is a precious source of information if we decide to build with technology that is not very often used or is very modern.
It is also worth looking around on internet forums. However, it is advisable to keep a considerable distance and carefully check each piece of information obtained in this way. Not all opinions contained therein are reliable (and I would even be inclined to say that many of them are ultimately false).
This is basically due to two reasons:
Firstly, contractors (especially the smaller ones) often use internet forums for not very direct advertising – the dishonesty here consists mainly of the fact that their representatives impersonate their clients. This does not necessarily mean that it is a bad company, but it is challenging to expect objectivity from such information.
Secondly, very often, opinions (especially negative ones) result from “fault-finding” and are a manifestation of an investor’s construction frustration rather than a real reliable contractor assessment. It happens, for example, that after a more thorough “squeezing” of the interlocutor, it turns out that the opinion “they are hopeless, I had to correct everything after them” means more or less than the hired construction team did not agree to “by the way” add a garage to the house (not included in the project, nor the earlier contract), or left the construction site unable to wait for the next payment instalment.
Let us remember – every construction company strives to maximise its profits and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Of course, apart from the most superficial financial gains, what also counts is the company’s reputation, which to some extent means the possibly high quality of works.
However, it is in the investor’s interest to minimise costs and ensure the quality of the work.
When working with a construction team and an architect, what to watch out for?
After creating an initial list, we can start discussions with potential contractors. It will be necessary to have the most accurate architectural and construction project. Suppose we decided to choose the so-called typical project. There is no problem because we have virtually complete documentation in our hands (unless we decide to make major changes).
Slightly worse is if we work with an architect, who does a project on an individual order, and we already want to conduct talks with contractors. Most often, however, an architectural concept with a specification of materials is sufficient. You can also ask the designer to prepare the necessary drawings in a “draft” version.
All these possibilities depend mainly on how the contract with the designer was structured. In extreme cases, it may turn out that he will require additional remuneration for this.
It is also good to get a cost estimate and a work schedule. They will allow us to assess how attractive the contractor’s offer is and whether he is not trying to cheat us at the beginning, for example, by overestimating the area of walls or roofs.
Suppose the costs presented by the potential contractor are significantly lower than the valuation we have. In that case, we should carefully check what costs the contractor left on our side and what scope of work he provided. If, on the other hand, the construction company’s quote is significantly higher than ours… it remains to look for a cheaper team or find out why the price is so high. Perhaps it includes additional services that will make the offer still attractive.