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How to Get Bids From General Contractors

If you've decided not to be the general contractor, you'll have to find a qualified builder to build your home. Don't cut corners when making the decision on who you'll hire as your contractor. Thoroughly research and get bids from several contractors before making your final decision. It's worth the effort to find a builder who meets your budget requirements and who you feel very confident with in undertaking the building of your new home.

Here are some helpful tips when interviewing general contractors:

Always get more than one estimate.
Never base your choice solely on the lowest price. There's lots of other factors like craftsmanship and reputation that need to be considered.

Don't hire a contractor if you suspect red flags. You can't always rely on legal remedies if you have problems during or after construction.

Thoroughly research contractors before hiring them. If your state has a licensing board for contractors, use them to learn of any prior issues or complaints.

Check for any past issues filed with the Better Business Bureau.

Do online searches using your builder's name and company name for for customer reviews.

Be sure to thoroughly interview the potential contractors. Ask about their worker's compensation insurance and get their policy number and insurance company contact information to verify all information submitted. If a builder isn't properly insured, you could be liable for any work-related injury incurred during the project.

Make sure the contractor has an umbrella general liability policy for extra coverage.

Pay attention to contractors who suggests changes to lower costs that don't suit your needs.

Base your choice on reputation and past projects. If your builder has built quality homes, they should easily be able to provide referrals to possibly drive by to view.

Local business owners can also be a good source to get referrals such as bankers, material suppliers, real estate agents and local town officials.

Last, but not least, don't rush into a decision no matter how competitive the market may seem, and never pay a deposit on the first meeting with a contractor. A deposit is paid after a detailed and final construction contract is agreed to, and after the builder has been thoroughly considered and vetted.