Finding a Contractor: How to go from Good to Great
Do you know the difference between a good contractor and a great one?We’ve all heard horror stories about bad contractors—they miss project deadlines, don’t stick to the budget, or deliver sub-par work. But when you’re building your dream home, you want more than just a good contractor, you want a great one. Think you know the difference? Here’s the checklist that could take your project from finished to fantastic.
Thinks AheadGood contractors will work with you to map out the scope of your project and create a timeline for the building process. But a great contractor goes further and establishes contingency plans to accommodate for the unexpected—a plan for delays caused by weather or establishing a list back up suppliers if construction materials run short. Given erosion risks during Hawaii’s rainy season, and the long wait time for any materials ordered from the mainland, a great contractor is necessary to help keep your project on track.Experienced but Innovative It’s important to find a contractor with a history of successful builds, especially one who will allow you to visit active construction sites or finished projects to get a better feel for their work. But while experience is important, high-caliber contractors make sure to pair their on-the-job training with a willingness to stay up-to-date on the best practices in construction and design. Ask a potential contractor what professional organizations they participate in, and how they are adapting their procedures to accommodate the latest in technology, home safety, and environmental sustainability. Great contractors are committed to continued excellence, while good ones tend to play it safe.Reputation While you won’t find a good contractor’s name or business connected to a bad review online, you want more than just an absence of poor practice when looking for the right person to build your home. As you research contractors, remember to look for both positive reviews and the recommendations of friends and neighbors. Odds are, you’ll start hearing the same names over and over again. You’ll know you’ve found a great contractor when their clients can’t stop talking about their positive experiences.Saves Money Staying within the proposed budget is the hallmark of a good contractor. But a contractor who finds ways to safely and effectively reduce costs and save money? That’s a great contractor. From finding the best price on materials to avoiding fees and delays due to permitting issues, a great contractor looks for ways to save money wherever possible—which may open up your budget for special features or unique design modifications that can personalize your new home.Lastly, you’ll find that good contractors are listed as members of good standing in local professional organizations, like the Hawaii Island Contractor’s Association and Hawaii’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. But if you’re looking for a great contractor, we can help you take the next step. Home Planning Hawaii specializes in providing helpful resources for all your home design and building needs, and we’re ready to help you find a great contractor when it’s time to build a truly great home.