One of the biggest hurtles when thinking about building a new custom home or doing a large remodel project where a general contractor is required, is choosing your contractor. There are 2 basic ways on how to go about this process.
Choosing a contractor is the most important Custom home builder decision you can make, most times determining the success or failure, and proper or improper completion of your new home or remodel project.
The most popular way is pre-bidding or competitive bidding which says that you should get at least 3-5 bids for your project. Most home owners in an attempt to be honest with their potential contractor will let them know up front that they intend to get 3-5 estimates. Few people have any idea how much work goes into a new construction or remodeling estimate. Generally 30-40hrs, fuel for trips to the site and time spent on site, meetings with subs etc..
With competitive bidding basically this tells the contractors that you are shopping price and you would like to know, given this fixed set of plans how cheaply can the work be done? Imagine going to a plastic surgeon with this attitude!
Contractors make their living by providing you with your new custom home or turning your existing home dreams into reality and for the most part they desire to deliver high quality work, however, they need to make a living and need your project.
There are many ways to arrive at the cheapest bid. One is to use very cheap subs, chosen according to the lowest price, assuming all subs have included every detail of the job in their price. Most of the time this involves using sub standard people who have barely included enough funds for the labor and material not to mention enough funds to warranty their work. Another is for the general contractor to reduce his charge for overhead and contractors fee, which limits his ability to make your project completion his priority, causing the homeowner to think he is not doing his job and adds to people’s negative opinions of general contractors. You want and need a General contractor who is using a proven and reliable set of sub contractors and is charging you enough to stay in business so you can call him eleven months from now and he’ll still be there.