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Questions to Ask a Contractor Before You Build Your Custom Home in Washington
April 7, 2023 at 5:00 AM
Brown house

Building a custom home is an exciting and rewarding project. It's an opportunity to create the perfect living space tailored to your needs and preferences. However, it's crucial to select the right contractor to ensure your project runs smoothly and exceeds your expectations.

Asking the right questions before signing a custom home builder in Washington can make all the difference. In this article, we'll explore what to ask a contractor before you build your custom home.

How long have they been in business?

It's usually best to work with an established contractor who has been in business for several years. Longevity in the industry often indicates a history of satisfied clients and successful projects. During your initial consultation, ask about the contractor's experience and how long they've been in the field. This information can provide valuable insight into their expertise and track record.

For example, a contractor who has been in business for over a decade may have a wealth of experience working on a variety of custom home projects. They may have encountered and overcome numerous challenges, and developed an extensive network of suppliers, subcontractors, and other professionals in the industry.

On the other hand, a relatively new contractor may be more eager to please and willing to go above and beyond to establish a positive reputation. They may also be more familiar with the latest technologies and building techniques, which could result in a more innovative and efficient project.

Checking for proper licensing and insurance

Before hiring a contractor, it's essential to verify that they have the proper licensing and insurance in place. This helps protect you from potential liabilities and ensures that you're working with a legitimate professional. Request to see copies of their licenses and insurance certificates, and consider verifying these details with the relevant authorities if you're unsure.

For instance, a licensed contractor must have met certain requirements, such as passing an exam and meeting minimum education and experience standards. They must also adhere to specific regulations and codes, which can help ensure that your custom home project meets safety and quality standards.

Insurance is also crucial, as it can protect you from liability if any accidents or damages occur during the project. A contractor should have both general liability insurance and workers' compensation insurance to cover any potential risks.

Ask for references and testimonials

A reputable contractor should be able to provide you with references from previous clients and testimonials about their work. Contacting these references can offer invaluable insights into the contractor's capabilities, professionalism, and overall performance. You can also search for online reviews to gain a broader understanding of the contractor's reputation and work history.

When speaking with references, be sure to ask about the contractor's communication skills, ability to stay on schedule and budget, attention to detail, and overall level of satisfaction with the project. This can help you determine if the contractor is a good fit for your needs and expectations.

Additionally, testimonials and online reviews can provide a more comprehensive view of the contractor's work. Look for patterns in the feedback, such as consistent praise for their attention to detail or criticisms about their communication skills. This can help you make an informed decision about whether to hire the contractor.

Do They Use Subcontractors?

Lastly, it’s absolutely crucial to understand if a custom home builder in Washington is using subcontractors for their work. Using subcontractors can be a sign that your home builder is taking on too many projects than they’re able to meet, so they hire out other contractors to help them complete their quotas.

When that happens, you can expect less personalized attention to your project, possible timeline delays, and even subpar work. Simply put, you won’t be a priority for them. And you may not even know who’s actually working on your home!

At Christensen Contracting, we have over 30 years of experience — and we never subcontract out our work. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can be an asset to your custom home building project.

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