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Hiring a New Homes Contractor for Your Project

June 27th, 2012 11:21 am

Whether you are looking for a contractor to build a new home or to do a remodeling project you need to find a contractor that you trust. The best way to find one is to look for one before an emergency occurs and you need one in a hurry because a good decision is harder to make when you are under pressure. There are several things you can do to make sure that you find the right person to do the job, but before you remodel or build, take a tour of several new homes in your area so that you can get floor plan ideas and observe the type of work that the various contractors do.

Two different things you need to find a local contractor is a phone book and a computer equipped with an internet hook up. You can put together a list of local contractors that have a good reputation of building local new homes in your area. Sometimes friends and family can help you find one because they have hired one for a past project and may have both good and bad experiences that they can share.

After you have your list compiled, you should call your local Better Business Bureau and Chamber of Commerce as well as your state’s Board of Licensing. These resources will give you lists of complaints against the companies and how they were resolved. You can check with them also to see if they are up to date on all their permits.

Then, you need start making phone calls to the contractors on your list and set up interviews with them. Before the first interview, make a list of questions to ask that should include the status of their licenses and insurance, how long he has been in the business, how experienced he is, and what his specialty is. You may also want to include how much money they want for the down payment, how often the payment will be required once the contractor starts the project, and an estimate on how quickly the project will be done.

During the interviews, take note of each part of the interactions with each of the contractors, such as how prompt and courteous the secretary was on the phone, promptness of the representative, was he positive or negative sounding about your project and how knowledgeable he was, and his willingness to provide references. These impressions often determine whether or not you will have future interactions with any of these companies. Now you can interview the references that the contractor provided so that you can find out if their expectations were met and that the contract was followed.

10 Reasons to Hire an Architect

June 6th, 2012 1:21 pm

“Why hire an architect?” you might ask yourself… According to prejudice only the rich can afford them, and only the less creative really need them anyway.

1. You Have Plans For Your House: The most obvious reason for hiring an architect is that you have plans to build or rebuild your house, because it no longer meets the needs of your family.You might consider getting a “package deal” by the carpenter or entrepreneur that will eventually build your project; which is perfect if the company you hire have equally good qualifications with the building design and paper work, as they do with the carpentry itself. If this is not the case… keep reading.

2. Area of Expertise: An architect has just the right expertise for this kind of thing (assuming that reason no. 1 is the case). Taking a masters degree of 5 years or more, and X years of experience with problem solving and design, makes the architect perfectly capable of solving your project to your satisfaction. At least it is reasonable to expect as much.

3. The Best Solution To The Problem: Architects are trained problem solvers and can provide an optimal solution to your problem. This way you get a functional as well as an esthetically pleasing solution.

4. The Big Picture: A skilled architect has an eye for the totality of the project, as well as a considerable knowledge of detail and technical solutions. Gathering all relevant information and sowing it together is just up an architect`s alley, so to speak.

5. Long and Short Term Cost Effectiveness: An efficient and flexible solution is also cost effective, on a short and long term basis. The above list of reasons gives added value to your house on its own accord. Then add lower maintenance costs and advanced technical solutions, and hiring an architect can actually save you some money.

6. Communication: Architects communicate through sketching, drawing, writing and talking. The nature of architecture puts the architect in a central position in the planning process. He or she becomes the natural link between the clients, consultants, engineers, contractors, and the government.

7. Your Guide Through The Process: A good architect can handle the building code and knows how to acquire the necessary building permits. Your architect will be your personal guide through the paper mill.

8. Sustainability: Many architects today know a bit about sustainable architecture, and can help make your project eco-friendly. There are many possible directions, and difficult choices to be made, if you want to ensure that your house will not put an unreasonable strain on the environment – indoor or out.

9. It is FUN: Imagine working with someone who is just as involved and concerned with your project as yourself!

10. Make Your Dreams Come True: The most important reason to involve an architect in your building project is that he or she can make your dream a reality.