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If you are on the verge of building your first family home, it will help you enormously to select the best contractor for your goals. The wrong contractor can cost you money, time, frustration and energy, and you still won’t get what you want. Even if you are remodeling a house to suit your needs, the right contractor will make a big difference. Here are some tips that will help you decide which contractor is for you.

Have Clearly Defined Goals

Do you want an open kitchen and family room? Will you need a formal dining room? How many bathrooms do you need? Do you want a large patio in your backyard? You should discuss these things with your family and decide exactly what you want in your new or renovated home before you talk to your shortlist of contractors.

Get References

To choose your shortlist, and you should talk to at least five contractors, try to get references from relatives, friends and colleagues who have used contractors in the past. You can even stop by local construction sites and ask who is the contractor. You can also look online for contractors in your neighborhood, but if you decide to make a cold call, make sure you ask to see houses they have built or talk to some of their customers. Even if the results were great, you need to know if the contractor went way over budget or took twice as much time as promised.

Ask About Subcontractors

Most contractors use subcontractors for specialized work such as plumbing, electrical hookups and cabinet making. Make sure your contractor will supervise this work and not involve you.

Get a Picture Before You Begin

Most contractors will provide you with a 3D picture of the whole project. They use 3D laser scanning services that take each measurement and feature and create a digital map of your home. You will also see a digital model where you can enter each room and see if it is really what you want. You can make changes to your plan before you even start the foundation.

Ask About Experience

If you are building your first family home, it won’t help you to hire a contractor who has only built gas stations. Likewise, if you are building a commercial space such as a dental clinic, you may not want to hire a contractor with a home improvement license. The kitchen is one room that needs to suit your needs. If you are building a home, make sure your contractor can build a convenient kitchen.

Ask about Licenses

When you are focusing on a few contractors, invite them to the building site and show them the project. At this time, you can ask about their licensing and insurance. Make sure you ask to see their proof of insurance. You can call the licensing authority to confirm the validity of the contractor’s license. This will ensure that the license is secure and won’t be revoked during your project.

Get a Written Contract

When you have selected a contractor that has promised to fulfill all of your requirements, make sure all the details are written into a legal contract including a budget and time-frame for completion. This is a must because there are always challenges in any construction project and you need to be sure your contractor will stick to his or her promises.


It’s thrilling to create a new building whether it is a commercial office or a private residence. These tips will help you select the best contractor for your building needs, so you can work together comfortably for the next few months.

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