How to Find a Trustworthy Builder

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Whether you’re looking for a custom build or rebuilding after a large property loss, finding a trustworthy contractor is essential to a smooth process and a successful outcome. Hiring an unprofessional builder can waste time, money, energy, and a low-quality structure with ongoing challenges. With a building project being such a large investment, it’s crucial to be proactive in ensuring you find the best builder for the job. Here are some steps you can take in optimizing the builder vetting process:

INITIAL SEARCH
The first step may seem obvious, but searching online for builders in your region is the first step. Check out their websites, review their portfolio, and search for online reviews. Also, ask your social network for any recommendations for builders. If your build is residential, you should look for builders who are Tarion-approved, meaning they meet the organization’s strict operation standards and that a full warranty will back your build. If you’re unsure based on their website if a builder is Tarion-approved, you can confirm through the Tarion directory. When you find a builder who is Tarion-approved, check the database to see if any claims have been filed against them. This initial search process will give you a list of decent builders to vet in the next phase.

SHORT-LIST
Once you have a list of builders you’d like to learn more about, set up an in-person meeting to get a sense of how they work and how they communicate. Be mindful of how responsive and attentive the builders are as soon as you reach out; this will give you a glimpse into how they’ll treat you throughout the process. Once you meet, see if there’s a sense of organization, quality, and care. Come prepared with challenging questions such as how they handled a project that didn’t go well, how they resolved an error on their part, and prioritizing their clients’ projects. Ask for a list of references and contact them to discuss their experience with the builder. Finally, go check out their past and present work in person to understand the construction quality and the job site environment. Listen to your gut and narrow your list down to a maximum of two builders.

MAKE A DECISION
If you still have a couple of builders that you’d be happy to proceed with, you’ll need to discuss their timelines and availability to do the project. The builder you may have been leaning towards may have less availability and will take longer to begin; your priorities will determine how you choose. Once you’ve found the right builder, carefully review the contract and if you have any lack of understanding, you should invest in reviewing it with a lawyer.

Understand that for every bad apple builder, many professional contractors are genuinely looking to partner with you to build your vision. The best way to mitigate risks and relationship strains is to document communications throughout the process, so both parties are held accountable for being on the same page. As long as everything is recorded and signed, give your contractor the benefit of trusting them; by always thinking the worst, you may dig yourself a hole of distrust and conflict.

If you’ve experienced a large property loss and are looking for a trustworthy builder, contact us. Rebuild Response is the only contracting company with specialized services to the rebuild process across Ontario. With over 50 years of combined building experience, you will understand why the insurance industry has relied on Rebuild Response for the past decade. To learn more, go to www.rebuildresponse.com.