A new home is not just exciting but comes with loads of responsibilities. It starts with hiring the right builder. The whole exercise is stressful, expensive and takes a lot of time. Only quality craftsman can accomplish this task. The process starts early in the designing stage. The execution and completion stage also holds utmost importance. Some simple steps can help in identifying the right contractor for your building project.

Referrals
Record the experiences of friends and family. Though, an architect can assist in this regard, getting first-hand information from close friends, lawyers, neighbors and real estate agents. The professional listing can go a long way in picking the right builder in your locality. No testimonials but reviews and images can guide your decision. If you find an impressive under-construction project in your locality, find out who is the contractor and find out if they can take up your projects.

Licenses
The contractor needs a license to conduct his work in your locality. Those with a license are considered to be reliable as the building authorities authorize them. Check the license and the insurance to ensure you are in safe hands. Holding a license proves that the company can protect you from damages. Whenever there is an accident on the site, it is the responsibility of the contractor to cover damages as it falls under workers compensation insurance. The property owner is protected from such unexpected accidents.

Portfolio
Checking the portfolio of the contractor can help you decide if they will be able to handle a project of your style and magnitude. Their recently completed projects can give you an idea of their working style. Find out if their work carries a warranty to correct recurring problems at the site and if their previous projects are sustainable.

Reference
Who could vouch for a contractor better than their present and past clients? Get their contact information and talk to them in private. If the contractor is hesitant to provide their information, move on with other prospective builders. Some of the questions to bear in mind while talking to a reference is about their working relationship, communication, maintaining deadlines, working with a budget, no hidden conditions, problem-solving ability, and craftsmanship.

Contract
· Get your contract in writing.
· The construction company starts with a bid. For any changes in the plan, the bid has to be modified accordingly.
· The permits have to be duly approved and the costs finalized before starting work.
· Extra charge and changes are all part of the construction industry, so be mentally prepared. Keep a cushion of about 5% on your budget to be on the safer side. Though, if your builder is capable and experienced, they can cut down on the cost their excellent planning and design management.

Just like in any industry even the construction sector is shrouded by unscrupulous elements. Conduct proper research before finalizing on a contractor as the process involves a huge investment and for most, their lifetime earnings are at stake.

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