When you’ve selected your site and are ready with your design
it’s time to review bids and select a builder. Builders will quote
square foot prices to give ballpark figures. Use this as a guide
for the home size you can afford. But keep in mind there are
many other influencing factors.
Don’t begin conceiving the project at your maximum affordability.
You’ll need to watch your dollars closely from the beginning as
“little costs” can quickly go from hundreds to thousands, resulting
in major cost overruns. Allowance categories can set dollar amounts
for the items you haven’t made final decisions on. For example,
low bids may not cover the quality of cabinets you want. Visiting
showrooms can help you determine what you can afford.
When reviewing bids, make sure all bidding parties have a mutual
understanding of the scope of the project. Expectations should be
clearly explained in writing. Phrases like “per drawings and specs”
can be too vague. Specification labor bids should also be in as much
detail as possible. Know what is included when the work is completed
and more importantly, what’s not included. This will avoid unexpected
expenses that were not included in the bid.
Look beyond the lowest price. Understand that competitive bidding
for residential construction does not always exist. The term “most
qualified bidder” is more important than “lowest bidder.” Make sure
your comfortable with the people you’ll be working with which
includes the builder’s sub-contractors – make sure you get that list.
In summary, strive for the most qualified low bidder not just the lowest
Check out our blog every week for our “Building a Home” series
and go to http://www.crewcuttv.com/# to watch videos on the subject.