Resources (continued)

Choosing a Contractor

Some Guidelines for Choosing a Contractor:

  • Always obtain more than one estimate but select builders who build the same quality in their homes. It is very difficult to compare bids from a contractor who normally builds scattered rural site homes at 2-300 thousand with one who builds in tightly controlled subdivisions at over 500 thousand dollars. Their processes, finishes and subcontractors will reflect different levels of quality and consequently price.
  • Never, ever, make a building decision based solely on lowest price.
  • Don’t rely on possible legal remedies as your protection against someone you are apprehensive about to begin with.
  • Research backgrounds first before hiring your contractor. If your state has a licensing board, call to find out if there are any outstanding complaints against that builder.
  • Call your local Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints on file and the nature of those issues.
  • Don’t be afraid to thoroughly interview the contractor candidates. Ask what kind of worker’s compensation insurance they carry and get their policy number and insurance company contact information so you can verify everything. If they are not covered, you could be liable for any work-related injury incurred during the project.
  • Be sure that the builder has an umbrella general liability policy.
  • Choose a contractor based heavily on past performance. Ask for names of clients and follow-up with phone calls and drive-bys if possible. A good contractor will be happy to provide as many referrals as you want.
  • Because you are not able to choose all your finishes before you begin, contract “allowances” are necessary but it is important that they are adequate to cover the costs for the type of finishes you want. Overruns here can substantially increase the total cost of your home and this has been known as an easy place to reduce a bid to secure a building contract.
  • Research your contractor candidate with local business owners that work with builders such as bankers, material suppliers or building officials.
  • Choose a contractor who is knowledgeable and you relate well to, after all you’ll be working with this person almost daily for the next six months to a year. Choosing a builder based on cost only can become a major mistake if that individual does not have a helpful attitude and your best interest at heart.
  • Finally, don’t be rushed into making a decision, no matter how competitive the market may seem. And never pay a deposit to a contractor at the first meeting.

Zoning and Restrictions

Zoning laws and design regulations may place restrictions on the property chosen for your new home that you don't know.

Research setbacks, building lines, max ridge height and lot coverage requirements along with any plan review submittal requirements that the property developer may have included in the deed restrictions.

Adjoining property may need researched to determine potential uses that might affect you.

Will you have municipal services such as gas, water and sewer hookups and how much are the impact fees or will you need a well drilled for water and a septic system with leach fields? These costs can significantly affect your overall expenditure for you new home.

Contact Us

  • The Plan Drawer, Inc.
    7844 Flint Road
    Columbus, OH 43235

    Tel: 614.430.0472
    Fax: 614.430.8071