The outcome of your construction project often depends on choosing the right contractor. Your architect will be able to advise you. But what do you have to be aware of?
Take Your Time
The best contractors are usually busy for long periods of time. Masons are often booked up to a year in advance. And most certainly small entrepreneurs, firms of one or two people. But the same applies to other trades such as roofers, screeders or plasterers.
Don’t let it scare you. The more time you have before the work begins, the more you can request offers. You will also have time to visit showrooms and model homes. In this case, keep the overall cost in mind. And if you need to start work earlier, pay particular attention to your choices.
Do not make impulsive decisions. Price is important, but the quality of the entrepreneur is also important. A price that is too low is often too good to be true. And more expensive does not always mean better. Another reason not to rush.
You are almost 100% sure of your choices, but your contractor is busy for the coming months? Patience is sometimes worthwhile, if the situation allows.
References, References And Always References
Stay tuned. Word of mouth is working better than ever. Go around the market and analyse the experiences in your immediate neighborhood. Your friends and acquaintances probably have a lot of advice to give you. We will quickly talk about the quality of entrepreneurs, in good or bad. Do you opt for alternative construction techniques? Find out more about it.
Reputation, skills and experience are important starting points. Ask for references, visit a few houses built by the contractor and discuss their experience with the owners. Visit them. Even if the final result is impeccable, collaboration may have been difficult, even if the contractor was advised by your architect.
Use The Web, But Stay Critical
You will find many online forums and other census pages with comments on companies and entrepreneurs. On the basis of the different experiences presented, you will be able to get a first picture. Always analyze the reactions carefully. A large company with many employees will quickly get a less positive evaluation, but this does not necessarily mean that it is not a reliable partner for your construction.
In addition, you never know 100% of the reasons behind a negative opinion. And the opposite is also true: do not follow with your eyes closed an opinion that is too positive. In short, stay critical.
Is Your Contractor Financially Sound?
A certificate can prove that the contractor has the necessary technical knowledge. Every entrepreneur must therefore register with the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises (CBE) via a company counter. The latter is responsible for verifying the extent of the knowledge. It will also check whether the company is in good financial health and has no social or tax debts.
Quality labels are an indication of reliability, but certainly not a guarantee. Stay critical. Examples of labels? The Het Charter van de Woningbouwer label guarantees that the company that displays it complies with the Breyne Act. Construction Quility is another quality label. This is a collaboration between Qualibouw (Flemish) and CoQual (Wallonia).
Member Of a Professional Organization?
Companies that, for example, are part of the Construction Confederation, submit a default contract that fully meets the requirements of the Breyne Act. An entrepreneur who is a member of a professional organization receives professional support.
An Indication, Not a Guarantee
All this provides an indication of the contractor’s reliability, but certainly not a guarantee. In addition, contractors who do not have the necessary documentation can also do a good job… and vice versa.
Compare And Discuss Prices
Have you identified a series of potential entrepreneurs? Important: ask for complete offers and do not compare apples with pears. Remember to read the small print. That’s how you’ll get a correct view of the prices. Too complicated? Many architects are able to consult these offers with you.
Entrepreneurs are obviously very busy with their daily work. Many people have to make their offers after their working day. Good advice: contact us by phone. E-mails can be quickly lost in a too large flow.
Once the offer is complete, ask to be able to meet with the entrepreneurs. This will give you an idea of the person you will be working with. Many entrepreneurs will have proposed it to you before. He may also want to see you before writing the offer. It’s smart to accept. Perhaps he will have some advice for you.
Have You Chosen Your Contractor? Stay Logical!
After your research, you signed a contract with a contractor. Keep in mind that things are not fixed and may not be as good. These tips can help you….:
Is Breyne law applicable? This protects you if you work with general contractors or construction companies.
Do Not Make Any Excessive Deposits
Be careful with money: don’t pay large amounts and make sure you always have proof of payment. Undeclared work is illegal. It will also prevent you from any form of recourse if you later discover defects.
Always ask for an invoice. For the same reasons as those already mentioned. This will provide you with a safety net in case of problems.
A problem or a dispute? Always seek an amicable solution.
One Or More Contractors?
You can have the entire house built by a single contractor who contacts subcontractors himself. You can also search for contractors for each position yourself: masonry, roofing, sanitary facilities, plastering, etc.