What to Consider When Appointing a Contractor for Your New Build Home
Oliver West, Managing Director of Hampshire-based building contractor, Vale Southern, provides some key considerations to keep in mind when selecting your building contractor.
Appointing a building contractor for your new build home is a critical decision. As the final piece of the jigsaw in what is often a long and complex process, the contractor has a huge responsibility. Your home’s final finish as well as your overall build experience will be shaped by their skills, knowledge and resources.
So, with that in mind, here are some key considerations to keep in mind when selecting your building contractor.
Reputation and Experience
Ensuring the contractor has a proven track record in new build homes (the residential sector) is essential – including evidence of delivering similar projects. Every new project brings different design and / or logistical challenges so it’s important to find out if your contractor has the experience to overcome these.
Collaboration is key to the success of any construction project, ensuring all parties are working together closely and transparently to achieve common goals. By engaging with all stakeholders at the earliest opportunity, the design and management process can be streamlined, helping to boost efficiency.
When creating a bespoke new home, this way of working is particularly important. To meet your exact needs and expectations, your contractor must be willing to collaborate from the from the design stage. Their involvement should bring valuable knowledge and insight to the table, helping to identify any potential issues and ensuring the project’s design and delivery is workable.
Flexibility and Problem Solving
Closely linked to partnership working is the ability to adapt to change and overcome potential hurdles or variables in the project. Inevitably there will be bumps along the construction road. You may want to change some design features or there could be unexpected issues requiring the nature of the build to change slightly.
A good contractor should have the skills, flexibility and professionalism to find solutions to these challenges while minimising any disruption to the overall programme.
A Strong Supply Chain
A new build home often requires specialist sub-contractors and suppliers. Your contractor should have evidence of strong, well-established relationships with these companies, ensuring additional expertise can be called upon as and when required.
A strong supply chain can also help a main contractor to mobilise more quickly, ensuring the construction team gets to site quicker and that deliveries and services are carried out more efficiently, otherwise your project may be, frustratingly, held up.
Health and Safety Practices
It goes without saying that health and safety is another important consideration. Your contractor must be able to prove its health and safety record, and supply details of third-party accreditations demonstrating the quality of its systems and practices.
A contractor should be willing to invest time and resources in providing the best possible service to you. Strong communication skills, openness and responsiveness throughout the build are a must. It is also advisable to check how the contractor approaches the overall management of your project. To achieve the best results, a dedicated team should be put in place to support you every step of the way, including your own dedicated contracts manager responsible for making sure everything runs smoothly.
Once your new home has been built, a good contractor will also be on hand for up to a year afterwards to resolve any snags and to make sure you’re completely satisfied with the work.
Once you’ve considered all the above, take a moment to think about compatibility before making your final choice. Contractors are people too, so you need to feel comfortable working with the team for a significant period, and to trust their abilities.
If the contractor you have in mind ticks all the right boxes, you can look forward to a successful project and a new build home that all parties will be proud of.