How to Choose the Right Builder
Choosing the right builder can be a daunting task, but we are here to help. Most post frame building companies will try to sell you on their particular brand, process, or components, and this can cause confusion. Who is telling the truth? How do you sort through all of this information?
We have created a list of the most important factors to consider when choosing a builder. All you need to do is rate each category's importance to you.
Company Reputation and Customer Service
- How long has the company been in business?
- Can you tour some of their buildings and meet past customers?
- Are they responsive to your requests and questions?
- Do you trust them?
- Paint, steel, lumber, fasteners, doors, etc.
- Consider things such as sliding doors and fit and finish
- Do they offer in-house engineering service?
- Can they provide certified stamped prints if required?
- Specific design criteria and snow/wind loadings
Warranty and Service After the Sale
- Who services warranty?
- Pass through or single source?
- Is the warranty transferable?
- What does it cover, what does it not cover, read the fine print
Insurance and Customer Protection
- Workman's compensation
- General liability
- Builders' risk insurance
Crew Competency and Availability
- Employees or sub-contractors?
- Years of experience
- Size of the crew
Project Schedule and Material Delivery
istheir backlog and proposed start date?
- When will material arrive? The crew?
- How will the material be unloaded?
- How long will the material sit prior to crew arrival?
Crew Safety and Construction Process
- OSHA compliance & fall protection
- Bracing plan while under construction?
- Site clean-up, trash removal?
Permits and Building Code
- Who is responsible for
and related fees? permit
- Will the project be designed to meet local codes?
- Design criteria and snow/wind loadings
- Does the builder have knowledge of local requirements?
Price vs. Value
- Is the price in line with the value the builder is offering?
- Low cost often means less value somewhere
- Budget limitations may dictate this decision, but the lowest cost is rarely the best value for anything in life
Thoughts and Advice
- Choosing the right builder will depend on your specific needs and expectations. What is important to you? Use the categories listed above and rate them from 1-10 and choose your builder.
- Almost always, the best time to buy will be during the late fall and winter months. During this time of year, most builders will offer deals just to keep their crews working. If you plan to build during the winter months or early spring, you will need to prepare a site prior to freezing temperatures set in. A prepared site provides great leverage when negotiating the contract price.
- Should you negotiate? In our opinion, it never hurts to ask. Some people love to "haggle" while others are uncomfortable with the thought. You will want a good working relationship with the builder, so squeezing them for the last penny might not be the best approach. Agree to a fair price and move forward with confidence in your decision.