Essential Questions to Ask When Hiring a Construction Company

You have come across many construction companies that purport to be the best in your area. But, according to Ricardo, owner of a San Antonio commercial cleaning company, you’re not always sure whether a company has what it takes to deliver the kind of house you want. Ideally, you need a construction company that will build your dream house within your budget.

Here are essential questions to ask a construction company to make sure you’re making the right choice.

Do You Have An Office?

Maybe you came across the website of a construction company and got their contacts there. Before you hire the company, find out whether they have an office and a permanent address. Avoid a company that doesn’t have an office because you won’t have a place to take your complaints if the project doesn’t proceed as agreed. You will be frustrated if nobody will be answering your calls and you have nowhere to go.

Are You A Registered And Licensed Company?

Being registered and licensed shows that a contractor has trained professionals. It means the contractor has experts that know what building a house entails. Therefore, ask about the company’s certifications, ongoing training of the workers, and other educational efforts.

Do You Offer A Safety Plan?

The best construction companies provide precise and detailed safety plans. These are plans for ensuring that the construction work meets the highest quality to stand up against harsh environmental conditions. They also ensure that your construction meets all safety and health standards.

For How Long Have You Been In The Construction Industry?

Choose a company with vast experience in the construction industry. You can do this by asking for references or a portfolio that shows the company’s past work. That way, you can gauge the quality of the work of the company.

What Payment Terms Do You Expect Me To Meet?

Price is crucial when it comes to construction. Choose a company with clearly defined construction payment terms. Your agreement should reflect all payment details, including specified methods and payment timelines.

Answers to these questions will enable you to determine whether the company is the best for you.

How to Build a Strong Foundation for a House

The foundation of a building is very important because it supports the entire structure. As such, it should be strong enough to last long and serve its purpose effectively. In most cases, local construction codes stipulate the conditions that should be met by the foundation. Nevertheless, several things can be done to create a strong foundation. Here are some of the things that you can do to build a strong foundation for your house. 

Pick Your Construction Site Wisely 

Choose the place where you build a house carefully. Make sure that the soil is investigated professionally because some soil conditions can require a special foundation. That’s because the soil might not be great or may have properties that can lead to future problems. Your builder, designer, and building department should advise you on what to do depending on the soil conditions. 

Let Experts Survey Your Lot 

Before you start laying the foundation, let experts survey your lot. This is very important because it will help in locating and determining the actual foundation corners. That way, the entire foundation will be formed from an informed point of view. 

Start Digging 

An excavation contractor can move in now. They should dig the ground depending on the marked corners of the foundation. 

Install the footings 

Don’t forget that you might pour concrete directly into the trenches or wood forms to form the footings. 

Seal the Footings 

To ensure that moisture doesn’t damage the footings, seal them. Use a high-quality sealer. Your contractor will guide you when purchasing the sealer. 

Create Stem Walls 

After your concrete has cured, create stem walls using concrete blocks if you want to build a basement. The masons can start with the block wall in the foundation corners. They use leads to do this because they provide two endpoints where a line is stringed. This allows them to come up with plumb and a level wall between two points. Eventually, they end up with a level and a straight wall that is very important in ensuring that the basement wall remains consistent. 

Use a Sealer Again 

To ensure create a strong building foundation; treat it with a sealer again. This will ensure that moisture won’t damage your foundation. You can apply an acrylic-based sealant after finishing your concrete. 

Follow these steps and your building will have a strong foundation that will serve its purpose more effectively.

Ways to Mitigate Against Construction Delays During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Construction may have been classified alongside other essential industries in some states and countries. However, COVID-related issues can still impact your construction project negatively. Such effects can cause delays in the completion of your project. As such, it’s crucial to know how you can mitigate construction delays during this pandemic. Here are some of the best ways to do that. 

Identify Possible Causes of Delay in Your Project 

Issues with the supply chain, government restrictions, and labor shortages are some of the things that can delay your construction project. Labor shortages have always been a growing problem in the industry in most countries and states. As such, the COVID-19 pandemic can easily exacerbate it. 

If you plan to import construction materials, their suppliers might not be classified as essential service providers. Thus, their delivery might be delayed and this can occasion delay in your construction project. Therefore, take time to consider all factors that may delay the completion of your construction project and come up with appropriate mitigation measures. Your contractors and material suppliers can help you come up with a more realistic timeline during COVID-19. 

Understand the Contract 

Don’t rush to sign the contract that the contractor presents without reading it. Instead, take your time to read and understand the details of your contract. Understand the timelines and liability for any delay, as well as, the cost impacts. Essentially, understand your obligations and rights regarding delays before you sign the contract for your construction project. 

Maintain Continuous Communication 

The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented. Its impacts have been felt by every sector, including the construction industry. A good way to mitigate the construction delays that may be occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic is to communicate. For instance, if there will be a delay in material delivery, the supplier should communicate. If the labor shortage at the site will delay the completion of the building, the contractor should communicate. This will prevent unnecessary conflict among the involved parties. 

Understanding contractual rights, communicating effectively, and being proactive can help you mitigate against construction delays during the COVID-19 pandemic. Follow these tips to ensure that your construction project doesn’t come to a standstill due to this pandemic.

Reasons to Choose a Custom Home Builder Instead of a General Contractor

When you finally decide to build a new home, you may be torn between a custom home builder and a general contractor. Choosing a custom home builder has many advantages over a general contractor. Here are some of the reasons to work with a custom home builder instead of a general contractor. 

To Avoid Bidding Wars 

A major challenge many people face when building a home is the bidding war that starts even before they start their project. The design-bid-build process may appeal to some homeowners. That’s because they think it’s all about choosing the lowest bidder. However, the lowest bidder might not provide quality work. What’s more, you should choose a professional with the right skills and vast experience. This can delay the construction work for months. 

Things are different with custom home builders. With these professionals, you just need a custom house plan and construction work can start immediately. What’s more, you get affordable construction services without struggling to find the right contractors. 

Easy Communication 

A custom home builder provides a single point via which you can communicate with them. That means you or the general contractor will not struggle to coordinate different contractors. You just share your ideas with the custom home builder when starting the project. This will be responsible for the coordination of all aspects of the construction project. 

What’s more, you avoid bearing the liabilities. That’s because the custom home builder will be responsible for hiring subcontractors and paying them. 

Better Quality 

A custom home builder ensures that separate project parts work together smoothly. The floor plan designers and architects work with construction teams to prevent conflict between the plans and implementation. This ensures that the home building process runs seamlessly. Consequently, the final results are better than they would be when working with a general contractor that leaves different subcontractors to do different jobs. 

Both a custom home builder and a general contractor can construct your dream home. However, a custom home builder ensures faster completion and seamless running of the project. 

What Makes a Great Contractor?

As the building and construction industry continues to grow, so many contractors are finding their ways into the trade. However, the majority of them are half baked contractors with very little to offer. Below, we discuss some of the key traits of a great contractor that you should look out for when hiring. 

List of References

Sometimes, proof of license is not enough to show that a contractor can successfully handle your project.  A good contractor should provide you with a list of references or the clients that they have served in the past. That will give you a better idea of their expertise, reliability and other things that are often overlooked. To be sure that you are hiring the right contractor, contact the references that they give you before signing any contract. 


The way in which the contractor presents themselves and handles projects is critical to the success of your plan. Great contractors emphasize well trained staff with experience on the job. Besides, they also have adequate staff including sub-contractors that make sure projects are done to standard within the given timeline. A good contractor should at least give you an overview of how they handle operations including conflict resolutions and contingency plans. 

Great contractors have the right people and provisions for ensuring better project management. 

Competitive Pricing 

One way to gauge the skills of contractors is by looking at their rates. Contractors that offer very cheap quotes are likely to do a low quality work. On the other hand, contractors with extremely high rates may not guarantee the best quality. Great contractors do not come cheap but, have reasonable rates that appear somewhere in between. Requesting and comparing quotes from different contractors will enable you to find a fair price range for your budget. 

Great contractors do not attain the title in a single project but, through a series of successes. They focus on developing continuous and long term working relationships for the mutual benefit of their companies and clients. 

Tips on How to Speed Up a Construction Project

Planning a construction project and executing it is basically a balancing act. Art Terrazas, of GT Roofing & Construction explains to us that your goal is to get the best results within the shortest time possible. But, reduction of the time taken to complete a construction project can compromise quality. What’s more, addition of extras to the project can move its completion date.

However, there are ways of speeding up a construction project without compromising quality. Here are tips to help you speed up your construction project without sacrificing quality of the build.

Don’t Delay Decision Making

Delayed decisions can delay the construction project. Therefore, be efficient in making decisions and motivating your team. Delayed decisions are generally expensive and their repercussions can be long-term. To avoid delayed decisions, have a log book for the project and talk to your team about the project timeline.


Your construction project will have several strands run concurrently. Have an eye on them to ensure that no aspect of your project stops running. Keep in touch with your project team and always review the paperwork to stay updated.

Maintain Communication

If you lose track of what your construction team is doing, your project can be delayed. Therefore, make sure that you are updated on what’s happening and that your team is updated on what needs to be done. Additionally, give your construction team feedback on what they have done while updating them on what should be accomplished in every phase of the project.

Delegate Duties

Effective delegation of duties disperses the tasks that a single person is responsible for. It also instills a sense of responsibility and trust in the team. Therefore, delegate duties to show your construction team that you trust its experience and competence. That way, you will get the most from your team and speed up the construction process.

Track and Communicate Changes

Changes are bound to occur during the construction process. That’s because each project has variables like materials and time. It’s however important that you track changes and convey the information to your team. This ensures that your team is updated on what to do to adjust to these changes and ensure that your project is not brought to a halt.

Follow these tips to ensure that your construction project is always on track and that it’s completed faster.

Ways to Increase Your Home Value This Year

Increasing the size of your home is the most obvious way of increasing its value. You may also consider fitting a new bathroom or kitchen to boost its value. However, there are other ways via which you can increase the value of your home this year. Here are some of them.

Make it Look Bigger

The value of your home is definitely affected by its size. However, you can influence how the size of your home feels to visitors and potential buyers. For instance, throw away or pack the clutter in your home. Store treasures safely while having a reasonable number of ornaments in display. If there are chunky curtains in your home, replace them with blinds. Also move furniture around and install plain carpets that make space look bigger.

Clean, Finish, Replace, and Repair

Imagine that this is the first time for you to see your home. What can you notice first? Ensure that the pathway and the front garden are tidy and neat. If there are broken steps, slaps, and concrete, repair them. Remove weeds and empty gutters. Make the exterior paintwork tidy. Ensure that windows and front door are clean. Replace or finish parts of your home to make them more presentable. You can also apply a fresh paint coat if necessary.

Ensure Defined Purpose for Rooms in Your Home

If you have a multipurpose room in your home, make it more defined. This can be the room that works as a laundry room, a play room and an office. Decide how you want that room to function. For instance, you can make it an extra bedroom, play room or office. However, this doesn’t mean buying new items for the room. You can reshuffle the furniture in it to ensure a more effective layout.

If you intend to sell your home, follow these tips to increase its value and make it more appealing to potential buyers.…

Common Construction Project Disputes

There are many causes of construction disputes. Nevertheless, some construction project disputes arise more often than others. Here are some of the most common construction project disputes.

Conflict over Construction Quality

A detailed contract ought to explain what a construction project entails. However, conflicts still arise over the quality of the provided workmanship. A developer or property owner can feel that the contractor or even subcontractor did a substandard work. This can lead to a dispute or lawsuit against the person responsible for the objectionable work. A contractor can file a lawsuit if the client refuses to pay them for the work they think is substandard.

Conflict over the Used Materials

This is also related to the quality of the construction. A construction quality can minimize the chances of having this conflict. Nevertheless, when a contractor does not use the materials that the contract specifies or substitutes the specified materials with low quality material, the owner can refuse to pay. Basically, a property owner can refuse to pay when unacceptable materials are used. This can lead to a construction project dispute.

Conflict over Construction Delays

A construction project can take longer than anticipated. Litigation can occur when a contractor fails to complete the work within the agreed timeline. But, even if the contract does not specify the deadline, a construction project should be completed in a timely and efficient manner.

Nonpayment Conflict

In some cases, a contractor may complete the work using the specified materials, do the work properly, and within the set deadline but the property owner fails to pay as agreed. In that case, a contractor has the right to file a claim for nonpayment. To force the property owner to make payment, a contractor can put a mechanics’ lien on the property.

These are some of the common causes of construction project disputes. It’s important to have a construction contract and understand its provisions and implications of violating this agreement. This will enable you to avoid some construction project disputes.…

Things to Keep in Mind when Building a Custom Home

Things to Keep in Mind when Building a Custom Home

Most people are paying to have their custom homes built. In other words, they want to be the ones pulling strings and in charge of making major decisions in terms of how big or small their residences are. When you build a custom home, you also decide the features it will have.

Here are things to keep in mind when building a custom home:

Have All Details Ready Before the Building Process Commences

This implies knowing more than just the floor plan. You should know how you want each room to be designed. Designing an entire house may seem easy. However, the many choices available can make this process overwhelming. You need to decide on size, color, and pattern that will match walls, cabinets, and faucets.

Hire the Right Experts

This may seem obvious but you are likely to compromising when trying to save money. To end up with a quality home of your dream, hire the right experts. Choose licensed professionals and contractors. Ensure that the professionals you work with are insured with a reputation of delivering excellence.

Avoid Building Too Big

Maybe you have a lot of stuffs and you may long to own a mansion. However, it’s important to think hard and long about the project. What you may consider ideal now may no longer be ideal in the next 10 years. Cleaning and maintaining a larger house is harder and expensive. Therefore, most people are going for smaller houses.

Consider the Resale Value

You may not intend to sell your custom home. May be you would like to pass it to your descendants. However, assume that you may sell the house someday. Build your dream home but don’t make living or owning the same house a nightmare for a potential buyer.

When building a custom home, it’s easy to have the reality clouded by your dream. To avoid this, have these things in mind while building your custom home.

Check out this website for last minute national homebuilder recommendation.

Why people are hiring the wrong construction contractors

You might be surprised about how many people are hiring the wrong construction contractors. There are so many that have regretted using contractors for building their project. In order for you to know that you aren’t making the same mistake, you should know why they are hiring so many wrong construction contractors. These are some of the top reasons why people are hiring the wrong construction contractor.

They don’t take the time to hire the best contractor

This is the biggest mistake that contractors can make. They don’t take the time to hire the best contractor that they can find. They are hiring the first name that came up.

There is always a chance that you might hire someone that you can’t trust. A contractor that has a bad reputation and that even might steal your money and get away with it. Take your time and make sure that you are hiring someone that you can trust. Time is money, we know but, in some cases, this is the best thing that you can do. To take your time before deciding on a contractor.

People don’t do enough research before hiring a construction contractor

When you are doing as much research as possible, you are making sure that you are hiring someone that is honest and that will do the best they can. With doing research, you will know for sure that the construction contractor comes highly recommended and that there are many positive reviews about them.

The more research you are doing, the better you will understand about which contractor you should use. There isn’t such a thing as doing too much research.

They don’t believe in doing interviews with more than one contractor before deciding which one to use

The more interviews you are doing, the better you will know which contractor is best for your project. There are too many people that don’t believe in doing interviews with more than one contractor. How are you going to know that you are using the best contractor there is?

There are many reasons why people are hiring the wrong construction contractors. And, the yare regretting it for years. This is why you should make sure that you are hiring the best contractor you can find. Even if this means that you should take your time, do research about as many as possible and doing more than one interview. Then, you will have the best contractor for your construction project.