If you’re planning on building a secondary housing unit, the first thing you’ll be looking for is a reliable ADU contractor. Now, if it’s your first time tapping into these types of construction projects, knowing how to recognize a trustworthy constructor might seem like a daunting task.
So, in this article, we’ve decided to help you out by providing you with some practical tips on how to choose an ADU builder in no time whatsoever.
Without any further ado, let’s get to the bottom of it!
1. Ask your friends and family for advice
If you know someone who’s recently built an additional dwelling unit, ask them about their experience. They should be able to give you quality recommendations or at least tell you which companies you should stay away from – both of which are valuable insights for a first-timer such as yourself.
Now, of course, every project is different, so just because someone else had a good experience with a construction company, doesn’t mean their skills are a fit for your specific circumstances as well. So, yes, even if you get stellar recommendations from your family and friends, you should still do your research before blindly trusting their experience.
2. Stay away from unresponsive contractors
If the contractor takes weeks to respond to a simple inquiry, they’re probably not right for the job. You should always take it as a gigantic red flag – if they’re not able to accommodate you when you’re trying to hire them, there’s no reason to trust them to respect your deadlines once they start building.
Again, you need someone who’s reliable and trustworthy above all. You don’t want to postpone your entire project just because you can’t get a hold of your contractor.
3. Look at their portfolio
Always ask to see pictures of their previous projects. It’s the only way you can be sure of their abilities and skills. Look for contractors that have projects similar to what you need to be done in their portfolio – if they’ve done it before, there’s a higher chance they’ll be able to do it again.
Most contractors have their projects available on their websites, so take a look there first. If you can’t find anything, then simply contact them to ask for examples of their work.
4. Read online reviews and ratings
Online reviews and ratings are one of the easiest ways to „background check“ a contractor. It takes little to no time and it can provide you with valuable information on the company in question. You can simply Google it or ask questions on different forums – you’d be surprised at the amount of information you can gather from these.
As we’ve already said before, doing a background check on the ADU contractor is of the utmost importance. You need to know everything in regards to their skills, experience, and quality of their work. It’s the only way you can ensure your project is completed as smoothly as possible.
5. Contact and compare
It’s important that you contact every contractor you consider for your ADU project. Call them by the phone or send them an email – what’s important is to hear from them directly. Ask them everything that comes to mind – it’s their job to respond to your questions regarding the project. Once you’re done, you’ll quickly be able to compare their offers until you’ve chosen the one that appeals to you the most.
Don’t just go for the cheapest possible option – consider things such as their experience, skillset, and the timeline they’ve proposed for your project. All of this will allow you to make the best possible choice later on.
6. Consider your budget
Make sure you come up with a reasonable budget before you start looking into ADU contractors in your area. Even though you never know what can happen with construction work, you should never go too much over your budget.
Now, you should have some flexibility in case unexpected delays or expenses occur, but the contractor shouldn’t be overly pushy when it comes to your budget. If they are, well, it’s your sign to look elsewhere.
Again, don’t automatically go for the cheapest possible option. When it comes to construction, a job done poorly is worse than never doing the project in the first place.
7. Look for contractors in your specific area
The closer they are, the cheaper their services will be, especially when it comes to the transport of materials. Make sure you check their location before you decide to hire them. As noted by ADU contractors in San Diego at adusandiegoca.com/, transportation of workers and materials is a big part of their pricing criteria.
If you’re not sure where to find contractors from your city, Google is your best friend. Almost every construction company has a website nowadays, so finding potential contractors shouldn’t be that difficult.
8. Their availability
The contractors should be available to answer your questions and complete your project in time. If they’re not available when it suits you, simply find someone who is. Again, ADUs are extremely popular nowadays (especially in California), which means there are many contractors to choose from.
Make sure you book their services in advance, as time is crucial in these types of projects. You don’t want to suffer through unnecessary delays due to permit issues or weather problems.
Overall, make sure the contractor is available when it suits your needs – otherwise, the project will probably take more time than you’ve anticipated.
The bottom line
All in all, finding the right ADU contractor for your project can be a daunting task for a first-timer. However, as long as you do your research and compare different options, you’ll certainly be able to make the right choice. No matter if you’re looking online or seeking advice and recommendations from your loved ones, some background-checking is a must.
We hope our tips help you in your search for the best possible contractor and we wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors.