Living in Hawaii is both beautiful and amazing; you have the luck of spending every day in paradise.
(Imagine living in this paradise)
**picture of beautiful Hawaii**
But if you are buying, building, or remodeling a home, it can be a scary and costly endeavor.
Whether you are building a home, doing a remodel, or just have some general questions, finding a good and trustworthy general contractor (GC) in Hawaii can be stressful and overwhelming.
You may have heard horror stories about unreliable, unresponsive, or even bad general contractors. But among the bad, there are good.
Below I will show you some ways to find a good GC so you can feel good about your decision and rest easy as you move forward with your construction project.
“Good buildings come from good people, and all problems are solved by good design.”
Check Them Out Online
Make Sure They are Licensed
Unfortunately some businesses may not even be licensed or may have had their license revoked.
It’s a good idea to take a few minutes to check them out online before making a costly decision.
Visit Their Website
Do they have a website?
It can tell you a lot about a company.
- Does it look professional? A website gives you the confidence to know they are in good standing, care about what they do, and want to showcase it.
- Pictures of their projects – Do they have pictures of their projects? It means they aren’t afraid to showcase their projects, and that they will take pride in yours to showcase it as well.
- About me page – it’s often a great way to meet the team you may work with, front and center or behind the scenes. It also shows you if the company cares about its employees.
- Awards – often a company will display the awards they’ve won, do they have any?
- Reviews – do they have reviews on their website? What is the consensus?
And what else does their website have? Does it look professional? Do they take the time to work with people and answer their questions?
The website can show a lot about their passion and professionalism.
Read Their Reviews
If they don’t have a website with reviews, check other places on the internet.
- Houzz – Many GC’s have a page on Houzz (a website for home building) which can make for a company website, complete with information about the company and reviews.
- Facebook – If they don’t have any of the above, do they have a Facebook page?
- You can also check Google and Yelp to see if they have any reviews online.
Get a Personal Feel
Get ‘Word of Mouth’ Feedback
‘Word of mouth’ feedback is very valuable, and worth taking the time to find.
Do you know anybody that has had work done in your area?
Ask around. Ask if anybody has worked with a contractor you are thinking about, or ask if anyone has any recommendations.
Advertising and marketing are great, but nothing beats good old fashioned word of mouth.
And if not, don’t feel bad asking for references…
Check Their References
Hey, we know references can feel a little easy, but that doesn’t mean they’re not being honest!
So ask the general contractor if they can give you 2-3 references, call them and have a chat!
See what they say about the GC. Ask about communication, the overall project, and other talking points on this page.
Are They Responsive?
Are they responsive? Do they answer your questions in a timely manner and seem like they care? It may be a warning sign if you aren’t getting timely responses and it could be a sign of things to come.
What do their reviews say? How about their references?
Some may just be too busy.
Some, unfortunately, just do not care, and it shows right up front if you are paying attention.
The sweet spot is to find a contractor that set themselves up to take care of you, busy or not, and just as importantly care about you and your project.
Do They Value Honesty?
In your initial conversations do they seem honest? Are they up front about additional costs and challenges you could face? Many projects run into unexpected hiccups.
It’s important to have a GC that will be up front with you about the issues as they arise.
If they are honest in your early conversations, it could be a good sign of things to come.
Are They Open to Site Visits?
Are they open to site visits?
If they reach out to take you on site visits, they are likely proud of their work, and have nothing to hide.
Do They Have Open Communication?
Open and consistent communication can make or break a project. we have seen situations where the client rarely or never hears from their selected contractor.
This can cause you frustration and potential issues on your project.
The homeowner – general contractor relationship is important…
Which brings me to my next point.
Go With Your Gut
It’s important to go with your gut. Make sure you are comfortable with the contractor you select.
Have they answered all of your questions? Have they done everything they can to make you feel comfortable and to stay in contact with you?
Have they checked most of the boxes on this page?
If so, you may have a good GC on your hands.
Things to Keep in Mind
Cheapest Isn’t Always The Best
Cheapest isn’t always the best – nor is it always the cheapest! (stay with me) It’s a buyer beware world out there. A low price always looks good, but is their quality up to par?
Or are they cheapest because they just care about getting the job done, not done right?
Be aware of hidden fees (i.e. change orders). Your GC should be very clear on what constitutes a change order.
And they should stay transparent with you throughout the process on any potential change orders. Because if the contractor likes to give change orders you may run into trouble down the road, when the cost escalates to or above some competing bids!
You May Run Into a Problem During The Construction Process
On large projects with many moving parts, you may run into issues. It’s how they are handled that counts.
Find comfort in knowing you did your due diligence and picked a good contractor. That will keep the communication going and will work with you to handle anything you run into.
Choosing the right general contractor in Hawaii can be a scary and overwhelming task, with so much of your money and time on the line.
So use the steps above to make your choice easier.
Just ask yourself one question – Are you comfortable with the general contractor you are choosing?
You always want a competitive price, but don’t just jump at the cheapest cost…if something seems to be too good to be true, it often is. Keep an eye out for hidden costs.
And once you select your perfect general contractor – watch as your project comes together and your beautiful hawaiian home is built!
Want to know more?
H-1 Construction is a custom home builder on Oahu, Hawaii with a reputation for great homes. And we are here to help in any way that we can.
For more information, or to contact us, please visit our website at www.h1constructionhawaii.com.