Don’t Overlook Four Key Points When Shopping for a Builder

by Stephen Gidus
Deciding on a builder comes with a certain level of forethought. Building a new home or remodeling is typically one of the biggest investments people make in their lifetime. Knowing what to consider when making that final choice can help homeowners select the builder they feel most comfortable investing in.

What Does Your Money Buy?
Service is a feature touted by every company from fast food restaurants to tire stores, but it is especially critical when it comes to an investment in a new home or remodeling project. Service has to do with the level of attention both the homeowner and the project receives. While any builder may be capable of completing the scope of work, homeowners have to remember that the process can vary greatly from builder to builder. The investment homeowners make isn’t limited to the finished product but includes the process.

Consumers today realize that their time has a price on it. They are no longer willing to tolerate sub-standard or average work in order to save money. Today’s consumers aren’t willing to put out fires that are really the builder’s responsibility, micro-manage their project or accept average work in order to save money. They realize that cutting corners today probably means paying for it in one way or another in the future. Plenty of consumers can attest to paying more for a project in the end because they chose a contractor they thought was “cheaper.” Some consumers have ended up paying even more than if they had hired the “most expensive” contractor!

Homeowners will want to consider what systems and management policies a company has in place to keep their project running smoothly and efficiently. Homeowners should ask how inconveniences will be kept to a minimum. How easy will it be to contact company representatives on a daily basis? What policies are in place concerning safety and security? Will a comfortable relationship evolve between the builder and homeowner over the course of the project? PSG Construction takes pride in having developed systems for every step of a project. Specific policies have been developed for the safety of employees, subcontractors, suppliers and the homeowners. Possible inconveniences to the homeowner are identified prior to construction and steps are taken to minimize the intrusion on the homeowners. Rules and regulations are clearly posted at every job site. We understand that developing a comfortable and respectful relationship with the homeowners is a critical part of service. Homeowners are confident that they can easily contact us and that their calls will be returned quickly.

What Happened to the Word “Quality”?
“Quality” is a word that has been so overused that it has lost most of its meaning and effectiveness. Quality really signifies a level of excellence-and this can certainly vary! PSG Construction aims for a high level of excellence in the types of products and workmanship we offer. This narrows the type of client our company attracts, but we are comfortable in offering a level of excellence that is evident in our finished product and one that clients are willing to investment in. This is the PSG Construction “level of excellence.”

How Much Experience Is Enough?
PSG Construction has been in business for thirteen years and has 34 years of combined experience. With 90% of remodeling companies failing within the first five years, we are proud of our track record, yet don’t want to convey the false notion that experience is everything. What matters is that in those thirteen years, PSG Construction has had the opportunity to develop systems that work. We implement detailed systems that allow our company to provide a high level of excellence in the methods of construction and finishes we use. A company’s experience can make a difference in the success of a project.[/one_second]

What Options Are Available?
As Americans, we know we have plenty of options available. With more than 1,000 shampoos, dozens of cereals and over 200 soft drinks, we have options! Consumers also have countless options when building a new home or remodeling. Products are part of these options–and products can make a difference in the outcome of a project. Even though a company may offer a different standard of product than another company, the consumer can still attempt to compare “apples to apples” when it comes to products. Homeowners need to determine what level of product they are willing to investment in.

Some builders may compromise the quality of products in order to keep costs at bay. Consumers in general want larger, more impressive homes, but not all consumers are willing to pay the high price associated with a solidly-built large home. Some builders will lower their standards in the products used in order to keep the overall price attractive. For example, imported tile can create an elegant bathroom. But if this costly finish is installed directly on a wood underlayment on a second floor area or crawl space without a layer of concrete board in between, the wood underlayment can end up rotting away over time. Another example is the common practice of finishing an exterior porch ceiling with stucco. In shower and bath areas, “greenboard” is commonly used, but it will absorb water and deteriorate beneath the surface finish over time.

Some consumers will not have a problem with budget-trimming construction methods and products. On the other hand, there is a significant percentage of consumers who value the use of some of the best products and construction methods available. They want homes constructed for endurance, soundness and strength. They want home that don’t just look impressive, but are built impressively.

“Our business is to make sure our clients are happy,” Stephen maintains. “If we don’t provide options for them, we may not meet their expectations. PSG Construction prefers to select what the company believes to be some of the best methods and products available. We determine which are best suited to our clients and provide them with those options.”

PSG client Duke Woodson, a local attorney, recently completed a major renovation project. Duke expressed the attitude of a select group of consumers when he requested substance “beneath the surface” and not just superficially in his renovation project (see note at end of article.) Consumers like Duke not only want finishes that are visibly beautiful, but they also want to know that the methods of construction and products not visible are among the industry’s best.

Homeowners considering building or remodeling will want to take the time to look for a level of excellence, experience, product and service they are comfortable with in the builder they select.

Editor’s Note: Read the complete article “Talents of Artisans Used to Restore Home with Unusual Past” on our web site or in The PSG Report, 2000, Volume V.