There are 1.92 million houses in the state of Minnesota. Many of them are very nice, but none of them are your dream home. That’s because the perfect house for you and your family hasn’t been built yet – hence your search for custom home building specialists.

Custom home construction isn’t a matter of printing out a blueprint, slapping together a few two-by-fours and calling it a day. Home building specialists must possess considerable building expertise, as well as the ability to understand precisely what their client envisions for their ideal domicile.

Selecting the right contractor for your dream home construction project is essential to ensure such an important project’s success. Unfortunately, the general contractor selection process can feel overwhelming with so many home building specialists to choose from. Here’s what you should look for before committing to your dream home’s builder!


Do Your Own Research

This may go without saying, but a dream home is not an impulse buy. You want to leave nothing to chance while picking a general contractor whose work will ultimately cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. You can take legal action if you wind up mired in a home building horror story, but avoiding a nightmare altogether is the vastly preferable option.

Before hiring a general contractor, first make certain they are licensed, bonded and insured. (Choosing a licensed contractor also gives you access to the Contractor Recovery Fund.) Check to see if the contractor has a history of litigation – if they are frequently sued, that’s a glowing sign they don’t have an exemplary track record. Ask for professional references: a list of past clients who can confirm the contractor does great work.

Finally, look for the contractor’s online reviews. Google, HomeAdvisor, Angi, Houzz, Porch and Thumbtack all provide insight into how reliably a contractor satisfies their clients’ expectations. The Better Business Bureau is informative as well!


Ask to See Their Portfolio

The ideal candidate to build your dream home will enthusiastically offer a portfolio of their recent and best work. Reviewing that portfolio won’t just reveal that the contractor brings a lot of experience to the table. It will also demonstrate whether they have already built homes that are similar to the one you envision.

But remember: it is feasible that a contractor would still do an outstanding job for you even if they have never built something similar to your dream home before. If their portfolio exhibits a wide variety of architectural styles, then this may very well be the case.


Be Wary of Crooks

Unscrupulous contractors offer several warning signs that they’ll do substandard work – if they wind up doing any work at all. Look for these telltale signs that a contractor isn’t as professional as they represent themself to be.

  • They show up in an unmarked vehicle. No self-respecting contractor doesn’t put their logo on their truck.
  • They offer to do the work for an abnormally low price. If it sounds too good to be true … well, you already know the rest.
  • They only offer a post office box as their business address. They should have a local phone number, too.
  • They require full payment (or a suspiciously large sum of money) to begin construction. A typical draw schedule usually comprises five to seven
  • They do not provide a written estimate or contract. This red flag is visible from outer space.
  • They ask you to sign something before you have chosen to hire them. They may be attempting to trick you into entering a legally binding contract.
  • They try to pressure you at any point. A reputable contractor never resorts to hucksterism.


Schedule an Interview

If you own a small business, you would never hire someone based solely on their resume and professional references. You would want to sit down with them and gauge their professionalism in person. Hiring a contractor is no different. You never want to hire one sight unseen.

It’s good to include a few friendly asides while you’re interviewing a candidate to build your dream home, but make sure you ask a few pointed questions as well, such as:

  • How many building permits have you pulled in my area over the past two years?
  • How long do you expect construction to last?
  • Which subcontractors would you hire over the course of the project?
  • Who will supervise the project, and how would I get in touch with them?
  • What payment schedule will you implement?
  • Do you foresee any unique challenges during the project?
  • Will you produce a written lien waiver once the project is complete?
  • What will you do to reduce costs without compromising quality?


Choose Angell’s Construction

Would you like to build your dream home in the greater Twin Cities or St. Cloud, MN areas? Then we welcome you to contact Angell’s Construction Inc. today! We have decades of experience building new homes throughout Minnesota. Our portfolio encompasses nearly every style of home imaginable, and our commitments to superlative communication, accountability and punctuality all assure that the most important construction project of your life will go off without a hitch.