Who’s Going to Raise the Barn?
Barn Pros pre-engineers beautiful barn and barn inspired home kits while efficiently sourcing the highest quality materials to provide a complete package that goes together fast and with minimal chance of errors. Our unique system allows you to have more control over your barn without the usual price tag for custom barns.
Barn Pros ships throughout the entire United States and Canada. Because of the diverse geographic locations and state building regulations, we entrust the actual construction to local builders who understand your land, government requirements, and whom you choose, giving you control over who you work with.
One of the most critical phases is, of course, the construction of the structure and selecting a proper builder is conducive to not only the success of the project but the ease at which it is accomplished. It’s important to choose a qualified builder who not only has the professional skills, but who you also feel connected to and comfortable with. It can’t be understated in the dividends this pays since your builder will likely be integrated into your life throughout the entire construction process, which often is multiple months. Let’s explore some of the best avenues to find a builder as well as each party’s responsibilities in the overall process.
Once you have your land secured and structure chosen, the next step is determining how to get your structure erected into a solid, long-lasting building. You need someone experienced, not just in construction, but with guidance on permits and dealing with code officials, and who will be available at your desired time of construction.
Types of Construction Contractors
If you’re new to the construction trades, you may hear many different terms for contractors that sort of sound like the same things. A “handyman” usually fixes smaller items around the house after it is built. A “house framer” is usually only experienced in putting up the structural parts, or the skeleton, of a building and is not involved with foundations or any interior or exterior work. A “builder” or “general contractor (GC)” manages construction of a building from the ground up, from start to finish. A “builder” is what you want for your Barn Pros project!
Builder Recommendations from Your Network
Asking your friends, family, coworkers, or even real estate agents for recommendations is the tried and true method of finding contractors. Your trusted network will most assuredly include people who have had construction work done or know someone else who did. Good service and experiences go a long way, so don’t underestimate the word of mouth approach.
Useful Questions to Consider Asking:
- Which builder did they use?
- What type of work did the contractor perform?
- Are they properly licensed and bonded?
- How was the quality of workmanship?
- How was the communication between them?
- Did the contractor start and finish the project when they promised?
- Did the builder arrive on time? Were they respectful of the rest of the property?
- What were the payment arrangements?
- What suggestions would they have if they were to do the project again?
Networking is one of the best ways to find out who comes recommended and who you should stay away from. And, you could get some good insight into issues you might not have known to ask about.
Finding Builders Online
Nearly every reputable builder has a web presence of some sort. Not only will you find builders in your area, but you will also find multiple recommendation services for contractors.
Recommendation services are a great tool for finding builders. These sites list contractors by specialties and allow people who have used their services to rate them and leave client comments. This empowers you to easily find a builder that does great work and is endorsed by a larger cross-section of clients and even industry peers. Some of these sites charge small fees for users; some are free to use. Most charge a fee to the contractor. These practices help to ensure genuine clients are leaving feedback and that everyone is taking the mission of finding good help seriously. Here are a few sites (no affiliation with Barn Pros) that you might want to try:
- Home Advisor
- Angie’s List
- Contractor Connection
- Chamber of Commerce
By spending some time reading various companies’ web pages and using recommendation services, you can get an idea of what skills and experience each builder possesses and who has a business approach that appeals to you.
Government and Professional Services
If you want recommendations from professionals in the field, try calling your local government building department. They may be willing to provide a list of contractors in your area. Also, check with your local Better Business Bureau and any Home Builders’ Associations for their recommendations and ratings. They typically have directories of contractors who belong to their organizations.
Finally, stop by the “contractor desk” at your building supply stores and ask for suggestions. They work with all the local builders and may have a good idea of the kind of work each does.
Do It Yourself
If you already have construction experience, building your own structure can be a great way to save money and add enjoyment and pride. So, if you are experienced, great! But recognize that building a large structure from the ground up is a different set of challenges.
If you feel comfortable doing parts of the process (maybe you’ve done some remodeling or an addition) but not others, you may still be able to save some money by contracting out key jobs and only performing the ones you feel comfortable with.
If you don’t have any more experience than, say, a volunteer afternoon with Habitat For Humanity, know that construction is a highly regulated business—this helps ensure your safety. So, before you attempt a learn-as-you-go mission, realize that building a barn is a large project and may not be the best project to start with. There are myriad details, legalities, and project management skills involved besides the actual construction. These all take time. And, do not underestimate the amount of time construction takes either. Getting a structure “under roof” in a timely manner is important, both for the materials and for your satisfaction. Since the quality of your structure is dependent on quality construction techniques, think seriously about the skills and time you bring. If you want to make sure your barn looks great, lasts decades, and is built in a timely manner, hiring a professional builder may be your best option.
Trust and Cooperation
The importance of choosing someone that you trust and will work well with you personally cannot be understated. This is where word of mouth as a source for finding a builder shines brightly. Barn Pros can fill in gaps in your builder’s knowledge, but we can’t generate trust between the two of you. We’ve worked with hundreds of builders who appreciate the ease and predictability that Barn Pros brings to the project. If you have a builder in mind, feel free to have them call us. We would love to chat with them personally. Our experienced staff can make sure that they understand everything, and we will do all we can to make their (and your) lives easier.
Responsibilities: Barn Pros, Your Builder, and You
Barn Pros will provide the locally-sourced materials for your pre-engineered structure delivered to your site. We provide architectural blueprints and any other instructions required. This includes foundation requirements and drawings. We will work directly with you and your builder to resolve any questions or issues as they arise throughout the entire process.
Your builder is responsible for laying the foundation and framing the structure. This includes roofs, floors and any additional exterior and interior work. Depending on your arrangement and needs, the builder may arrange for other subcontractors to perform specialized installations, such as plumbing and electrical. They will usually take care of permitting and inspection requirements.
You are responsible for choosing a structure that fits your needs and providing an approved piece of land to build upon. You must maintain regular communication with your builder and Barn Pros during the entire process. And finally, you are responsible for enjoying your new structure for years to come!