Last May — after some deliberation about being owner-builders — we decided to hire a construction supervisor or a general contractor, to manage the bulk of the build. We received a great response and, understandably, have since been asked repeatedly about the outcome.
After getting numerous contacts, we down-selected to four quality builders. This was done by considering the following:
- Experience in construction generally as well as with unusual materials
- Quality of workmanship
- Recommendations from past clients
- Flexibility in managing the project and working with us
- Price structure
- Level of interest in building our home
- Personality and rapport that provided a good fit
Time was also a factor in this decision. A number of builders contacted us after we had begun to interview. I'm sure many of them were also great builders, but we simply needed to move on in the selection process.
We met with all four and toured homes built buy two of them. Our final four were:
- Rob Shaffer of Shaffer Homes
- Matt McEwan of McEwan Custom Homes
- Ed Teeples of Teeples Custom Builders
- Brad Bushman of Brad Bushman Construction
All of these builders are qualified craftsmen with a great deal of experience. Any one of them could have built us a beautiful home.
After much consideration, we selected Brad Bushman as our builder. When I posted the letter looking for builders, I received two, unsolicited recommendations from personal friends of mine who had recently contracted with Brad to build their custom homes. They both raved about him and one of them pointed him to this blog. Another person told me of a mutual friend who had hired Brad and was equally satisfied.
These personal recommendations weighed heavily into our decision, as we've been through a custom build before and understand the difficulty. If you can come out of a custom build loving your builder, that's saying something!
In addition to the recommendations, Brad fit the bill in every way. He was interested in our unusual system and materials, he was easy to talk to, he was very responsive when we asked questions or needed help. He was willing to let us be as involved as we wanted and to adjust his price accordingly.
While I wouldn't hesitate to recommend any of the four builders above, based on my experience with them, Brad Bushman was the best fit for our particular project. We look forward to working with him and creating our dream home. Finally!