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How to Choose a Good Builder in Wilmington, NC

Updated: Jul 29, 2023

The Seven Points to Choosing a Good Builder

General Contractors in North Carolina are licensed by the State and there are different levels. Some are residential only, and others are building contractors who have a commercial and residential license. They must prove financial backing to certain levels, pass the appropriate state tests to confirm their knowledge and also take continuing education each year to renew their license. Make sure the company you hire meets the obligations of the project. Avocet Design Build is a licensed Building General Contractor who can perform work for residential and commercial projects. To understand more about this visit North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors online or in person in Raleigh.

Avocet Design Build crew

2. Insurance and Bonding Information

All General Contractors are required to carry two types of insurance. General Liability and Workers Compensation if they hire their own employees. Subcontractors should also carry their own policies. These policies are in place to safeguard the homeowner, contractor and employees in the event of an emergency or accident on the job while it is in progress. As a homeowner, you should ask for a Certificate of Insurance from your contractor with you as the certificate holder during the renovation or building process. Avocet Design Build carries both policies to a high level to ensure everyone is covered.

3. Communication is Key

The home building or renovation process is lengthy and finding a company to work with that you can communicate clearly with on a daily basis for an extended period of time should be one of the biggest factors. A general renovation takes 3 to 4 months and building a new home from 6 to 9 months or longer. Please make sure your personality and style match that of your contractor and their team. Avocet Design Build prides itself on communication. We have clear, written contracts, we schedule weekly client meetings while the job is in progress and have an after hours contact person.

Every project should have a budget. Avocet Design Build estimates projects and uses a fixed-price contract, which means it does not change cost once it is signed. When talking to contractors make sure you are comparing apples to apples. It is difficult to purchase a product you have only seen in drawings. Price should NOT be your first consideration. Ask for past clients to talk to about their experience, read online reviews and consider Value VS. Cost before making a final decision.

5. Permitting

All remodeling and home building projects usually require a permit from the New Hanover County Building Department. Make sure your contractor gets the required permits for your project. You, as the homeowner, are liable for fees and fines imposed by the city or county if a permit is not obtained. Avocet Design Build is well versed in the zoning rules and permitting process, as well as CAMA wetlands for Wilmington and surrounding counties.

6. Job Site Cleanliness

A jobsite, which is your home, should be respected by the contractor with daily pick-up, tools stored properly, trash properly contained so it doesn’t blow around, and materials placed where they won’t be damaged until used. Avocet Design Build takes pride in our daily work! We recognize that we are working in your living space and do our best to be respectful. We do not allow smoking onsite, we designate parking for all workers and subcontractors, and replace air filters for you to minimize dust and dirt in your home.

7. Completion & Warranty

Does the contractor finish the projects of past clients on time and on budget? This should be a question you ask for references on. Strive for 100% completion on your project in the time frame given by the contractor. The contractor should offer a warranty on his workmanship. Avocet Design Build adheres to its schedule and does a walk-through with the client when the final inspections are completed by the county to address any punch list items in a timely manner. We offer a three year written warranty on our high quality workmanship.


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