Selecting a general contractor for your timber frame home is a very important decision. Your general contractor is responsible for constructing your timber frame home. From the excavation of the foundation to the final walk-through, they are in charge of all aspects of the building process. Before signing your name on the dotted line, make sure of what the company is providing. The services a contractor provides can vary, and each company has different views on the extent of their services. Most contractors coordinate the labor and see to assembling all the required materials in a timely fashion. Their job is completing your home within the set budget and on time.
The contractor manages the job site and supervises the work and the workers. This includes the plumbers, electricians and roofers, as well as carpenters and general labor workers. Workers may be in the employ of the contracting company or they may be sub-contractors.
A general contractor that is experienced with timber frame construction is a great asset. They maintain records, coordinate payments, develop and maintain a construction schedule and monitor the work to ensure everything is completed properly and in a timely fashion. In addition, their familiarity with timber frame construction methods can be of significant value in the design phase of your home. Although timber frame construction experience is definitely helpful, it is not unconditionally necessary. The most important thing is that the architect, timber framing company and the contractor are able to communicate well with the general contractor and that he understands the unique facets of this building project.
If your timber frame company does not have a list of contractors in your area, you can consult your local builders associations for references or our directory. When interviewing potential contractors you should find out how long they have been in business and if they have experience with timber framing. If so, for which companies have they worked. Make sure they are willing to work with the architect or designer in the design stage. Ask questions such as how they handle change orders.
Using a Request for Proposal (RFP) is the best way to get apples to apples pricing. This is a package that includes construction drawings and specifications pertinent to the various details required to complete the construction of your home. These packets are sent to prospective builders and tradesmen asking them for proposals. This fair and competitive bidding process allows you to gather and assemble bid information accurately, so you can select the best team for your construction project.