Looking for competent Christian builders? Here are some considerations...

Choosing the best of the Christian builders for your church or school project can be a daunting task.

Most likely, members of your congregation, for example, may know Christian builders candidates or there may even be members who are contractors themselves.

If so, will these be the most qualified people to undertake your important new building or renovation job?

As you likely know, perhaps not.

How many successful church or school jobs have the candidates completed? Are there persons you can speak with who were part of the construction so you can see what their experience was with the builder?

Are there simple ways to select a Christian builder for your church project?

Perhaps the key ingredient, the same as in everyday life, is in the relationship you and your team will have with your contractor.

It is so important to have on your team professionals who, in both good times and storms, can work together for the common cause, which in this case is the successful completion of your project.

Some of the basic things to look for are the builders commitment to professional quality construction, responsible business management and reliable customer and warranty service.

Here are some specific questions to ask when choosing a contractor from your church builders candidates:

• 1. Are they properly licensed according to the requirements for your area?

• 2. How long have they been in business? And what similar jobs have they completed in the past that you can see?

• 3. Do they have workers compensation and general liability insurance? If so, make sure to obtain written proof of insurance from their carrier.

• 4. Do they understand that your involvement during the project and until its successful completion depends on effective communication and follow-through?

• 5. Will they maintain an organized and reasonably neat job site to prevent damage or injury?

Job site accidents and injuries can result in expensive litigation, so the safety record of your builder is an important consideration.

• 6. Will they guarantee their work with a warranty?

• 7. Will they respond promptly to service calls and inquiries?

As you know, your project represents a sizable investment of both time and money. Like a personal investing decision, you should invest in a construction project with church builders you can trust.

To determine the trustworthiness of your contractor, get to know their owners and managers.

Are they only concerned about making money or are they truly interested in pleasing you? Early in the relationship, you should be getting a sense of their professionalism.

Professional church builders should be involved locally, so you can legitimately question - what are they giving back to their community?

Local involvement is a sign of caring professionals who understand that there is much more to being a good building company than just creating structures.

Be sure and check references to reassure yourself you are making the right choice. If possible, visit past projects that the builder has done. Walk through the building and talk with persons who were part of the project. You are not looking only for platitudes as there is no such thing as a perfect builder or project, just a feel for how the past customers respond to your questions about their experience.

As you begin to define your needs and wants, look at trade magazines and accumulate photos or articles about what your project will consist of. Consider traffic patterns, equipment placement, colors, lighting and how you want to use the spaces.

Develop a budget of how much you would like to invest in the project.

If you are having difficulty in coming up with a budget amount, quality Christian builders can help you with this crucial stage.

You do not want to spend a lot of time and money developing plans and specifications only to realize that it will cost way more than you can spend.

Finally, select your contractor and get started!

Creating a new building can be an exciting and rewarding experience that is to be enjoyed. Good people are the most fun to do business with, so pick someone with whom you can enjoy the ride and get the end result you are dreaming of.

Doing your homework in the beginning can pay off with a successful project that comes in on time and on budget if you choose your Christian builders partner carefully.

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