5 tips for selecting your contractor

Christopherson Builders Interior Design Exterior back yard

Looking for a Sonoma County General Contractor, or a new home builder in the California North Bay?

Choosing a General Contractor for your building project is a huge decision. Whether in our hometown of Santa Rosa, in Sonoma County, or in the greater North Bay area, we want our clients to feel confident that they have selected a home builder that they can trust. Your home building partner for your construction project needs to be someone that you can trust, and someone that you know will be with you throughout your entire home building process and beyond.

That’s why we prepared this list of pro-tips for you of the top 5 things to consider when selecting your home builder.

We asked our experienced leadership team at Christopherson Builders to share their insights on the most important things to think about when choosing a home builder, and why you want a reputable General Contractor in charge of building your new home.

Here is what they had to say:

Pro-Tip Number One: Knowledge.

Sometimes, there is just no substitution for experience.  For something as important as building your new new home, you need to trust that the general contractor you hire is an expert in their field.  Their knowledge base needs to be vast.  Your home builder should naturally understand how to build a home, and be good at it – that goes without saying.  However they should also have accrued knowledge that is specific to the areas in which they build.

Why? Because local area nuances that someone may not be well versed in can cause confusion and delays, which in turn can cost you money.  Prime examples of this can be being unfamiliar with local rules & regulations that can influence both your architecture and your timing for use of the land.  This can be particularly impactful on country property, or “raw”, previously unbuilt land.

Christopherson Builders has been building in the North Bay for over 45 years, with broad experience in Napa, Solano, Marin, Sacramento and Mendocino counties.  Moreover, our team is highly skilled and carefully selected, as they represent both our brand and our name.

Pro-Tip Number Two: Framework.

We’re not talking about framing the home, although that is also important.  We’re talking about the service framework that supports your building process so that you can get to framing and beyond.  A refined process, like a well-oiled machine, is what keeps a building project moving forward on time, and on budget.

If a builder does not have a very clear methodology with systems in place, odds are good that there are going to be bumps in the road which can lead to costly delays.  Delays in one area trickle-down to multiple other areas and can disrupt your construction schedule.  So, it is in your best interest to choose a general contractor that has systems and processes clearly in place.

Gantt Chart

In addition to having honed our process over years, our background in building communities allows us to be able to build at scale.  That means, we have the ability to handle many home builds at once, and keep them all moving forward in a synchronized cadence.  This is particularly meaningful if you are looking at building from an investment standpoint.

Questions about the process? Take a look at our general process steps for building a home here.

Pro-Tip Number Three: Partnership.

Building a home is more than the process of constructing a house.  It’s a commitment.  If you take on the unique and memorable experience of building your own home, you will form a relationship with your home builder that is going to last at least about a year.  You need to be sure that your General Contractor is going to be there for you when you need them, and will be able to support your building experience in every way.

One of the things that we pride ourselves on is the client-centric mindset that was the inception of our all-inclusive building service.  Our goal is to make building a home as easy and as fun for you as possible.

Of course there are always going to be tough decisions to work through, but how we work together will shape your overall experience.  We offer our clients pre-construction services, interior design service that is included with your new home build, estimating, project management, a dedicated construction manager as well as a whole support team to handle all of your building needs.  In addition, our clients receive the benefit of a web-based building portal, accessible from PC or mobile device, that keeps you up to date and organized during your time with us.

Pro-Tip Number Four:  Licensing & Insurance.

We know this might seem like a no-brainer.  But we bring up how super important it is to hire a licensed and insured home-builder, because in the worst-case scenario it is extremely important.  You would probably be surprised at how many times our phone rings, and we hear that someone just paid a guy in a truck tens of thousands of dollars and now their house is torn apart and they can’t find them.  Sadly, it does happen.  Even more concerning, it has been known to happen often is areas that are recovering from disaster such as the wildfires that California and other US States have been experiencing.  More than once, we have taken over building a home that was abandoned partway through the build.

We don’t say this to scare you, but to protect you.  It is extremely important to engage a General Contractor with appropriate licensing and insurance, so if as a common example, someone gets injured on your property during your home build, YOU are protected.

Pro-Tip Number Five: Reliability.

Did you know that Christopherson Builders offers both a home warranty and an in-house service team?  We have a long history of taking care of our homeowners, which is one of the main reasons we are still building new homes in the San Francisco North Bay over 40 years later.

Here is a true story.  A year or two ago, one of our homeowners experienced an issue with their air-conditioner on the cusp of a long, hot summer extended holiday weekend.  It was Friday after closing and we were not technically under obligation to take care of the appliance anymore, but our President, Amy Christopherson-Bolten, couldn’t leave our homeowners in misery.  So, she got on the phone, called one of our long-standing vendors with whom we have a great relationship, and got them to go out there are take care of the problem that night.  That’s what we mean when we say we stand by our homes, and our people.

Christopherson Builders, Sonoma County General Contractor, Santa Rosa General Contractor, Napa general contractor

Why to choose Christopherson Builders as your General Contractor.

There are so many things to consider when choosing your general contractor for your new home build. It can be easy, and normal to have decisions about tile or flooring take up the forefront of your thoughts.  That’s why we thought it important to take a step back and consider the essentials.

Christopherson Builders is deeply steeped in the North Bay, as we’ve been building here for over 45 years.  Sonoma County is our home, and we know the land intimately.  We have built over 7,000 homes in 63 communities

We are currently offering home building services in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Solano and Sacramento counties. We are a full-service General Contractor based in Sonoma County, and are ready to take on your new home building project, big or small. Our services include custom home building, rebuilding after wildfire and building both single-family and multi-family new home communities.


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