I am wondering if anyone can give me some advises or thoughts on how to approach builders in general.
I am a very experienced but small roofing contractor located in Edmonton. I gathered all the builders in the city and start sending them emails introducing myself. I have not done many emails yet, because I am not too sure if this is the best, most effective way to appoarch them. Most of the contacts are small to medium size builders.
With builders there are very good Builders and some are crooks. Be care full about those who exactly knows how to play with newcomers in business.
Pick and choose the GOOD BUILDER. Check his payment plans, check with other trades how long they are working with this builder? His references etc.
Make sure you have a signed written contract with payment plans and specify details - if you miss anything you will not earn single penny and the builders lawyer who is on pay role fights case and you wont even see the builder.
They will find faults with the work done and keep on lingering your payments, if its sub division then you finish these houses we will release the back payment so your money is always pending you will be lucky if you get your material money your labour would be all for FREE. Now this is worst case.
There are a few good ones but make sure you have FULL contract and cover your self all the time. I have seen in Toronto lot of small guys running out of business because they were chasing for BIG builders contract and lsot what they had earned.
Good luck !
Emails work, and so do mailed items. The best way to show yourself (in my opinions) is to physically go the the builders directly. Bring references and any information that you may have regarding tools, knowledge of different types of roofing, and anticipate questions. By visiting, you can also gain a "feel" for the contractor/builder you are seeing.
As mentioned, not all are good and go with a gut feeling. If you work for one or two, look at their work and it will give you and idea of their quality. Protect yourself and you'll be fine.
Lots of wisdom here, Mimi.
Do your homework on each builder. Whichever one doesn't seem to be "good" or fair, scratch off your list. After you've finished going through your list, make up an information packet that includes your references, pictures of previous jobs, and your experience. Call each builder and schedule an appointment to see them. Face to face is always better. It might feel daunting at first, but once you get a couple under your belt, you'll feel more relaxed. And after each interview (you ARE interviewing THEM after all), rate each one on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being you'll never want to work with them and 10 being you definitely want to work with them. (Ask them lots of questions.)
ALWAYS work with a contract and proper payment schedule and do perfect work. Don't put all your chips in the builders baskets. IMO, it's better to find your own work and clientele, as well.
Thank you for your advise. I think they are wonderful tips. Some of them I didn't think of before. My partner and I will move forward with our plan as per your advise. In fact, we have scheduled one interview already with a builder.
Thank you again!
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