The Best Construction Companies in Howard County MD Are the Ones Proven Safe To Hire
General contractors in Howard County MD bearing The Prime Buyer's Report TOP 10 symbol exceed the minimum Maryland regulatory requirement.
They are the local general builders or general commercial builders proven by our independent research to have passed the TOP 10 requirements for value and competency, who have liability and worker's comp insurance as protection for you the customer, who use only employees legal to work in the U.S. and for whom our calls to their previous customers have verified high satisfaction with them as commercial or custom home builders in Howard County MD.
Updated August 21, 2019
Ellicott City, MD 21043
Fulton, MD 20759
Elkridge, MD 21075
Marriottsville, MD 21104
West Friendship, MD 21794
Annapolis Junction, MD 20701
The Best Construction Companies in Howard County MD Are the Ones Proven Safe To Hire
Maryland State requires new home builders in Howard County MD to be registered by the state with a Maryland Home Builder Registration Number (MHBR number), which merely requires proof of liability insurance and paying a $600 registration fee.
That is no guarantee that any particular home builder is doing business ethically, providing real value, satisfying customers, or is even competent, since state registration doesn't require any exam, test of ability or classes, nor proof of worker's compensation insurance to protect you from claims if their employee is injured on your property.
This makes it all the more significant that all general contractors in Howard County MD who bear The Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 symbol have been cleared by our research staff as passing all the requirements for Prime Buyer's Report-TOP 10 status such as research phone calls to previous customers to verify high satisfaction, good complaint record, verified state registration, only employees legal to work in the U.S., and more.
The state of Maryland makes a distinction between commercial construction companies and home builders, with home builders being required to register with the state. Subcontractors working for the new home builders are not regulated by the state in that way however, nor are mobile home builders or manufacturered home builders, unless they are also selling it.
Distinct Requirements of Custom Home Builders in Maryland
State law defines a custom home builder as one building a home on land you already own. These custom home builders in Howard County MD are required by law to put all payments by you prior to completion that exceed 5% of the contract price, into an escrow account, and the checks you write should be payable directly to that escrow account, not payable to the custom home builders directly.
Custom home builders are required to provide you in writing with a "draw schedule", a form that details the dollar amount that the builders are entitled to as work progresses on the project after certain specified items of work have been completed. They are allowed to make those scheduled draws only for the purpose of buying material or paying labor, or returning money to you, or as final payment to themselves upon the issuance of an occupancy permit for the new home.
An allowed substitution for the escrow account and draw schedule requirement is if the home builder puts up a corporate surety bond in the required amount.
Custom home builders in Howard County MD are required to identify in your written contract who the primary subcontractors are expected to be, that any changes to the scope of work or price in the contract must be recorded in writing as change orders, and to provide you within 30 days of every draw payment they make from the escrow account a list of all subcontractors or suppliers that indicates which have been paid by the builder.
They must also give you waivers of liens from all those subcontractors or suppliers after final payment has been made to each of them, as assurance that those third parties will not be filing a lien that forces the sale of your home in order to pay them. That potential risk of a mechanic's lien by subcontractors or vendors is also to be given to you in writing on its own separate page of the custom home contract.
Understandably, not all general contractors in Howard County can be equally experienced in every specialized area of construction. So find general contractors in Howard County based on the specific type of work you need done. Some general contractors specialize as custom home builders, others as commercial contractors or for municipal construction.
Some General Contractors in Howard County MD Are Better Than Others
We've identified some of the best general contractors based on customer satisfaction, efficiency, and value delivered. The Prime Buyer's Report lists these general contractors in Howard County MD: Wilhelm Commercial Builders Annapolis Junction MD, Aaro Construction Inc Fulton MD, Chamberlain Construction Ellicott City MD, G Smallwood General Contractors Elkridge MD, Conrey Construction Inc Marriottsville MD, Creative Construction Service West Friendship MD, PMCR Corp (formerly PM Cermak Remodeling) Frederick MD. Other construction companies, home builders and general contractors in Howard County MD that might still be in business include: Corman Construction Inc Annapolis Junction MD, Ulliman Schutte Construction Savage MD, Buschman Construction Marriottsville MD.
Questions To Ask General Contractors in Howard County MD
Step 1: Describe The Construction Work to the General Contractors in Howard County MD
When you talk with general contractors in Howard County, explain what type of construction you need. Be consistent so each of the construction companies can submit an estimate based on the same information.
Step 2: Ask Questions and Take Notes
Before you create a list of possible general contractors for your construction project, ask them some important questions about their technical abilities, experience, and the specifics of your construction project. When the general contractors ask you questions, take notes on their concerns. They may reveal some aspects of the construction that are new to you.
Ask the general contractors the following questions about their experience, abilities, and methods:
• How long have they been builders in Howard County specifically?
• How many other projects have they done that are like yours? (Custom home building versus commercial building, etc.)
• Will the general contractor give you names and numbers of customers that you can call as references? (All general contractors bearing the Prime Buyer's Report-TOP 10 symbol have already had customers references called by our research staff so you don't have to.)
• How long will it take them to prepare a written bid?
• Will they show you proof of workers' compensation and liability insurance? (All general contractors in Howard County bearing the Prime Buyer's Report-TOP 10 symbol have already had proof of insurance verified by our research staff so you don't have to.)
• Will the general contractor prove that all their workers sent to your property are legally allowed to work in the U.S.? (All builders in Howard County bearing The Prime Buyer's Report-TOP 10 symbol have already signed an agreement to only hire legally documented workers.)
• How do they determine pricing?
• Will they give you a written contract that details the exact brands of products, model numbers, materials and amounts to be used? Neglecting to show those in writing is a way that seemingly cheap contractors unrealistically underbid others to get your project. Either you're getting poor materials that look bad or will fail. or you request better materials once the job is underway and the cost goes up accordingly.
• What type of written guarantee does each of the construction companies provide and what are the terms?
• Will construction permits be needed? If so, will the general contractors be responsible for getting those or do they leave that to you? Failure to get permits is another way cheap contractors in Howard County are able to underbid legitimate ones. Unfortunately unpermitted work can stop you from selling the property and even make you liable you to big fines and repair costs to get it to code.
• Will they be bringing in subcontractors for your project and if so, what are those company names?
• How often and when will they clean up the work site?
When you've chosen the best contractors in Howard County MD for your specific needs, make sure they are registered with the state of Maryland (if custom home builders). (All construction companies in Howard County bearing the Prime Buyer's Report-TOP 10 symbol have already had required registration verified by our research staff so you don't have to.)
Tips About General Contractors and Construction Companies in Howard County MD
Have A Plan For Evaluating the Builders
There are good commercial builders or home builders in Howard County. Feel free to have more than one conversation before moving forward and prepare what you want to cover before hand each time. You'll be happier with the end result when you make the time to properly outline your job and carefully match a builder to your needs.
Write a Description of the Job for the Builders
Write up a paragraph or two (depending on the intricacy of the job) about the project specifics before contacting construction companies in Howard County. Since each general contractor will see the same written specifics, you'll be sure that you are comparing responses on an equal basis. Then you can better judge which construction company gave you the best answers to your consistent description.
Don't Decide Based on Price Alone
It's okay to get a few separate estimates for comparison. But remember, price should not be your only determining factor. The cheap contractors in Howard County are usually not the best ones, and a cheap bid often turns out to be the most expensive in the long run due to cost overruns, or poor work that has to be fixed or redone by someone else.
Get it in Writing
Ask builders to give you everything in writing to prevent conflicts later. Ask the general contractors to provide you with a written description of the construction work, pricing and a time frame for completion.
Maintain Great Communication During Construction.
Communication is an often overlooked skill with general contractors. But to maintain a successful working relationship, both parties must make keep one another informed.
If you have doubt about how the project is going, don't jump to conclusions. Instead, call and ask the builder about your concerns. There may be a reasonable explanation for changes or delays.
Commitment In Advance to do a Walk-Through Upon Completion
After the project is finished, return to the agreement you signed and walk through the site with the most senior staff member available at the construction company to compare the results to the particulars in the contract. Bring up any items that differ from what was agreed to.
Resources About General Contractors in Howard County MD
Associations & Licensing for General Contractors in Howard County MD
ABC Associated Builders and Contractors www.abc.org
Maryland AGC America Associated General Contractors of America www.marylandagc.org
ASA American Subcontractors Association www.assaonline.com
Maryland Attorney General www.oag.state.md.us/homebuilder/
NAHB National Association of Home Builders www.nahb.org
MMCA Maryland Minority Contractors Association www.mmcainc.org
MTBMA Maryland Transporation Builders and Materials Association www.mtbma.org
HBAM Home Builders Association of Maryland www.homebuilders.org
General Building Contractors Media &Web Resources
Building Design and Construction
Environmental Design and Construction Magazine
Homebuilding & Renovating Magazine
Home & Design
New Old House
Old House Journal
This Old House
Western Interiors and Design
The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the TOP 10 General Contractors in Howard County MD within the following zip codes:
21738, 21737, 21723, 21797, 21794, 21765, 21163, 21150, 21104, 21075, 21045, 21044, 21043, 21042, 21041, 21036, 21029, 20794-2, 21046, 20777, 20763, 20759 and 20701
The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the TOP 10 Construction Companies in Howard County Maryland within the following cities:
Columbia, Elkridge, Ellicott City, North Laurel, Savage-Guilford, Savage, Clarksville, Dayton, Fulton, Highland, Ilchester, Lisbon, Scaggsville, West Friendship and Woodstock