“My friend’s ADU is amazing, but her contractor was a total nightmare!” It’s a shame when contractor horror stories scare people away from building an accessory dwelling unit (ADU).

Luckily, Maxable clients can rest easy. We’ve done the hard part for you: our general contractors are all vetted, proven, and experienced building accessory dwelling units.

Finding a general contractor on your own can be a real hit-or-miss. In fact, 50% of homeowners who have worked with a general contractor say they were dissatisfied with the experience. Yikes!

Abandoned projects, surprise invoices, and shoddy workmanship are just a few of the risks you take when you hire the first contractor who gives you a low quote. Odds are, that quote isn’t accurate anyway.

So as soon as your construction drawings are complete, reach out and we’ll connect you to our experienced GCs. Find out more with an ADU Planning Call.

Got construction drawings? It’s time to meet contractors

General contractors are extremely busy right now, so if you want to lock in your construction timeline, get on their schedule as soon as you have construction drawings.

For a complete breakdown of what’s included in a full ADU construction set, click here.

We recommend setting up meetings with GCs at the same time you submit your permit set of construction plans to the city. You don’t need to wait for approved plans. Although it’s normal for the city to request minor changes, it’s rare for the changes to trigger a big revision in a contractor’s bid.

Once your construction drawings have been prepared by your designer, your ADU consultant will introduce you by email to three Maxable-vetted general contractors in your area that match your budget.

After they’ve familiarized themselves with your project, your matches will each present you with a project estimate.

Maxable’s general contractor partners

Naturally, all of the general contractors in our network are fully licensed.

They’re knowledgeable about both state and local ADU regulations. Most importantly, all our contractor partners have experience building ADUs.

Other characteristics we look for:

  • Good communication skills
  • Transparency and honesty, especially when it comes to costs
  • Organizational skills

If you choose a GC from our network, your ADU progress will continue to be tracked on our dashboard. You can even record all your invoices and pay your GC directly from your account with just a few clicks. Easy!

Your relationship with the general contractor

Feel free to take your time getting to know each contractor. Remember that you’ll be working closely with this person for several months, so good chemistry is going to be important.

And chemistry goes both ways. Your general contractor will be interviewing you as well. GCs are in high demand, so you’ll want to make a good impression. A few insider tips:

  • Be on time for your meeting.
  • Have your questions written down.
  • Take notes and/or record the meeting.
  • Make an effort to communicate clearly.
  • Be familiar with the construction drawings so you can better understand what the contractor has to say.
  • Give the GC your full attention. If possible, keep young children away from the meeting so they aren’t a distraction.
  • If you’re building the ADU with a partner or spouse, be on the same page when you meet with the contractor. They expect a few disagreements during construction, but if you’re arguing about the basics in front of the GC in the very first meeting, that’s a red flag.

ADU construction estimates from your general contractor

Contractors don’t all use the same template for their construction estimates. That’s why comparing only the bottom-line cost is deceiving.

Some estimates include fixtures, appliances, and hardscaping, while others don’t. Material and labor costs are important, but things like the contractor’s payment schedule and change-order policy will affect your cash flow too.

Build estimates are long and full of technical details, which is why it really helps to have an expert by your side when you’re comparing bids. Your Maxable consultant will look over your bids and point out the pros and cons of each.

Remember, when a contractor gives you an estimate, you usually have 30 days to review it and lock in those prices. Then it will expire.

Material costs can fluctuate a lot over just a few months, so we strongly recommend that if you find a contractor you like whose bid fits your budget, sign it soon.

Comparing bids takes some expertise, so don’t hesitate to call us!

Maxable makes planning, hiring, and building your accessory dwelling unit simple

Want to explore your options on how to get started on your ADU? Our team is here to connect you to the best local designers and builders for your ADU project. It all begins with an ADU Planning Phone Call. Talk to you soon!