Book Excerpts / From Chapter 11
Site Preparation, Delivery and Setup
Hiring a general contractor
In all likelihood, the contractors your dealer recommends have done many sites for manufactured homes and can quickly produce an itemized bid for the job. Typically, they are small to medium sized companies that own earth moving equipment. Other general contractors may focus on building and construction, assigning out the earth-moving tasks to sub-contractors. All should be licensed and bonded.
Increasingly, dealers themselves are becoming licensed general contractors. This is a hopeful trend in which the retailer becomes more of builder-developer providing turn-key home purchases. For now, let’s assume you’ll be hiring your own general contractor.
After you have reviewed with your dealer the recommended names, solicit bids from at least two. If you have a construction loan, chances are your lender will require only one bid, but getting two gives you a better basis for comparison. Ask each to meet you at the property to get an idea where you plan to site your home, the size of the driveway and any approaches, distances to the well head and septic system, and any grading that may be required....
If for whatever reason only one contractor is available during your project time frame, be sure to review the submitted bid with your dealer and/or others familiar with such estimates to make sure the prices are in line.
Unless your site presents significant challenges, the bids you receive should be straightforward and competitively priced. If you are a cash client (i.e., not using a construction loan), the contractor you select may require you to sign a contract, but sometimes a signed copy of the bid will suffice.