Qualities of Great Home Builders
How to Search for a Home Builder
So you’ve decided to build a home. This is a very exciting and gratifying time in your life. However, with the excitement comes stress. Whether you’ve decided on a custom build or a model home, there is an infinite amount of additional decisions to be made. Deciding on a home builder is one of the biggest choices, but is often taken too lightly. To get you started, here are ten things to look for in a home builder.
Consider Your Needs First
Investigate the types of home that you are looking for. You may want a custom 3 bedroom ranch-style, or perhaps a 4 bedroom two story. Research what house builder makes models in a style that you like. After all, this process is about you.
Make Sure the Builder is Licensed
A licensed builder can work with vetted sub-contractors in order to coordinate the project’s many needs. Your build will require surveying, first and foremost. Construction, HVAC specialists, material suppliers and cabinet makers, among others, must be considered. A licensed builder works and bargains with these sub-contractors to give you freedom to work on your design save you money.
Builder’s Risk Insurance
Building a house comes with risks beyond dissatisfaction with the final product. Fire and wind can put a halt to your project very quickly. While not a necessity, it is risky to proceed without insurance to protect you from disaster. See what the builder offers.
Communication with Contractor is Key
Be picky here. You will likely communicate more with the builder than anyone else during the building process. It’s imperative to be sure that your ideas are understood and properly executed. You don’t want to have to settle with mistakes due to misunderstandings. Make sure the builder is readily available to talk.
Look for Guarantees
Everyone wants guarantees in life. See what kinds your builders offer. Can they guarantee they’ll be done when they say they will? Will they guarantee the quality of craftsmanship and building materials? What about that of their sub-contractors? Will they clean up? You may not get all or any of these, but they will help with piece of mind.
Check Home Builder References
Ask your builder about past clients, and get their names and numbers if possible. If your contractor is good, the clients will likely be glad to tell you so. If not, they’ll tell you in no uncertain terms. Similarly…
Inspect Finished Homes
Obviously, don’t get too creepy here -- don’t go looking in windows unannounced -- There is a lot that can be learned from a curbside visual inspection of the builder’s past work. Check how the roof and siding seems to be holding up. Are there cracks in any masonry? Run through a checklist, if needed.
Your builder needs to give you full and detailed estimates with very little room for ‘hidden expenses’. These can pile up quickly and leave you with empty pockets and an unfinished project. A good itemized budget is a sign of a quality contractor.