How to Choose a Home Builder According to the Experts

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If you’re in the market for a new home, you should shop for your builder as carefully as you shop for your home. Whether you are buying a condo, a townhouse, a log cabin, a traditional house in a subdivision or a custom-built house, you want to know that you are buying a good quality home from a reputable builder. Here are some tips to help you choose a builder.

Research Home Builders in Your Area

Once you have thought about the type of house you want, you can create a list of potential builders. There are several ways to start building a list of professionals.

The best place to start is by contacting your local home builders’ association to obtain a list of builders who construct homes in your area.

Review the real estate section of your local newspaper to learn which builders are active in your area, the types of homes they are building, and the prices you can expect to pay.

Ask for Home Builder Recommendations

Local real estate agents can help you find the perfect location or recommend builders. You can also ask friends and relatives about builders they have dealt with directly or ask them for the names of acquaintances who have recently had good experiences with a builder.

Visit and Tour New Homes in Your Community

Look at new homes whenever you can. Home shows and open houses are good opportunities to explore homes constructed by builders in your community. Model homes and houses displayed in home shows are often furnished to provide ideas for using the space.

When examining a home, look at the quality of the main features. Inspect the quality of the construction materials, cabinetry, carpeting, trimwork and paint. Do not hesitate to ask questions about the work’s quality or craftsmanship. What seems like an insignificant question might yield a meaningful answer. A professional builder or their representative should be able to answer your questions thoroughly.

Find out if the Home Builder has a Reputable Business

When you have a list of potential builders, it’s time to start learning more about them. Maintaining a reputable business is a significant component of being a professional home builder. A top-notch professional integrates best practices, writes clear contracts, has insurance, provides warranties, and more. Also, professional builders will explain the construction process and building schedule to the buyer.

Ask about Contracts, Pricing and Payment Schedules

A qualified builder will provide a written estimate and a detailed contract before beginning the work. The contract should spell out what work will and will not be performed and provide a payment schedule. You are not protected when something goes wrong if you don’t have a contract. Don’t hire anyone who tells you a contract “won’t be necessary.”

Inquire About a Home Builders Business Practices

In addition, a professional home builder will be able to provide you with a copy of their business license and show proof of their workers’ compensation and liability insurance. These critical elements will protect you from liability for job site injuries or property damage resulting from the work performed on your home. Better business management means better service for home owners because they can rely on the builder to perform with integrity.

Learn About a Builder’s Level of Customer Service

Home builders strive to construct a new home that will satisfy their customers. They are committed to client satisfaction and emphasize the importance of delivering outstanding service from every member of their team and maintaining a professional approach in every interaction.

Builders will outline how you communicate during the home building process and do their best to accommodate your preferences. It is best to have clear communication expectations and discuss the frequency and method. How you communicate early on with each other will set the tone throughout the building process.

Ask About a Home Builder’s Experience

A builder will usually share how long they have been in business. Longevity suggests financial stability, which is necessary for the home builder to complete the job and still be available if problems arise after the job is finished. You want to make sure they will be around after the construction is complete to service any warranties. Also, the more homes the company has completed, the more expertise the builder will bring to your project.

Building a home is a complex activity. A professional builder is familiar with the construction standards, proper materials, the process from start to finish, new technologies, and has a deep understanding of the minor details and various tools essential to constructing a quality home.

Learn About the Builder’s Industry Education and Involvement

Also inquire about their involvement with professional organizations, such as your local builders’ association. Groups like these keep their members informed about better equipment, tools depending on construction techniques, construction technologies, business practices and construction standards. Participation can be an indicator of a builder’s commitment to professionalism and the residential construction industry.

Always Ask Home Builders for References and Contact Them

Any high-quality builder should be ready to provide you with the names and phone numbers of satisfied customers. If they cannot, consider that a red flag and walk away. When reaching out to those former clients, ask about all the pieces of the project. How well did the Builder follow through on the initial plans? Did the Builder meet their expectations with the main features, build, budget, and timing? Remember the most telling question: Would they hire that Builder again if they could do it all over?

Are You Looking for a Home Builder or Remodeler Near You? Contact your local home builders association to find a list of qualified professionals.