Are you in the process of building a custom home? Finding the best builder for your needs is imperative to obtaining the home of your dreams. In order to make a sound choice, there are some key questions you should pose to potential contractors to ensure that you find the perfect match. This is your home, after all; you need someone that is dependable and determined to see your project through to the end.
If you’re deciding to build your own home, here are five questions to ask when hiring a custom home builder.
1) Are You Licensed & Insured?
This is the first question that should be uttered out of your mouth when you’re meeting with a potential home builder. While it should be a fairly straight-forward answer, here’s what you need to know: if you’re using a lender to finance the construction, they’ll require the builder to provide proof of licensing and insurance, but if you’re not financing you will need to receive proof yourself.
With insurance, it’s important to confirm the builder is not only carrying General Liability and Worker’s Compensation coverage, but also Builder’s Risk, which is equivalent to Property Insurance during construction. This protects you and your property from any liability that occurs during construction.
2) How Long Have You Been Working in this Area?
When hiring a home builder, you should ensure that they have experience building within the general area where you’re constructing your house. A deep understanding of the local area will make a huge difference in getting your project off the ground. It’s important that your home contractor has intimate knowledge of local permitting, zoning and code laws so that you can complete your home without any hassle or extra expense.
3) Do You Maintain a High Level of Communication?
Without a high-level of communication between you and the home builder, you won’t know if your construction project is on track to be finished on time. There are plenty of details that will need your final approval, as well as design decisions that will require your input. It’s imperative that you discuss check-ins and deadlines before hiring a home construction contractor.
And it’s not all on you – your builder needs to have flawless communication skills, listen to any questions or concerns you may have and be able to work cooperatively with you.
4) Do I have Access to the Site when it’s Under Construction?
If you’re having your home remodeled, you should probably figure out what the living situation will be in the construction zone. Ask if you allowed into the house when it’s under construction – there may be projects that create a harmful environment to live in, while some projects may be just be noisy. Ask your contractor about the nature of the work involved with your home build, and he’ll be able to advise on whether you should stay in the home or rent a hotel room.
Additionally, some home builders will even let you participate in the demolition fun. Check with the contractor to see if you’re able to “help out” during the process. This may be a good way to save some money, while also having a little fun.
5) Do You Have Past Projects Available for Review?
You won’t know if a home builder is legit until you see real-life examples of their work. Check out the projects listed on their website, or directly request to visit past work sites. The builder should be more than happy to arrange a visit to completed homes in your price range so you can get an understanding of their work, process and style choices. This also gives you a great opportunity to chat with previous clients of theirs to see what their experiences were like.
Good Luck with Your New Home!
With these five questions, you can ensure that both you and the home builder are on the same page. With these qualifications, you can narrow down your pool of suitable candidates to find the best company for the job ahead.
If you want to build the home of your dreams, you need someone who’s fully-committed to seeing your project through to the end. As long as you find the best contractor for your needs, you will soon have the custom home you’ve always wanted.