Finding the right builder is the most important step in the homebuilding process. So how do you find the one builder that truly fits your needs? By asking them some tough questions. Having an open communication line allows you to understand two key things about them: how they build houses and what sets them apart from the mediocre ones.
All your concerns should be addressed well and laid to rest before you sign the dotted line.
1. How long have they been building?
The longer a builder stays in the construction market, the more trustworthy they become. This simply means that this builder has delivered projects satisfactorily over time and has developed a solid standing in the community. Local builders can provide new home owners with valuable inputs on the weather, soil conditions, permits and a long list of sub-contractors and efficient contacts related to their dream home.
Also check for the type of projects they have invested in – whether high-rises or single family, stand-alone homes. This will give you an idea of where their strengths lie.
2. How do they plan the budget of the house?
House-building budgets depend on a lot of factors. When you talk to a builder about the house price, don’t forget to note the budget plan. Most builders charge according to the house area but some may fix the price based on the degree of customization incorporated. Usually, the more fine-tuning you do to the standard floor plan, the more you end up paying. And this includes adding or removing walls, suggesting paints and fixtures, placement of rooms and so on.
Also, builders usually inform clients about what is included in the price and what isn’t. Digging the plot, building the foundation and laying the roof, working out the interiors (fixtures, paints, finishes and add-ons) and so on – ask them if you have to pay extra.
Changes to the initial budget may have to be undertaken due to various reasons, for instance, a change in licensing fees etc. Additionally, if you request for modifications to the existing plan or even an existing structural element, that would incur extra expenses. Hence, you should ask your builder about such changes and the accompanying costs.
3. What does the warranty offered actually covers?
Every home builder provides a minimum warranty on their houses and they may last for at least a year to five years and the duration varies from builder to builder.
There are different types of warranties that protect different aspects of your house. For instance, your builder may provide a warranty of two to three years on delivery and up to five years on the external walls, doors, windows, the roof and such things that protect your family from weather extremes. It is also common for them to secure your residence with assurances lasting up to ten years on the major structural features.
Ask your builder if there is any extended warranty on any component. A few builders do not charge for additional warranties provided by them beyond the legal mandate.
4. Can you visit the construction site of your home?
Watching your home being built right in front of your eyes is an exciting experience. Hence, ask your builder when and at what stages of the building process you are going to be invited for a walkthrough. Since it is a construction area, there are bound to be safety protocols in place. Your builder should be able to put up additional security measures prior to your visit.
Site visit gives you the opportunity to look at construction through a magnifying glass. You’ve agreed on the terms and conditions so if you can be physically present over there, you can check if those are implemented.
Steer clear of any builder who doesn’t show an interest in letting you visit the site. Chances are they’re trying to hide something.
5. Can they refer you to past clients and show recently completed houses?
Your home is, hopefully, not the first project for your builder. Ask them about previous work.
Experienced builders gather loyal customers with time. They should be in touch with them for after-sales services. If they do not have a list, you can safely assume they’re here just for the money. Ask your contractor if they can connect existing clients with you. Speaking with the customer base will tell you whether they are happy with the homes they’ve received or have much to desire.
Additionally, you should request for a visit to their previous or under-construction projects. This will give you the idea of what the houses actually look and feel like. You have the opportunity to see, first-hand, the quality of their work. Don’t skip this question since it will show you their readiness and approach towards their work.
Reliable builders should not have any problem with providing references since these give them a chance to show off their achievements.
All in all, these five questions cover the five most important aspects of home building. It is helpful to get a clear idea from a number of builders before you select one. When the project is underway, you can rest easy that the builder is paying attention to every detail.