10 Questions to Ask Your Builder
- Have you checked the quality of the builder's finished job? You should make every effort to tour several of the builder's finished homes. Look closely at the details and evaluate the quality of the work, including cabinetry, carpeting, trim work and paint.
- Is the builder well organized and accessible? Ask where his office is located and if he has someone available at all times to answer your questions should he not be readily available. You should feel confident that your builder will return your calls promptly and act quickly on any problems or concerns you may have, especially after the home is complete.
- Will the builder provide financial disclosures? Financial standing is an extremely important, though often overlooked, criterion for selecting a builder. A builder's cash flow problems can result in building problems. Reputable builders will be happy to give you financial facts, in writing, about the company.
- Is the builder licensed in his own name? Some builders use someone else's license because they cannot pass required tests, or because they have, for some reason, lost their license.
- What do other professionals think of the builder? Some of the best people to ask about a builder are the professionals in the field. Ask a building inspector, other developers, realtors, or bankers their opinion of the builder. The Architectural Control Committee is also a great source of information.
- Does the builder have first hand inspections of every job? Will the staff closely monitor the job site and keep you informed of the home's progress?
- Does the builder have experience in working with long-distance customers? If your home is being built while you live in another area, you place a great deal of faith in your builder. Some companies are accustomed to working with long-distance customers. You will benefit from having a builder who will communicate with you frequently and provide updates, such as sending photos to you as construction progresses.
- What is included in the builder's warranty? The warranty determines the future service you'll receive. The best builders provide a lengthy structural warranty. There is a tremendous difference in warranties. It is important that you read and understand completely the warranty agreements.
- How long has the builder been in business? When you talk to prospective builders, it's a good idea to ask how many years the builder has been in business. A brand new business may lack the capital or experience to do the job.
- Have you checked the builder's references? One of the most important elements in the search for a homebuilder is checking references.
The following questions are also appropriate to ask:
Was the final cost of the home the same as originally promised?
Did the builder complete the home in a timely fashion?
Were they satisfied with the quality?
Would they contract with the builder again?