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9 Questions to Ask When Building a Home Before Hiring a Home Builder

When searching for your dream home, there's a chance that you may not be able to find the one you're looking for. There may not be one available in your local market, or someone else could already own it.

You have the option, though, of hiring a builder to create a home that's perfect for you and your family. But, not everyone knows what to look for in this type of professional.

Not sure where to start? Don't worry, we’ve got you covered.

Let's take a look at nine questions to ask when building a home.

1. Do You Have Examples of Your Past Work?

One of the most important things to look for in your potential home builder is their past projects. 

Not only will this give you insight into the quality of their work, but you may also get inspired to incorporate certain additions or features into your own home.

Home technology is a common situation where this arises. Many buyers see things like automated window shades or multi-room stereo systems and begin brainstorming about ideas they previously hadn't.

Be wary of someone who doesn't have a portfolio to show you. While this could simply mean they haven't been in the industry very long, it could also mean their work won't be up to your standards.

2. How Much Input Do You Leave Up to Your Buyers?

This is another vital question to ask, as it will ultimately determine how satisfied you are with the results.

While it's not realistic for a builder to let you decide 

everything

 (some ideas may not be structurally realistic), you should be allowed a reasonable amount of say when it comes to what's added to your custom home

It's also important to have input into what type of materials are used for your home. For example, you may envision using marble in your kitchen. While granite is also a quality material, it likely won't bring your vision to life in the same way.

3. How Long Does It Typically Take You to Complete a Project?

This answer will be highly variable depending on the size of your home, current weather conditions, and other factors. The number of amenities you'd like added will also play a role.

A typical timeline you can expect is 

between 6 and 18 months.

 If a builder suggests that your project will take over two years (especially for a small or medium-sized home), it's best to start looking elsewhere.

4. How Do You Handle Inspections During and After The Process?

Since everything will be built from the ground up, careful attention will need to be paid when it comes to meeting safety codes. This is especially true when it comes to wiring, piping, etc. 

Inspections should be conducted at the following times during the process:

  • After the foundation is poured
  • After the framing is in place before drywall is added 
  • When plumbing, mechanical, and electrical systems are added
  • A final inspection after construction is complete.

So, ensure that your builder can definitively tell you that inspections will occur during these periods.

5. How Much Experience Do You Have?

It's not impossible for a builder who's fresh in the industry to provide stellar results. Unfortunately, though, most inexperienced builders won't be able to give you what you want.

When searching for a quality builder, you should aim to find one with at least 25 years of experience. This essentially guarantees that they'll be familiar with whatever layout, amenities, materials, etc. that you'd like to add. 

6. How and When Am I Able to Reach You?

Even the lower end of the estimated projected completion time (approximately six months) can feel like much longer if you're rarely able to get in touch with your builder.

While it's not realistic to expect daily contact with them, it's not unreasonable to expect an update every week or two. Similarly, they should address any questions or concerns you may have in a timely manner after the process begins.

7. Can You Tell Me About Your Warranty Phase?

After your home is complete, your builder should offer a warranty for any problems that may arise. Although everything in the home will be brand-new, problems occasionally occur.

Your builder should offer you a multi-year warranty that declares they'll take care of any issues. Certain building materials may also have a longer warranty than your home, so be sure to ask about that, too.

8. Could You Provide Me With a List of The Subcontractors You Use?

It's often unrealistic to expect a single builder to work on an entire home without outsourcing anything and still have it finished within a reasonable amount of time. 

If your builder typically uses subcontractors, ask for a list of the ones they hire. From here, you can research who they work with and look for potential issues before they arise.  

9. May I See Proof That You're Insured?

If a builder doesn't have insurance, you'll often be the one to suffer for any mistakes that arise. This can easily be financially crippling if someone is injured or if your home isn't structurally sound.

While nobody aims to make mistakes, you need to be protected in case they do. Always make sure that your builder can provide proof that they're currently insured before you work with them.

Knowing The Right Questions to Ask When Building a Home Can Seem Difficult

But it doesn't have to be.

Now that you know the questions to ask when building a home, you'll be well on your way to finding the professional who's perfect for you.

Want to learn more about what we can do for you? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do.