You know you want to build a new custom home and you know where you want to build it. Now it’s time to pick a builder. What to look for exactly? These ten questions will help you better understand their operation, level of experience, and history in the market place.
Hiring a custom home builder is similar to hiring a team of long-term employees. You should review their work history, skills, and years of experience. A deep understanding of the local area can make a big difference in moving your project forward.
Ask if the builder can provide you with a fixed start date and a completion date — including major milestones along the way. It’s also a good idea to ask how the contractor plans on keeping you up-to-date, and how you can communicate questions or concerns along the way.
Change orders are any revisions made to the initial construction specifications. It’s important to ask about a contractor’s change order process, as they can add to the time and expense of building a house.
Ascertain how the home builder plans on handling site supervision and subcontractors. How much time will the contractor spend on your project each week versus other jobs? How often will the contractor be on-site and who will be supervising during other times?
Ask up front what makes a home builder’s company different and unique. Why choose one over another? Each home builder has a philosophy when it comes to building homes — make sure you are in alignment with the company you hire.
There are many different types of residential construction — from large luxury homes to small cottages. A mismatch to your needs may mean headaches for you down the road. The custom home builder you are considering should have a portfolio of recent projects. Ask to see some floor plans, as well as both interior and exterior photos of the project, both in progress and at completion.
Some home builders will try to cut costs by offering only select “cookie-cutter” designs and limited choices for personalization. While this approach may save you money, it greatly limits your options. If you want flexibility, be sure you select a custom home builder that offers you options to customize your architectural styles, footprint, and finishings.
Construction today is rife with chemicals that pollute indoor air quality and negatively impacts our short- and long-term health. If you want a healthy, ecofriendly home, clearly describe your desires. Ask if the builder has received green building training or certification.
Working with an unlicensed builder is done at your own risk! And, just because a builder has a license doesn’t mean that the company and its workers are insured against injuries, job site accidents, storm damage, or other hazards. Ask to see their up-to-date certificates showing they are fully covered with liability and damage insurance, as well as workers’ compensation.
Simply discussing your project at length is no guarantee of your results. In the contract, have the details of the project carefully spelled out, such as when the builder will start on your new home, down payment details, and required permits.
At Clarum Homes, we can answer your all of your questions with the greatest confidence. Give us a call at 650.322.7069 today to learn more about our custom home building services.