There are a lot of home builders out there, and a lot of slick marketing that makes it hard to read between the lines. When you’re building something as significant and expensive as a home, you want to make sure you’re choosing a builder you can depend on to build what you’ve agreed to, with attention to quality, on time and on budget. Here are seven questions to ask as you’re interviewing home builders.
10 Questions to ask as you’re interviewing home builders.
- How many years have you been in business? How many homes have you built? Where have you built? (This will tell you how much and what type of experience the builder has.)
- Are you licensed and insured? (You may think that this is a given, but you’d be surprised how many builders cut corners.)
- How do you compare yourself to other builders?
- What type of warranty do you offer?
- Do you build only from home plans you supply? Can I provide my own set of plans? (This will tell you how flexible the builder is, and if you can get exactly what you want in the home.)
- Who will oversee the construction of my home? (This is an important question, because if the builder uses subcontractors of questionable quality, you may end up with items that need repaired within a few months, or more significant problems.)
- How and when can I make changes or upgrades before and during construction? (You want to find out how change orders are handled and priced.)
- What is the timeframe for construction?
- Will I be able to view the home as it’s being constructed, and how do you handle any items that need to be corrected or finalized at final walk-through?
- Finally, you’re always told to ask for references. But do you really believe a builder will give you a bad reference? I doubt it. Instead, ask many questions, listen intensely, and go with your brain, heart, and gut.
If you dig into the answers to these questions, you should be able to learn what you need to know to make a smart decision. Always talk with several previous customers, because they will give you valuable insight into details of the process they went through, and how their experience measured up with what the builder told you.