How To Choose A Quality Builder: 10 Questions To Ask
When it comes to choosing a home builder, one of the first questions you should be asking yourself is, “Which is the best company to go with?” There are many different home building companies vying for your business. But you need to ask yourself which will offer you the best service.
To help with this overwhelming task, we’ve come up with some questions you should ask any potential builder.
Are You Licensed And Insured?
This question is the first you need to ask any builder you’re considering working with. You could be held liable if there is an incident and the contractor is uninsured. You’ll also want to ensure this is a legitimate company that hasn’t had any disputes with its buildings. You don’t want a home put together in a hurry with cut corners. You want your most significant investment to stand the test of time.
Here are some things you need to look for:
- The pocket certificate of a tradesperson.
- WCB Coverage for contractors and tradespeople involved in the build.
- An insurance certificate that shows coverage for public liability and property damage.
If the contractor can’t provide you with those things, you should move on to another one.
Are There Customer Testimonials Available?
Testimonials say a lot about a business. The home builder should have some available for you. Some will post them on their websites, while others may offer you phone numbers you can call. However, testimonials can be stacked, so check online for any reviews. You can start with the Better Business Bureau and move on from there.
Many people also express their dissatisfaction through social media or other review platforms. These reviews should not be ignored. If you see a consistent problem in the complaints, you’ll want to check with the builder.
Where Can I Find Examples of Your Builds?
This one can be similar to getting testimonials. One key difference is a visual of the home. Ask the builder where you can view their show homes. It also wouldn’t hurt to ask them for a tour of neighbourhoods where they've built homes.
By doing this, you can get a better idea of the style of the homes they build. There will be some exteriors and lot plans that might not work for you. If the builder consistently constructs their homes in a style you don’t like, you may need to move on to another.
Can You Build The Type Of Home I Want?
Not every home builder makes the same style of home. For example, some might only offer bungalows, while others only offer homes with attached garages. If you commit to a builder before knowing this, you could be disappointed with your options later in the process.
Also, keep in mind the style of house you’d like. Modular homes require a prepared basement to move onto. The contractor won’t help you with that part of the project.
What Makes Your Company Better Than Others?
Some companies will offer services or products that make them stand out from the crowd. If you are undecided, these might help with the choice.
For instance, some builders may offer longer warranties or guarantees on a product you’ve chosen for your home. In other cases, a builder may keep you personally apprised of everything being done on your home on a regular basis. It seems unimportant, but those extra services can make the building process run smoother.
What Is The Home Building Process Like?
While there is a standard way most home builders begin with a job, there may be differences later on in the build. For example, you will want to know when you have to make the big decisions, like what type of flooring or countertops you want installed.
You’ll also want to know how often you can walk through the home or how often they’ll be keeping you updated.
Then there is the weather factor. At what point does the builder pause the build for inclement weather? Their answer could mean the difference between a fast build or a drawn-out one.
What Kind Of Warranties Are Included?
Many areas of a house are vital to the building being habitable. You’re going to want warranties on them. These include your foundation, trusses and roof, windows, electrical, or plumbing. There might be a general warranty that covers everything, but you should also inquire about the length of the warranty.
There may also be other warranties available for an extra cost. An extended warranty could be worth the price for someone who is not a handyman.
What Are The Standard And Upgraded Features?
Be upfront with your builder about what items are standard and what are upgrades. If the standard floor in the kitchen is hardwood and you want tile, you’ll have to work it into your budget. On the other hand, some contractors may offer tile flooring as a standard for certain areas of the home.
If you fail to ask about these, you could be committed to a home that will cost far more than you expected it to.
What’s Included In The Price?
Before committing to a home builder, you’ll want to know what is included in the price. Just like any other business, there could be hidden fees in the pricing. There’s also the possibility that the builder only builds the house. You might be expected to do the landscaping and eventually pour your own driveway. These expenses could be shocking if you aren’t prepared for them.
How Do You Work To Stay On Budget?
Staying on budget is important. You need to ensure your home builder understands you want to stick to it. Your builder should be talking to you when unexpected expenses come up. It’s easier to adjust which flooring you’re going to use if you’re aware of the extra costs.
In some cases, a builder might assume you’ll cover whatever cost they incur. You need to make yourself clear with them from the beginning.
By applying these questions to your search for a new home builder, you’re sure to find one you’ll be completely comfortable with.