Questions to Ask When Hiring a Home Builder
You’ve probably heard horror stories from people you know about contractors: incomplete work, shoddy craftsmanship, and more. Smart homeowners ask any builder they’re thinking about working with for references from satisfied customers.
One way to avoid problems is to ask potential home builders for references… and then be sure to contact them. When you contact a builder’s references these are the questions you need to ask.
1. Were the builder’s original cost estimates accurate?
Ask each reference if the cost quoted lined up with the actual cost of the completed project. It’s not uncommon for the numbers to be a bit off, but you want to make sure you’re working with a knowledgeable builder who knows how to estimate the costs of home construction.
2. Was your home completed on schedule?
Delays in construction are incredibly common and most homeowners understand that things happen. Still, you need to ask references whether their home was finished close to the the agreed-upon schedule.
3. Did subcontractors show up on time?
The completion date of your new home isn’t the only scheduling issue to consider. Ask references whether the builder and their subcontractors showed up to work on time each day.
4. Was the builder and their team clean?
It might seem like an unimportant detail, but when your new home is finished you won’t be willing to clean up after your builder and their subcontractors. Builders with pride in their craftsmanship will want the home to shine when it’s finished.
5. Did the builder communicate with you clearly?
There are a lot of moving parts in new home construction, and communication with your builder is absolutely vital. You want an expert who returns your phone calls and emails and who explains things clearly and professionally.
6. Was the builder responsive to questions?
Unless you’re a builder or someone who knows a lot about home construction, you’re bound to have some questions throughout the building process. Ask references if the builder was willing to answer questions, because a builder who gets visibly annoyed with a homeowner’s questions won’t be pleasant to work with.
7. How did the builder handle problems that came up?
When things didn’t go exactly according to plan how did the builder react? Did they roll with the punches gracefully, or did they become irritable and difficult to work with? Building a home is stressful and you want to hire a builder who can remain calm and confident.
8. Would you hire this builder again?
Don’t skip this question, because it’s one of the most important. If a reference would be willing to hire this builder for their next home build that’s a great sign that you’ve found a skilled and trustworthy builder for your own project.
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