Select Your best home builders with careful scrutiny
|Select your best home builders with careful scrutiny
Distinguishing who’s good versus who’s bad will ultimately give you the best and most solid house
Mike Holmes June 11, 2018
Building a home from the ground up is an appealing process for many future homeowners. Think about it: you have so much more control over what your home will look like right from the start, as opposed to buying a home that you need to fix up room by room to achieve your vision.
There are some great professional builders out there who can help make your dream home a reality. I work with builders across the country who are upping standards everywhere — from using stronger materials, using better building techniques, to adding in much stronger quality control. One day, I hope we’ll be able to pull all builders up to their level. If builders you know already do these things, they’re probably some of the best in the industry.
But there are a few out there who may end up building you a nightmare.
So how do you distinguish between the good and the bad?
They work with you directly and answer questions thoroughly
Good builders care about the vision you have for your new home. One of the big benefits to a new or custom build means you can get a little bit more creative with the layout then if you were buying something pre-built. Not only will they help you achieve that vision of the home you want, but they should also be able to answer any questions you have as clearly as possible. It’s their job to help you feel comfortable with your purchase.
Remember, you can never ask too many questions. This is likely the biggest purchase you will ever make, so stay as informed as possible.
They’ve been in a business a while
Builders who have been around for a while will be more likely to build a quality home. Now, that’s not to say the new kid in town won’t build a great home, and the old guard may still be using yesterday’s building techniques. This is where you’ll still have to do your research. But if they’ve been established for a few years, they should have an impressive portfolio of well-built communities. If they’re good, they’ll be able to show you why their experience in the industry is an asset you’ll want when building your home.
They insist on transparency
A vague builder is one I would stay away from. You want a builder who will give you a clear, well-written contract. Not only that, you will want someone who’s properly insured and can show you proof of obtaining general liability insurance for their team.
They care about the quality of materials used
The quality of the build will be dictated by the materials used to build. Not only are the best builders choosing stronger materials, they’re making sure they’re being properly taken care of during a build. That means, they’re not letting wood stay out in the rain without being covered.
They can provide a list of references from previous clients
Your best indication of the quality of your new potential builder will come directly from the mouths of their homeowners. Ask for references from their past clients. I would ask for at least five or six — and make sure you call those clients! You may think you don’t have the time, but believe me, it’s worth it! You want to find out what it was like to work with the builder from the client’s side.
Ask them about their general satisfaction with the home. This is also your chance to ask a few specific questions about their commitment to quality and making it right. Were there any delays in the project? Find out how they communicated those. When they got the keys, were there mistakes that needed to be corrected? Ask them how quickly they resolved any issues — and if it was difficult to get them to come through with the solution.
They hire quality tradespeople
Your builders are only as good as the tradespeople they hire. If you can’t trust one builder’s choice of electrician, HVAC specialist or roofer, move on to the next builder on your list. Builders that are local to your area should have a good Rolodex of sub-trades to call on — they’ll know the best in the biz, and make sure to use them whenever possible.
They perform third-party inspections throughout the process
Finally, ask your builder if you can go through the final inspection. It’s a good opportunity to ask questions and look for any areas of concern that need to be addressed. The inspector should provide you with a report. Make sure that you read it — it’s your guide to understanding your new home.
Essentially, communication combined with experience, knowledge and pride, all provide the combination that makes the best builders.
Have a great weekend !!