Sunday, February 12, 2012

5 Questions You Should Ask Your Custom Home Builder

Building your own home is not a process that should be taken lightly. It is a huge investment on your finances and your time, and because it is a custom home, you should get exactly what you want. When you enter into a relationship with a custom homebuilder, the process from start to finish can take anywhere from nine to eighteen months, so you'll want to make sure you're working with someone who can meet your needs for an extended period of time. Before deciding on your homebuilder, be sure to ask the following 5 questions to make sure you cover your bases.

Experience

Consider hiring a custom homebuilder similar to hiring a long-term employee. You should know what's on their resume. The last thing you need is someone practicing on your brand new home. Inquire who they've worked with, what projects they've worked on, examples of homes that have been built, and how long they've been in business. Inquire if the firm is part of a larger entity. Try to get as much background information as possible.

References

If they're building custom homes, odds are they're proud of their work and should have no problem producing references for you. If you can't find references online, ask the company to provide some references for you. You'll want to ask these references questions like: How long did the process take? What were the issues you encountered when dealing with the firm? How were they resolved? Did they listen to your input during the building process? What level of satisfaction did they receive? Would they recommend the company to others?

Communication

"Communication is key"... especially for long-term projects. Since this is your custom home, and not theirs, it's important that your opinion matters. Ask the builder how much participation you can have in the project. Also inquire how communication will be handled? Will you receive routine updates or do you have to chase them down? Will you be communication via phone, email, fax, etc?

Quality Assurance

Much of the "quality" behind your homebuilder's work is hidden where you can't see (i.e. ventilation systems, insulation, roofing, plumbing, etc.). You'll want to verify that this work is not only built up to code, but it's built up to the specifications you and the builder agreed on. Check with the company to verify whether they have an internal QA process or if they hire a 3rd party company to analyze the work once completed, but most importantly, verify that there is some kind of verification system.

Warranty

Perhaps the most important factor in your decision-making process is what type of warranty the homebuilder offers. It's routine to offer a warranty, so if, for some odd reason, a homebuilder you were looking into does not offer a warranty, it's probably best to walk away. Warranties are usually 1-year or 2-year, so make sure you get at least that. Ask about the specifics involved with the warranty. It might be safe to ask a lawyer to review the warranty terms before moving forward.

1 comment:

  1. Hi
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