Building a house is a major decision. It not only requires a large investment but also comes its share of challenges. As a future homeowner, it’s your responsibility to buy land, contact architects, and find trustworthy contractors.
Many homeowners ended up losing a fortune after placing their trust in the wrong construction team. Choosing an unreliable home builder can cost you time and money. It’s not uncommon for construction firms to make unrealistic claims just to win your business. But there are some questions to ask a home builder to make sure they live up to the claims.
See their previous work, reach out to former clients, and check their credentials. Contact several providers and ask the following questions so you can make an informed decision.
1. Are You Licensed and Insured?
Every country has specific licensing requirements for building contractors. A license proves that everything they do is legal and meets the highest quality standards. Licensing also helps protect consumers from dishonest home builders, proving that they’re qualified to do the job. If you hire unlicensed contractors and they fail to get the job done, you may have trouble recovering your losses.
Likewise, it’s essential to make sure they carry insurance. Otherwise, you may end up being liable for on-the-job accidents. Some contractors choose not to pay for workers’ compensation and other insurance policies. This allows them to work for cheaper rates. However, if you accept the “deal,” you’re risking a potential lawsuit.
2. How Long Have You Been in Business?
As a property owner, it’s your right to ask potential contractors about their experience and previous projects. A qualified builder will be more than happy to answer your questions. Ideally, look for home builders that have been in business for at least five years. They also should have at least 20 years of experience in home construction and renovations.
There is nothing wrong about hiring a company that started working three or four years ago. But sometimes it’s better to hire someone with more experience, depending on the type of project. It’s one thing to build small cottage houses and another thing to build a double-story house or a luxury property.
3. Can I Meet the Entire Team?
Building a home requires different skill sets. Generally, building contractors work together with architects, electricians, plumbers, and other professionals. Each has specific roles and responsibilities.
Ask the construction company to organize a meeting with all the parties involved. This will allow you to gauge their experience and make sure their plans align with yours. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to discuss your vision and get feedback. Someone in the team might come up with ideas or suggestions you haven’t thought of.
4. Do You Offer Any Warranties?
This is one of the most important questions to ask a home builder. Look for a company that provides warranties for newly built homes. For example, your builder should guarantee that all materials will be new and last for 20 or 30 years. They should also guarantee that their work will be performed according to the highest quality standards.
A reliable construction company will carry out the work based on the plans and requirements outlined in the contract. Furthermore, they will comply with the law and ensure that all materials used are fit for the purpose.
5. What Are the Standard Finishes?
The price of a newly built home varies from contractor to the next and depends largely on the standard finishes included. There are no set rules regarding standard finishes, so it’s important to inquire about this aspect before hiring a builder.
Some companies may offer vertical blinds, air conditioning, heating systems, and appliances as standard finishes. Others may provide walk-in closets, granite kitchen countertops, and exterior stubs for sprinkler systems. A base cost that sounds too good to be true may not include any of these features. As a homeowner, you need to figure out early what’s included and what’s an upgrade. Otherwise, you might end up spending a fortune on finishes later on.
6. How Long Will It Take to Build My New Home?
Building a home isn’t an exact science. Depending on the project, it can take three to six months or longer to get things done. Bad weather, problems with the building materials, and other issues may cause delays. Even so, an experienced building contractor should be able to provide a time estimate. Make sure you ask what the timeline will look like and what to expect two months or six months from now on.
The contract should include an estimated deadline, such as one year. When building a custom home, it’s better to wait a few more months rather than doing things in a rush. Also, be sure to mention that you expect regular updates. Ask who will be your point of contact for routine questions and other concerns.
7. Can I See Your Previous Work and Talk to a Client?
A construction company that is proud of its work won’t think twice when you ask to see its portfolio. Ideally, try to schedule a visit to one of the homes they’ve built for a previous client. If that’s not possible, at least try to see a property they are currently working on.
Have a List of Questions to Ask a Home Builder
These are just a few of the many questions to ask a home builder before closing the deal. As a property owner, you also need to determine how they handle disputes or delays and whether there is a termination close in the contract. Ask about any energy-saving features, types of materials, insulation, and other key aspects. Consider asking for references before hiring a home builder. Look for companies in your area, check their social media pages, and read customer reviews.
Look up the company online and gather as much information as possible. Make sure it’s financially stable and has a track record of success. A construction firm that was involved in lawsuits or had legal problems may not be a safe choice. In the meantime, browse the rest of our blog for other tips! We’ll show you how to decorate your new home, how to design the perfect garden, how to upgrade your patio, and more.