The Ultimate Guide to Hiring a Home Builder

Flood Damages Accentuated due to Construction Encroachment Along Waterways

By Zahaab Rehman

Do you have a dream house in mind? What comes to the picture when you imagine your own personal house? Everyone wishes to live in a space that speaks to them and feels like home; this is how you achieve that. Hiring the right home builder is the first step to getting the house of your dreams built. Read on to find the ultimate guide to hiring a home builder - what factors to consider, what questions to ask, and what things to check on, we got it all covered!

Factors to Consider:

When hiring a home builder, research is the most important thing. From checking reviews to personally inquiring from the candidate, ensure you cover all bases here to keep any out-of-the-blue problems from arising later in the process. Here are some of the most crucial factors to look into while finalizing a home builder:

1 Their online portfolio:

Researching about a builder online can give you a pretty good idea about their level of expertise and reliability. While looking through a company’s or individual’s website, there are a few things you could focus on to gauge whether they’re a suitable candidate: the testimonials their clients have left them, their online gallery of completed past projects, whether they’re transparent about outlining their process and other essential things about their work. Bonus: If you have the time, pay an in-person visit to a construction project they’ve worked on previously. Do ask for the owner’s permission beforehand if it’s private property.

2 Their reliability:

How do you know if a company or individual is reliable enough for you to entrust them with a project as big as your very own home? There are a few things you could look into here, such as:
 •   How long have they been in the market?
 •  What professional organizations are they affiliated with?
 •  What safety licenses and insurances do they hold?
 •   Do they offer any guarantees or warranties? Only if they come up on these fronts should you consider them any further.

3 The cost:

Always ask your builder about their bid prices and keep an eye out for numbers both unusually high or low. The important thing here is to have your research done before this, so you’re aware of the current general market rate for the service you require. For builders that offer an unusually low rate, there could be some questions raised about the quality of the products they’ll use or the service they provide, so be sure to keep that in mind. Other than that, before you reach out to a builder, map out your own requirements so you can pitch those to them and get an idea of what your house will roughly cost. A few different aspects mainly determine the costs you’ll have to pay:
 •  The size of your house
 •  The design you’re going for
 •  The materials you require
 •  The appliances you want to get fitted Get an accurate picture from your builder right off the bat, so you know how much costs you’ll incur over the next few months, and everything is clearly discussed beforehand.

Questions to Ask Your Builder:

When you’re considering a potential candidate to go with, you should always have a detailed conversation with them before you move on to finalizing them. There are a few things you should ask them directly here, and it’ll make it a lot easier for you to evaluate whether they align with what you’re looking for in a builder. In addition to inquiring about their licenses and warranties, as mentioned before, here are a few other questions you should definitely ask them:
 1   What materials do you generally use?
 2   What is your way of formulating and calculating a budget for the house?
 3   Can you put down all our agreements in writing?
 4   Are you comfortable working with the style and design we’re looking for? Do you have any prior experience with it?
 5  Can you share a few references with us?
 6   How will you ensure the quality of all the subcontractors working on this project?
 7  How long do you anticipate this project will take?
 8   If there are any unexpected costs incurred during the process, how will you communicate them to the stakeholders involved? While the builder is answering these questions, ask yourself the following: does their process sound sensible and logical? Is this someone you can work closely with for the next few months? If the builder does provide you with references, make sure to get in touch with them and ask them about the quality of work as well. With a project as crucial as this, you’ll be better off doing as much research as you possibly can.

Red Flags to Look Out For:

While it may not be entirely possible to gauge someone’s work ethic and quality right off the bat, there are a few red flags that you should take into account as soon as they come up:
 1   There is no written contract or a poorly structured one.
 2   They offer a price that is significantly lower than other builders in the market.
 3   They are unable to provide any references or testimonials from previous customers; the work history is unclear.
 4   They are unclear about providing a complete financial estimate, keeping things uncertain.
 5   They lack insurance.
 6   They are unable to provide the required documentation of any kind.
 7   They don’t communicate timely.
 8   They tend to make unrealistic claims that sound too good to be true. Not all of these red flags mean that you should reject them right away; it just means that you should be a little more vigilant in doing your research about them. At the end of the day, if you’re too hesitant about picking someone, then it’s best just to let them go.

Final Word

Once you’ve done all your due diligence and picked one builder to go with, then just place your trust in their capability and hand over the process to them. Checking in from time to time goes a long way in keeping an eye on the progress of your project and can be really beneficial. Other than that, you’re good to go!

Sign up to receive exclusive news and offers about the latest launches