There are several moving parts to custom-building a home from the ground up. So, an expert’s guidance is often vital to getting results that match your needs. When looking for a custom home builder, pay attention to their experience.
Experience is an important trait your homebuilder should possess. Once you’ve narrowed potential candidates to a few people, inquire about their experience. Find out how long they have been building homes. You should, however, keep in mind that experienced contractors don’t always come cheap.
Because anyone can claim to be an expert, do not just take their word for it. Request for their portfolio and ask to talk to their past clients. Talking to their past clients will reveal two important things about a homebuilder. One, you will be able to ascertain their expertise. Two, you’ll find out their overall conduct. Past clients can reveal important details, like how it is to work with the homebuilder in terms of communication and collaboration.
A homebuilder may be the expert in building homes, but they should also listen to you. Working with a homebuilder who is a poor communicator, high-handed, and doesn’t follow directions is difficult.
You may still need other subcontractors and vendors, and some homebuilders only work with their subcontractors, like electricians, roofers, and painters, plumbers. If you’re not hiring your own subcontractors, choose a homebuilder who only uses experienced and professional subcontractors.
Ask your builder to list all their subcontractors and vendors who will work on your project. Then conduct due diligence to understand who they are, their past works, and their past client’s overall satisfaction with their work.
The builder must be properly licensed. States like Texas do not require homebuilders, handypersons, or general contractors to have a general contractor license. However, Alaska and Arizona require all contractors to have a general contractor license. Contractors who install fire sprinklers, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), or elevators do.
As you scout for a home builder, pay close attention to the fine print. This includes such things as warranties, insurance, and bonding. Choose a homebuilder with straightforward warranty terms. Understand what their warranty covers and for how long before entering into any contract.
Like a warranty, a surety bond offers another layer of protection should your homebuilder fail to deliver. Most states require all contractors to be bonded. The Texas contractor license bond protects you from financial losses due to substandard work. So be sure to ask your prospective homebuilder for their bond number and certification beforehand.
Choose an adequately insured builder. Adequate insurance should cover their company, their employees, and you and your property against accidents or losses. If, for instance, one of your builder’s employees or subcontractors damages your property during construction, liability insurance should cover the damage.
Custom homebuilding involves a significant investment. So you want to ensure your investment is taken care of by choosing a homebuilder with what it takes to bring your dream of owning a home to live. Interview three to four candidates to give yourself a chance to choose the right builder. Seek out a second opinion if you have to, especially when dealing with the fine print.