7 Questions to Ask Your Home Builder
These top 7 questions are great starting points to get the conversation started with your builder candidates!
Are you planning to build a new home or renovate your existing home? Before you hire a builder for your project, take time to interview several builders and get to know some specifics about how they operate and manage their projects. After all, you will be working alongside these professionals for weeks, months, or even a year or longer, so it's essential that you work well with them and trust them throughout the entire process.
Are you licensed and insured?
You may think “Of course they are licensed and insured!”, but you would be surprised at how many “professionals” do not carry sufficient insurance or maintain their licenses. Make sure the builder has any and all licenses required for building in your location. In North Carolina, you can search the North Carolina State Board for General Contractors website here: https://nclbgc.org/search/license
Also, make sure they carry sufficient general liability insurance to cover accidents or damages that may occur at your job site.
Can you provide a list of references of past clients?
It never hurts to ask for references when it comes to entrusting your home to someone. Ask for a list of clients that are open to discussing their experience with the builder with you. Also, find out if the builder has worked on projects similar to yours in the past.
What can I expect in your contract?
Will lien waivers be provided? Make sure the contract you will be signing covers a clear plan including project description, timeline, payment schedule, applicable warranty, and liability insurance information, and any other relevant information pertaining to your specific project. If you have any questions about the contract, bring them up before you sign.
What are the payment terms and schedule? Who will purchase materials? How often are payments due? What deposit is due? Will there be installments based on milestones?
This dives more into the contract and payment schedule, but it’s very important to understand the accounting and billing expectations of your projects.
How many projects do you currently have going on?
Do you have time for my project? You want to hire a qualified, professional and experienced home builder for your project, but you also want to make sure that builder has enough room in their current workload to accommodate your project from start to finish. Simply asking how much availability they have can help avoid headaches down the road if your project gets delayed or doesn’t meet timeline projections.
How much customizing can be done? How are change orders handled? Will there be extra fees for change orders?
Truth be told, change happens. It's easy for homeowners to want to change their mind throughout a project, however, this can be not only be costly, but delay your project's completion. It's easy to know upfront how changes are handled, what fees will be charged for changes, and any other relevant information to change orders.
Will you take care of the permits, inspections and clean-up?
It’s always a good idea to dot your i's and cross your t's and in this case, that means discussing the details of permits, inspections and clean-up. Find out if the builder handles all of these or if any of them fall on you to complete.
When asking your potential builder(s) these questions you may think of more questions to ask. Make sure to take notes and record their responses to make it easy to compare. As a home building professional, I appreciate when a homeowner takes the time to find out how I operate and to learn the expectations they have for the project. Communication is a two way street and it’s important to lay the foundation for a successful project early on.
At Pride Builders, we work with homeowners from start to finish to ensure each and every project exceeds expectations, down to the last detail. Find out more about how we can help you with your next new home or home renovation project! Call 828-779-0346 to get your free project quote today!