Building a new home can be a great yet terrifying experience. Uninformed prospective homeowners are creating a project that will hopefully house their family for years to come. There are so many details that must be decided upon. The thing no one wants to worry about is the builder. It is tough enough to determine where to live, what the look of the home should be, what the budget is, etc. Worrying about the contractor is not something that needs to come into play. To avoid that added mental expense, here are four questions to keep in mind when searching for a builder for a new home.
Question One: Are they knowledgeable?
Not all builders are created equal. Some may have years of experience, while others are new to the profession. Some may know certain aspects of building a new home but not have the whole picture.
An ideal builder will have knowledge of all aspects of the process, even if he or she isn’t the one to carry out each task. A new home needs a foundation, framing, plumbing, electrical, perhaps a septic, and many more pieces that add up to the finished product. If a builder only has knowledge in one part of the process, problems will be encountered when the next step is ready to proceed and they don’t know what is required. New homes also need multiple permits throughout the creation. They are just one more thing a builder needs to be familiar with.
Beyond that, you and the builder must be on the same page with how you want a house to look. Picturing what a future living room will look like and being able to fit that down on a blueprint are two vastly different things. The best builders can capture a feeling and design, and put it down on paper for a layman to understand. They can also be aware of designs that will not work in practice. A new homeowner may have their heart set on that two-way fireplace in the middle of the first floor dining area, but the ceiling support wouldn’t hold in that location. There are things a good builder will know before work even begins; a bad builder won’t recognize the issue until the problem arises during work.
Question Two: Are they reliable?
With so many steps in a building process, builders need to be reliable. Do they agree and keep to a schedule? If they have other jobs going at the same time, would yours take priority? Can they incorporate the different subcontracts’ schedules necessary to advance a home? For example, if window delivery is late, is there another thing that can proceed, or will building hit a standstill? If the plumber gets delayed, can other portions of the home remain on-schedule? It all falls on the contractor.
Question Three: Are they connected?
In that same vein, the builder needs to know the best guys for each portion of the job. One lone builder isn’t going to be an expert craftsman, drafter, plumber, mason, and interior decorator. That’s impossible. Instead, it falls on them to know where to turn. Just as you need to search for the best builder at the start, the builder then needs to have ideal subcontractors in mind for each portion of the build. Otherwise, the homeowner would encounter added risk each time a new piece is required.
Question Four: Are they trustworthy?
Connected to all previous portions, a builder needs to be a trustworthy character. Contractors get a bad rap for being weasels who refuse to take accountability. The bad ones blame everyone else for a delayed or failed job. Or, just like with a mechanic fixing your car, a contractor could charge for all kinds of things that a layman wouldn’t be able to dispute. Being reliable is one thing, but being honest and moral is even more important. It is scary enough for a family building a brand new home without having to worry about whether someone is taking advantage of them.