Questions to ask when considering a builder:
Experience | Expertise | Capability
- How many homes have they built?
- Do they available references from previous buyer?
- Are there Customer testimonials and reviews? Do they express the builder’s strengths and weaknesses?
- Have customers ever filed any formal complaints against their company? If so, how were they handled?
- What is their rating from the Better Business Bureau?
- Have they won any industry awards for performance or service?
- Do they have experience building along the coast, in high wind zones, and with tear-downs?
- Do they offer a warranty?
Financing | Price | Value
- Do they offer assistance in finding mortgage or construction financing?
- Does their price include interior and exterior finish work? If so, are there details on what is included with the interior and exterior work? What is potentially NOT included?
- Do they provide a detailed, line item pricing or general lump sum pricing? Will they give a guaranteed price before signing a construction agreement?
- Can they offer a list of any additional costs that might be necessary to complete your home?
- Change orders- will there be any? If so, what is the change order process and what are the fees?
Design | Options | Examples
- Do they have an in-house floor plan design team, or do you outsource design work to the manufacturer or third party firm?
- How custom is their company? Are they any limitations? Can I customize floorplan and selections, or am I stuck with the standard features?
- Future needs and growth:
-ADA Features aging in place, first floor, bedroom, etc.
-Future garage, in-law suite, etc
- Kitchen options: Are they “builder grade” or do they have something special?
Example: ‘Do you include solid surface counter tops such as quartz, granite, etc., or do you only offer laminate?”
“Do you offer maple cabinets, crown cabinets, dove tail/soft close/full extension drawers as standard or are these features considered upgrades?”
“Is cabinet hardware part of your standard package or is that considered an upgrade?”
- Are their specifications the same as what is offered by the factory? Or have you elevated your standard specifications to include higher level products, specifications and energy-saving features?
- Do they have their own design center to make it easy to select cabinets, faucets, flooring, siding, roofing, counter-tops, etc., or will I need to visit several locations to select my options and colors?
- Do they offer an interior/exterior color specialist to assist in the coordination of color and materials selections?
Following Up | Customer Support
- What happens after my home is completed and I move in? Is a one (1) year follow-up service program to address any issues that may show up after the final punch list is completed? If so, is this managed and scheduled automatically?
- Is there Customer Support available seven days a week? Can I be certain you will answer your phone consistently and will return my messages in a timely manner?
- What is the average build time for a home similar to the one I am looking to build? When can you start and when can I expect to move in?