When building a new home, screen your candidates carefully using our recommended questions to ask new home builders. Choose the right builder for you by comparing their answers to the following questions. The links in this article point to builders with good answers to these questions, so you have a benchmark to use in your interviews.
- How long have you been in business? Developing a successful business model takes time. Typically builders who have a long track record have stayed around for a reason. However, always do due dilegence and check it the company recently shifted leadership, as that may affect quality.
- Do you have a valid contractor’s license for your state? Ask for credentials to ensure the builder has fulfilled the licensing requirements for your state. Also ask about any subcontractors the builder uses.
- Have you won any awards? Many of the best home builders have received recognition for their work. Ask if the builder has won any awards, and find out when they were awarded. Recent recognition is always preferred!
- How many homes have you built? Make sure you're not the first! If you're looking for a custom home builder, ask for examples of previous work. Make sure the builder's experience matches the size and type of home you want to build. Talk about your vision for your new home, and ask about the builder’s experience with your choice.
- What can I customize on my home? Even if you're not building a custom home, most new home builders allow you to customize many design elements and features of your new house. Ask what the builder allows, and if they have a design center where you can work with a professional to make informed choices. You may or may not have your own home design plans, but it’s worth knowing what your builder is willing to accept.
- What products and materials do you use? Make sure your builder builds with materials that will ensure a high-quality home. Shoddy building elements will lead to problems, no matter how well they are put together.
- What energy efficient features and materials do you use? Almost all builders these days claim to build energy efficient homes. Compare and contrast the actual products and features used by your builder to make sure your new home's energy bills stay low!
- Can I talk to some of your previous clients? Check online reviews and testimonials. Get references. Then ask the past clients about their experience working with the builder. This is also a great opportunity to find out about warranties, and how well the builder stands by their work and fixes mistakes.
- How long will it take? When can you start? Make sure your new home will be ready when you need it. Find out about their construction process, and how you will be informed of progress.
- Are you a Certified Professional Builder? This designation requires the builder to be a member of their local, state, and national HBA. Even more importantly, it requires that the builder complete ongoing continuing education courses throughout the year.
Choosing the right home builder for you is a major decision. Make sure you get the answers you need to feel comfortable and confident in your choice of builder!