13 Questions To Ask Your Builder When Building Your Custom Home
Congratulations on your next step of building a custom home. You’ve probably worked hard to get the funds you need for the construction, and you want the project to go well to realize your dream of building a unique home. But have you already chosen the best custom home builder to handle the project? If not, do you know how to find one and what to ask your builder when building your custom home?
For your custom home project to succeed, you need an experienced professional who can do what they claim and deliver commendable results. Before deciding that a particular custom home builder is perfect for your project, ask them the following questions and use their answers as a basis for whether you’ll be working with them or not.
1. Are You Truly A Custom Home Builder?
While this question might seem sensitive, it’s good to ask. You want to be sure you’re hiring someone who can deliver what you wish, not vice versa. Given that your home will cost you a fortune to erect, hiring someone with no idea how to go about the whole process is a waste of money and time.
Additionally, custom builders must follow different rules and regulations when building houses. If you offer someone who isn’t a custom builder an opportunity to build your home, you might find yourself on the wrong side of the law and be forced to pay a hefty penalty. That said, it’s always right to want to know if the builder is a custom home builder.
2. For How Long Have You Been Building Custom Homes?
It’s wise to want to know for how long someone has been constructing custom homes. As the saying goes, old is gold. A builder with more experience will do an excellent job than a new builder in the industry. Also, someone with experience will know how to handle things in case of an emergency, change of plans, or project errors. It’s therefore advisable to know how experienced they are.
3. What’s Your Reputation?
Of course, most builders will paint a beautiful picture for themselves. Yet you might need to hear about them and their work from different sources.
For starters, search their business on the web to learn more about what they do and how long they’ve been in the industry. You might also want to check their website. Alternatively, you can ask them about previous clients and get testimonials. Previous clients will give the information you need concerning the builder and help you make a wise decision.
4. Will You Help In Finding A Land?
The land where you want your custom home built directly determines how your home will look structurally and aesthetically.
For instance, some neighborhoods set guidelines specifying the type of homes to be built, or the land can’t support the kind of building you want. Fortunately, when a builder finds land for you, they’ll be confident they can build the type of home you need.
If your builder doesn’t find land for clients, you’ll need to find a property yourself. In such a case, work closely with an architect, land surveyor, or builder to select a better land to build your custom home and ensure you learn more information about home building in the area.
5. Are There Current Projects You Can Give Tours?
You might also want to know if they have current projects you can visit to see their work in progress. Reputable and experienced custom homes are more likely to have projects going on since they’re known for their excellent work.
If there are current projects, ensure to go to the site for a clear view of their work. This will allow you to see how they work with other builders and handle different situations. During such tours, you’ll also learn more about the builder from clients and know if they’re the best for you.
6. Are You Licensed And Insured?
While some states require custom home builders to have licenses, others don’t. Whichever the case in your state, it’s a good idea to know if a custom home builder is licensed and insured. You don’t want to hire a builder who doesn’t have a license along with the necessary business documents to operate.
7. How Much Can Your Custom Home Be Customized?
A custom home means different things to different homeowners. To some, it means deciding how you want a kitchen to look; to others, it means determining every aspect of their home. Whichever the case, the question lies in whether the custom home builder will allow a homeowner to make architectural changes if they wish.
For instance, a homeowner might need to add some extra square feet to the kitchen or add an extra bathroom. But will your custom home builder allow it?
While most builders term themselves custom home builders, they only allow architectural changes on countertops and other minor design changes. They don’t allow you to make changes like adding an extra bedroom or such.
A good and professional custom home builder allows you to make changes even after the construction has commenced. You can add a balcony, patio, or any feature you require. While it might not be suitable to dictate the kind of custom home builder you should choose, it’s wise to settle for one who guarantees that the result will be what you’d want it to be.
8. How Long Will The Construction Take?
While the answer to this question depends on the home’s size, be on the lookout for builders who promise an unrealistic timeline. An unrealistic timeline might lie between too much to too short a period. If a builder promises a significantly prolonged timeline, ask if they have too many projects at the moment or any other reason affecting the time. Also, if they promise a shorter period, determine if it’s because they don’t have current projects and if they’ll perform an excellent job in such a short while. It’s better to be prepared than not.
9. Who’ll Be Managing The Project?
You have a perfect opportunity to know who’ll manage your project during the hiring period. You want to know who’s responsible for what and to whom to direct your questions.
Suppose the builder will be managing the project, the better. The more involved they’re, the more speedy things are likely to move, affecting the timeline positively. But if someone else manages the project, ensure to know who and their relationship with the builder. Also, you might want to know if they have experience managing projects similar to yours to avoid disappointments during the building process.
10. How Will Questions And Concerns Be Addressed During The Construction Period?
There will be things happening during the construction period that doesn’t sit well with you, and you’ll want to have your questions answered. You might have some concerns you want to be addressed too. How will these concerns and questions be dealt with?
You want to ensure you can reach out to your builder and get the assistance you need. You also need to be okay with their means of communication. Custom home construction isn’t just another project; it involves high investments. You want each concern as far as the construction is concerned to be addressed professionally for your satisfaction.
11. What’s The Biggest Challenge You Have Ever Encountered, And How Did You Handle It?
Like interviewing candidates for other jobs, you’d want to know how the builder can handle challenges. While it can be easy to speak confidently about how they can do so, ask them about the challenges they’ve encountered during projects and how they handled the situation.
Additionally, you might need to understand how they deal with different types of workers, especially if they’ve done something wrong concerning the project or in case of an accident. Based on their answers, you know if they’re the kind of builder you’d want to work with.
12. Can You Help Build The House Within The Budget?
As already stated, custom homes aren’t cheap to build. But some things can be done to lower the cost even slightly. For instance, you can settle for more affordable countertops to save money for durable floors. That said, it’s vital to know how the builder can assist you in building a custom home within your budget.
Since professional builders know different materials and fixtures, they might be willing to help you choose quality materials selling at low prices. They can refer you to hardware selling materials at a discount to help you save some extra cash too. You might never know if they can step in to ensure you build your dream house on a friendly project budget unless you ask.
13. Will They Allow You To Visit The House After The Construction Has Commenced?
Some builders are stricter than others. Some will allow you to visit the house under construction, while others won’t. Knowing if your builder will let you see the place whenever you want is essential. It’s your house, and you have every right to visit it. Nevertheless, it’s always right to inform them when you want to stop by.
Ask your builder when building your custom home if it can deliver your needs. In addition, they must be qualified and experienced in building similar homes to yours. To know if they’re fit for the job, consider asking them the question mentioned above to be sure that the end product will be just what you dreamt of.