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How do I select a builder?

Selecting a builder for your new home is as critical, if not more critical than, the selection of your new home’s plans. The success of the build and your satisfaction with the final product are absolutely contingent upon securing a quality, reputable builder to work on your new home.

Start by developing a pool of potential builder candidates. Ask for suggestions from your family, friends and work associates. Also, if you are building in a new neighborhood, consider asking your new neighbors if they would recommend their builders. An additional source could be attending a Parade of Homes or similar event in the area you are planning to build. You will be able to see the work of multiple builders first-hand.

Once you have located a few builders you are interested in working with, narrow down your choices by meeting with them. Confirm that they have built properties that are similar to what you are trying to achieve in terms of size, style and budget. Inquire about their schedule and the potential timeline they could offer for your build. If you have already selected your plan, ask each builder to bid on your specific home plan.

Ask to see sample timelines, invoices and other similar information from previous bids, to see how they work and the manner in which they report progress to you during the build. This will help you see how organized they are. Ask about specific crew experience, how they select subs, and similar questions.

Verify the reputation of the builders you have selected and contact the state licensing board to ensure your candidates all have up-to-date licenses and current insurance. Ask each builder for references of homes they have built. Contact these homeowners and ask about their work. Also, consider driving by some of the houses the builder has built and some of the sites they currently have under construction to see how tidy, organized and productive they are in working.

In the end, weigh the overall bids you have received with the references and overall rapport you have forged with different builders, as well as your gut instinct to make the best overall builder decision.

Posted in: Buyers Guide