When it comes to hiring a custom home builder to help you build your dream home, you want to make sure that you get the right team to help you. We have all heard terrible stories of projects not being completed to standards; or, even worse, not finished at all. Hiring a builder is a big investment so you want to make sure you cover all your bases and ask the right questions. Here are 6 key questions to ask before hiring a home builder.
When you go to meet with a general contractor for the first time, it’s a good idea to be prepared. To help you out, here are some of the key questions you should be asking.
1. What contracts or homes have you worked on?
By providing a list of previous jobs, your contractor is essentially handing you his resume. With this information you can check into the quality of his previous projects and get a feeling for customer satisfaction. It will also help build your confidence in the company to see the types of homes and structures they have completed and if there are any similarities to your project.
2. Have you ever built homes in this geographic area?
This may sound like a silly question but no two log homes are the same, and building a log home on the coast is different than building one in the central interior. Experience means that your builder will have knowledge of the local terrain and how to make your home structurally sound given its location.
3. What type of timbers do you use and why?
A good builder will have good reasons for standing by the materials they use, providing you with both a sense of relief regarding your home’s construction and practical knowledge of the trade.
4. Are you a licensed carpenter and a member of the local home builders association?
Hopefully they will answer YES to this question. Good standing in a local association likely points to experience, expertise and—perhaps most importantly—satisfied customers. A good builder will want to be in an association so they can display their credentials as well as advertise.
5. What are the terms of payment?
No one likes surprises so it’s important to know when your builder expects payment and how much is due at the beginning, middle and/or end of the project. A financial officer who understands construction lending can help streamline the process.
6. Do Your Own Research
Conduct a Google search of the company. Looking for articles and reviews from third party sources will give you a good sense about the company and their reputation. If there have been any complaints or concerns in the past, chances are that they were filed with an association and could show up in your search results.
At the end of the day, it is important to research any builder and contractors you are considering for your project. In addition to doing your research and asking the right questions, you want to make sure that you will get along with the contractors you’ll be working with. You want someone helping you that you can rely on—someone you are comfortable discussing the details of your log home with. The building process can be extremely stressful as well as exciting, so finding someone you can trust to help you though it is worth the investment of your time and money.