Interviewing a Custom Home Builder

We’ve all heard the stories of heartache from people who started the journey to build their dream home only to be left with a home that is more in line with a nightmare. As a builder myself, I cringe when I hear these stories. There are, of course, many different reasons a building project can go wrong, but hiring the right home builder is key to having a successful project. Here are ten questions to ask when interviewing your potential custom home builder:

1. Do you have a current license, bond, and general liability insurance? The builder should be able to provide you with a copy of all three.

2. How long have you been in business and have you ever operated under a different business name? Quite often a builder will get into trouble and close the shop and start a new one. This is easier to do than you’d think.

3. Have you ever been sued or had to participate in mediation or arbitration with a client? If so, it is essential to ask questions about it and get an idea of the builder’s sense of what’s right and wrong.

4. How many projects do you supervise at one time? Someone who is managing more than three or four projects at once will have their hands full. It’s important to hire someone who will have time to be personally involved in quality control and supervision.

5. Do you offer “open books” style accounting for the project? It’s essential to know where your money is being spent. Funds from multiple projects should never be co-mingled. Working with a builder who offers this “open book” policy is highly recommended.

6. How do you ensure the home will be built within the budget? If building under the “cost plus a fixed fee” method (which I think is the best) you should have regular budget review meetings after each phase of construction. Of course, when building design for the first time there can be surprises, but there are ways to handle the surprises instead of letting the costs snowball out of control.

7. How long will it take to build my home? If a project lingers on it can cost you money. If you are getting a construction loan, you can be penalized if you don’t close by a specific date, usually six to nine months.

8. Do you have a list of current and past clients that I can contact? It’s important to hear from other homeowners about how this builder handles the job.

9. Do you have a system for allowing me to walk-through with you to discuss details and approve the work?

This is important to set up for both yours’ and the builder’s interests.

10. How do you handle callbacks and warranty issues? Understanding your warranty and knowing how to get things resolved and fixed quickly is very important. because we know the safety standards of Lifting Equipment also need to be considered. we all don’t want our jobs to be hampered because something that is not necessary just because we put aside security.

Your custom home building experience can be heartache, or it can be one of the funniest experiences of your life. Take the time to make the most of it. Hiring a builder with a good reputation and finding the one with the personality that compliments your own is crucial. Companies with websites, modern tools and up to date methods of doing business are just some of the things to look for.