There are many important things to ask the builder to do when building a home. The things that you do ask the home builder to do should be written down, because if not you may forget to mention it, and he may also forget what you said. If it is important, it should be part of the contract or an additional sheet which is signed by both parties and kept with the contract. Below are some examples of things that you should request. You should express your own personal desires in the same way, to insure you get the house you want.
Things to Ask the Builder to Do: One
Include at least a thickness of 5 inches of insulation in the walls. This means either using six inch studs with each space pumped full of closed cell insulation, or structural panels with a 5-inch-thick polyurethane or polystyrene core. Do not settle for less.
Use either 2 by10 inch floor joists placed at least 16 inches on center, or 2 by 8 inch floor joists placed at least 12 inches on center. Under no circumstances should floor joists made of modern pine lumber be placed further than 18 inches apart.
Use three quarter inch plywood for roof sheathing and at least that for sub-floor. Many builders will say this is more than to thick and an unnecessary expense, but it improves the overall strength, and in 30 years when the roofing needs to be replaced, it may save a roofer from falling through.
Use roofing felt under asphalt shingles. Again many builders will say this in an unnecessary redundancy, but it will add years to the life of your roofing shingles and protect your ceiling from leaks and water damage.
Make structural soundness the top priority. This should go without saying, but with so may home buyers obsessing about floor covering upgrades, counter tops and other essentially irrelevant elements of home building, many builders have lost their focus, and do not attend to the basics of building. Make sure your home builder knows that you are not interested in a home where nice carpets cover shoddy floors, and cheap lightweight studs and insufficient insulation, lurk behind beautiful wallpaper.
There are also many things you can do to make the home building process go more smoothly. These are also things you need to tell your home builder that regard you own actions in the process.
• Have a definite concept when you first come to the builder. Keeping a home building journal will help. Be sure to present what you want in both words and illustrations, so that the builder is very clear on the type of home you want, right from the beginning.
• Communicate your desires clearly, explaining, illustrating, and specifying everything that is important to you.
• Finalize your selections as soon as is reasonably possible and do not change them. Be sure of your selections and stay consistent because changes can be confusing. Leaving selections to the last minute can also delay the building process.
• Be very specific about what you want, and always present important points in writing, as well as discussing them verbally.
• Be actively involved in the home building process, and make yourself accessible to the builder. Answer any questions that come up during the building process, and always be aware of what is going on at the job site.
• Let your home builder know that you intend to visit the construction site on a bi-weekly basis at least. If he objects then find another builder. Almost all dissatisfied home owners, would have seen problems well in advance, and been able to have them corrected immediately, had they been visiting their own job site regularly.
By using good communication skills with your builder, and expressing your desires and needs clearly, you will be able to insure getting what you want when building a house. Things to ask the builder to do, should be asked, and presented in writing, as soon as possible and before you sign the contract.