The process of home builder selection should be a very careful search for the right builder for your home. It starts with accumulating an exhaustive list of options, and then follows with a narrowing process. Gradually you will weed out the builders you hear complaints about, and the builders who just don’t fit your plans. Eventually you will narrow your search to three to six great home builders. You will then visit them with a very detailed description of your home. You should have pictures, floor plans, and a materials specification list. Let the builders know exactly what you want.
Use the internet, and telephone listings to get a list of home builders. Check with the Home Builder’s Association in your area as another source of home builder lists. If you want an unusual home, one built with green materials, or someone to put together a kit or shell you may have to seek builders from outside your immediate area. You may need to seek the advice of other green builders, or green architects who create homes you like in distant areas. They may know builders in your area with similar interests.
Search on line for complaints about homes and builders, both by name and by area. Ask around in your city among recent home buyers. Ask local Realtors, loan officers, and subcontractors to recommend a few builders. You may also ask building inspectors for their opinion of home builders. When asking professionals to recommend home builders, it is best to ask for three recommendations from each person, and then ask if there is anyone they would not recommend. Write down what they say and note which names come up most often in each category.
Visit homes built by different builders. In today’s market it is easy to find examples of homes built by most of the local builders. Attend open houses, or ask a Realtor to show you a few homes by each builder. Ask yourself if these homes resemble the home you want to build. Are these homes the similar in quality, price and size to the home you want? Don’t just look at the surface details. Examine the crawlspace or basement and the attic to see how the home is constructed.
When you are ready, make appointments with between three and six of your favorite builders. Come prepared with pictures, plans and specifications about specific materials you prefer. Have a firm idea both in your mind and on paper of the exact home you want. Get a quote on the home you want. Note any differences or variations, and keep the bids as similar as possible.
In addition to price, there are many other factors to consider. One of the most important ones is accountability. Will you be dealing with someone who is directly responsible for the quality of your home, or are you talking to a salesman. Be sure that you meet the people with authority, who are responsible for the outcome of your construction. You should select someone with whom you can communicate easily, who speaks freely and listens to what you say. Communication is a vital part of the home building business, and without it, you can fail to get the house you want.
Read all contracts carefully before you sign. Do not sign hastily. Take the contract with you unsigned and read it carefully. Make sure that your contract:
• Includes a detailed materials list
• Is clear on the price
• Does not include an arbitration clause
• Has a warranty
• Does not include language to prevent you from visiting and inspecting the home during construction
It is not a bad idea to have your attorney to read over your building contract before you sign. Building contracts are very binding documents, and it is important to make sure that everything in them is to your advantage. Some building contracts have language in them which could leave you stuck with a very expensive pile of rubble, if something goes wrong.
There are probably many home builders in your area which are capable of building your home. It pays to completely investigate the options. Always research everything before signing a contract, and make sure that your interests are protected. Home builder selection is a mater of vital importance, so shop wisely.