If you are preparing to visit a home builder or contractor for the first time, you may be wondering what questions to ask a home builder or contractor about building your dream home. By now you should have a clear mental picture of your dream home. You should also research all the home builders and contractors in your area and narrow your choices to about three to six. You will visit them all and decide which one will build your future home. Now you need a list of questions to ask him. You should already know the answer to some of these questions, based on your research of the builder but it is very important to clarify the quote you are asking for.
What Questions to Ask Home Builder: If you are seeking a traditional stick built home
• What weight of lumber do you generally use for the floor joists? (The answer should be at least 2”x 10”)
• What weight of lumber do you generally use for walls? (His answer should be 2”x 6” but some builders use 2”x 4” Anything less than 2”x 4” is completely unacceptable.)
• Clarify whether the quote will include a foundation with a crawl space, a basement or building on a slab. (You should know which you prefer, but the answer will make a significant difference in the quote so make sure he knows which you prefer.)
• Ask which type of roofing materials he commonly uses, and if he is comfortable with the type you prefer.
• Inquire about the type and R-value of insulation used in the walls, and ceiling. Insist on energy efficiency, and compare your research to what he normally uses.
• Inquire about moisture control, and how he plans to ventilate the attic and control moisture build up in walls.
• Ask how many years he’s been in the construction business.
• Ask if he only uses certified electricians and licensed plumbers. Inquire about other contractors who will be doing work on your home.
• Inquire about triple glazed windows, and their cost.
• Ask what his average cost per square foot was on the last three homes he built.
• Inquire about any non standard or extra materials or fixtures you may require.
• Discuss floor plans and find out if yours will be a truly custom home, or just a rework of an existing plan he usually uses.
• Ask for a quote
What Questions to Ask Home Builder: If you are talking to a green home builder about non standard materials
• First find out whether he can use the building materials you prefer.
• Discuss different types and brands of materials, and find out his preferences and what he usually uses.
• Ask about the foundation, or basement. How will he construct it and what materials he will use?
• Find out the average cost per square foot for homes built of your preferred materials.
• Inquire about the R-value of any insulated panels or special insulated walls and ceilings which may be used in your home.
• Discuss the floor plan.
• Find out if he can meet your specifications.
• Ask him about a quote.
It is best to clarify the important things first. You can select counter tops and floor coverings later. If you have thoroughly researched the type of home you want, you will no doubt have very specific questions about materials you prefer. You only need to know the cost of each item you want. Use this guide as a rule of thumb, but ask your own specific questions as well, when deciding what questions to ask a home builder or contractor.