Building a custom home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. And in the hands of the right builder, it’s an investment that can go smoothly and seamlessly. In the wrong hands, you can expect ever-lengthening schedules and blown budgets.
Before you sign on that dotted line, here are 5 essential questions to ask your custom home builder.
1 What have you built in the area?
Ideally your builder can point to a number of properties they’ve built in your area. Why is this important? It means that they’re familiar with local codes, regulations and permitting. This not only ensures that you’re meeting all local requirements, but can also help speed up the process. Plus you’ll be able to take a look at some comparable projects and see how they turned out.
2 What is the estimated timeframe?
Estimated start and end dates are a must – as well as key milestones along the way. Knowing how the project is likely to unfold helps you plan your life over the next year or so. Often there will be payment terms associated with hitting certain milestones, so knowing when you’ll need to write a check is invaluable for getting your finances in order.
3 Who will manage the project?
Ask about the chain of command and reporting for your build. Will your builder be on-site at all times to manage and monitor a work crew? Or will they be splitting time between other jobs? Is there a fixed crew, or will you be working with multiple subcontractors? Different teams work in different ways, but it’s essential that there’s an accountable supervisor on site at all times.
4 Are your builds eco-friendly?
Energy efficiency and eco-friendliness are at the forefront of many home owners’ minds. Home owners want high performing homes that are built to be energy efficient from the ground up. While this starts with design, components such as glass, insulation, sealants and foam encapsulation can make an incredible difference. Don’t forget to ask what happens with site waste and offcuts.
5 Are you licensed and insured?
This is a big one: always work with a licensed, insured builder! Your builder should be licensed, bonded and should carry general liability and damage insurance. Ensure that these documents are up to date and include full coverage as well as workers’ compensation. If your builder is missing any of these things, you could be putting your project – and your pocket book – at risk.
You’ll probably have plenty more questions of your own when it comes to building a custom home. But start with these, and you’ll have peace of mind when you do sign that contract. We’d love to answer all five of these questions for you…let’s chat?