What standard features do your homes include? What options and upgrades can I select?
This is a open-ended question as there are so many levels of home building, but it has merit at all levels. You may be surprised what is standard to one builder and optional to another, no matter what the price point.
Do you subcontract work? Can I choose any or all of my subcontractors?
“Subcontractor” is not a dirty word. In fact, they provide flexibility to help keep schedules on track, maintain budgets and bring expertise in specific areas. A good builder/subcontractor partnership can bring much to your home construction. That said, these relationships carry a delicate balance. One that is time-tested for success. It is recommended that you let your builder select sub-contractors, for assurance of quality, timelines met and potential liability issues.
How many homes do you currently have under construction?
Too many and you may not get the level of service and quality that you want. Too few and the builder may be facing other issues. A good rule is 5-10 homes under construction at a given time. This helps to guarantee that you will receive personal service throughout the build cycle.
Are you going to be able to closely monitor the construction of my home?
The answer needs to be “Absolutely yes.” In the end your builder is solely responsible for the home you will move into. If they are non-committal to making themselves available on a regular basis to both oversee workmanship and answer your concerns, keep interviewing...
During construction, how often should I expect updates from you?
Let the builder know how involved you would like to be up-front. Have them commit to a mutual schedule.
How quickly will you return my phone calls or emails?
Considering that your business is their life-blood, expect return calls in a timely fashion, set to your schedule. This writer has to jump in here for a personal endorsement - Classic Living Homes returns calls very quickly and without exception.
I plan to be on the construction site often. Is this a problem?
Your builder should expect frequent visits from you during construction. This should not be an issue. If it is, question why.
Will you work with my house plan designer and interior designer to make sure my home is built exactly as it was designed or to make changes to the design along the way?
A good builder will want you to be 100% satisfied with your new home. Specialists that you are comfortable with should be welcomed into the process to guarantee success.
Do you finance the construction or do I need to secure a construction loan?
Home lending is a specialty that some builders offer and many do not by choice. It is usually offered by select builders. Others find that it is better left to banks and lending institutions as it distracts from the focus of building.
What's your process for inspection at key points of construction, at final walk-through, and to address any matters that need to be corrected or finalized?
Look for an organized, methodical response here. This will tell you that the builder has put their processes into practice many times prior to your project. Inspections, walk-throughs and punch lists should be discussed throughly at the outset and be a part of your agreement.