It’s been your lifelong dream to build your own dream home, but first you have to choose your builder. Choosing a home builder can be a bit intimidating and overwhelming. The best place to start is to talk to family and friends and find out which builders they used and liked. Ideally, you’ll want to interview between three and five home builders in Omaha before you make your decision. The following questions can help make the process a little easier and it will help to weed out the less than reputable contractors that are out there.
What to Ask when Choosing a Home Builder
- Are you licensed and insured? – This is the most important question you can ask of any builder. If they are not licensed and insured move on. Don’t waste your time or their’s and never pull a permit for a company. Walk away, you’ll save yourself both heartache and headache if you stay away from unlicensed builders.
- Can I see some of your work? – While working with a first time builder is okay – we all started somewhere – ideally you want someone with some experience. Walk through several model homes of the builders you are interviewing to get a good feel for the type of homes they specialize in.
- Do you have a warranty? – Most home builders provide a warranty on the home they build for you. Some are a year or two while others have extended warranties. Don’t forget about manufacture warranties on any products in your home, too. Most home builders will take care of anything that breaks down in the first year so call your builder before calling the manufacturer, they’ll often take care of it so you don’t have to hassle with it.
- Do you have any references? – Like licensing and experience, you want to get some feedback about your builder before you make the final decision. This will give you important information such as as timeliness, staying within budget and quality of work. Check out as many references as you are provided. If the builder doesn’t provide any references you may want to choose a different builder.
- How often will you give me updates on the project? – This is a good question to ask because you want to be sure you and your builder have similar expectations. Let your builder know upfront that you would like weekly updates from him. This will prevent wasted time trying to track the builder down for updates and will make sure everyone is on track.
- How many homes are you building right now? – Many home builders have multiple projects going on at any one time, there’s nothing wrong with that. However, it’s helpful for you to know who will be managing your project and that the company has a history of managing multiple projects at one time.
- Can I visit the site during construction? – Most home builders welcome the homeowner on site. However, it is a construction site and safety is key. Let your builder know you’ll be coming by the site.
- What about change orders? – There hasn’t been a home building project yet that didn’t have a change order or two. Ask how these are handled and to let you know how that affects the cost of the project.
- When do fixtures need to be chosen? – You’ve probably been choosing fixtures since before you chose a floor plan, however, when it comes time to actually build a home you’ll want to choose fixtures with the builder in mind. Many home builders have and in-house design team who will help guide you through the entire process.
- Do you have a cancellation and refund policy? – It happens, even after checking references, getting referrals, and making sure the contractor is licensed things still may go south. Find out what the cancellation and refund policy is. It’s better to know up front if one exists and how to deal with it if you choose to part ways.