RESEARCHING BUILDERS

WHAT IS A BUILDER’s REPUTATION IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD?

When deciding on a builder for a new construction home on your lot, a remodel of your existing or recently purchased home, or buying a speculative home from a builder, there are some important things we encourage you to consider.  Foremost among these is the builder’s reputation in your neighborhood.

References & ProfeSsionalism

  • Ask the builder for references from prior clients and businesses/suppliers they work with.
  • Then ask them questions that will help you get to the heart of the builder’s professionalism.

Basic questions worth asking

At a minimum, we encourage to ask every builder you interview (including us!) a few basic things:

Move-In Ready "Spec" Homes

If you’re looking to purchase a “spec” home (a home that is for sale by the builder), consider that for most builders, building and selling a beautiful spec home is relatively easy.  What separates the best spec home builders from the rest are the relationships they keep with their buyers after the sales have closed.  Look for a builder who has maintained a positive relationship with homeowners after they move-in.  It’s a sign that a builder is confident in the quality of his home and will be around for the long term.  And check out the questions we suggest prospective clients ask custom home builders.

1. Do they carry Builder’s Risk insurance?

The unexpected can sometimes happen.  Does the builder carry Risk Insurance? General liability Insurance? Worker’s Compensation Insurance?

2. Ask about their buisness

Less scrupulous builders may change their name to shake off a bad reputation.  How many years has the builder been in business, operating under the same name?

3. Ask about their Knowledge of the area

Some builders specialize in one or two distinct areas or jurisdictions, limiting their experience working with zoning agencies and local associations.  How familiar is the builder with the area where your home is located?

4. Ask ABOUT THE PEOPLE MANAGING YOUR PROJECT

Building techniques and materials are constantly changing and improving and it’s important that a company stays up to date with the best practices of home building.  What kind of knowledge do the people who will be in charge of your home project have working on your type of project?

5. Ask for documentation

Will they provide you with copies of their Contract and Payment Policies?

6. Ask how busy they are

It’s easy for a builder to take on too much work and spread themselves too thin.  What are their past and current volumes of projects? Do they have the resources to actively manage all of their current projects, including yours?

7. Ask to visit build sites

Can you visit any active construction sites? (You can learn a lot about a builder by seeing how they manage a project.)

8. ask yourself

Are you comfortable with this person and the company’s operations?

get a gut feeling about EACH builder YOU MEET. Then go beyond that.

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Ask THE Questions

Print the list of questions above and take them with you.
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Check References

Every builder should give you a list of previous clients and suppliers they work with, who can give you more information.
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VISIT BUILD SITES

If possible check out sites in different stages of construction.
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Check with the BBB, GHBA, and TAB

Business and Professional Builders Associations are a great way to find out if there are any negative reports about a particular builder.

(713) 771-2217

Rick Walsh
email: Rick@CityLife-Homes.com

5902 Winsome Ln.
Houston, TX 77057

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