Selecting a builder is a stressful decision for those investing in home renovations or new construction in these tight financial times. How do you know you are getting the best value? How do you know if you are getting someone who will show up and work? How do you know if they will deliver what they promise?
There are certain things to look for when selecting your builder that will hopefully take some of the stress out of your decision:
1. Look for a builder with a good reputation, ask for references, look at homes they have built.
2. Only work with a home builder that is licensed and insured to perform the type of work you are requesting.
3. Find a builder that has a crew of workers that are loyal and honest. If you want to work with a particular builder, make sure he will be on your site and is not assigning it to someone else in the company.
4. Ask about the company history, look for someone with a strong track record Ask about how they got to where they are now, who else they have worked for and why they started their own business.
5. Search the builder online, check their website, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. See what people are saying about them or they are saying to people. Get to know them and what they believe in.
6. Ask them what building science training they have done. Do they test their homes with a blower door? Do they require their HVAC system to have a Manual D and Manual J?
7. Look at a home they built and how the mechanical room is laid out. Are the electrical lines run straight and neat? Is the ductwork sealed with Mastic? Did they take pride in their work even on the little stuff?
8. What is their prefered type of construction contract? How do they prefer to get paid? How do they handle allowance and change orders?
9. Ask your architect about his experience working with the builder? Ask the builder how he works with an architect?
10. Last and probably most important, talk to the builder and find out how he communicates. How will he pass information to you and gather information from you through the build process.
If you ask these question and do this research, the decision should be easy for you to make. I am happy to help, let me know if you need assistance in your selection.