Building a home can be the most important decision in your life. Now, there have been terrible stories of homes that were never completed or scrupulous builders who used substandard materials. There’s now an anxiety associated with choosing an appropriate home builder and to some extent it is justified as your choice of home builder can have direct consequences on the final outcome. There is however a clear lack of knowledge and awareness on how to go about selecting an appropriate home builder. We present you a list of to do things which will help you select the right builder:
- Check the credentials: It is your money at stake here, so do not feel shy in inquiring the builder for his licenses. Home Builders Association (HBA) regularly maintains a list of registered home builders so it is better to check it yourself. They also maintain complaints against builders, so you might want to read that as well.
- References: After checking the home builder’s registration it is must that you check its antecedents. HBA provides references, you could also talk to your local real estate agents about the expertise of the builder, and most importantly ask the builder to provide the details of his past work, check whether what he says actually exists, talk to the past customers of a builder and get to know their experience.
- Local Builder: Go for a local builder in your area and this is for a number of reasons. First you can drive down to his office in case of a problem, secondly the builder being from your area is more acclimatized to the climatic conditions prevailing and hence knows which materials to use and how to use them. Thirdly a local builder will also save a lot of your time in checking his past work as you could just drive-by.
- Builder insurance: Check whether your home builder has an insurance cover for onsite accidents, damage from storms and other natural hazards. The local HBA office will provide you the standard insurance cover.
- Warranty: This is the most important aspect, we recommend consulting your lawyer before you sign on the dotted line. HBA also comes out with an industry standardized copy. Make sure that you compare your builders copy with the HBA and sort out the divergences if any.
- Generally services of a custom home builder are required in case you want to build home on a land you already own. When choosing a custom home builder make sure that you accord the highest importance to reputation because custom builders usually build homes which are site specific and this requires a different kind of expertise than the standard mass production homes.
- A custom home builder will normally offer architecture services along with building, make sure to work out a good bargain in this case.