Looking for a Home Builder? 9 Questions to Ask
Do you and your family want to leave behind apartment life and move into a brand-new home? Maybe you have plans to expand your family and you want to build a home in preparation for the new addition? Well, whether it’s your first home or an upgrade to a larger one, it’s important to find the best builder for the job.
- Will you show me some examples of homes you’ve built?
- Are you insured as well as licensed as a builder?
- What type of warranty do you provide to homeowners? What are the details?
- Do you build energy-efficient homes?
- Who is responsible for the clean-up of the construction site?
- Do you take clients on a final walk-through before they move into the home?
- Do you offer any optional features and upgrades in the design?
- Who is responsible for getting the building permits?
- What features, services, etc. do you offer that other home builders in the area do not?
How to Find a Builder?
Some people find a builder by asking friends or neighbors who recently built a home. Others find a builder by conducting an online search to check out reviews of local builders in Virginia Beach. Learning about the experiences of past clients can be a big help in deciding whom you want to hire to build your new home.
Asking the Right Questions
Once you find a builder you’re interested in, it’s a smart idea to sit down with the person and ask some questions. A builder’s willingness to answer questions as well as the answers themselves can help you determine whether you want to work with the person. Below are some questions to take along with you when you meet in-person with a builder you’re considering.
The Questions1. Will you show me some examples of homes you’ve built?
Reputable builders are thrilled to show off their work! A builder may show you photos of homes they have built or give you the locations of newly built homes in the area so you can see them in-person.
In addition, a builder should be willing to give you references. Talking to people who live in homes constructed by the builder can be very helpful in making your decision.2. Are you insured as well as licensed as a builder?
A professional builder in Virginia must have a valid Virginia Contractor’s License to perform general contracting work. Some builders also have a specialty license for specific types of work. Also, a builder should have general liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance.3. What type of warranty do you provide to homeowners? What are the details?
Reputable builders offer a new home warranty to owners. The warranty should be clear about what is covered and for how long. Common items found on a new home warranty include:
A professional builder will be able to give you a list of the energy efficient appliances put into their new houses. Also, the builder should be able to point out specific features that make their homes energy-efficient. A document outlining the savings resulting from energy-efficient appliances is even better.5. Who is responsible for the clean-up of the construction site?
The home construction contract you have with a builder should layout what’s involved in the cleanup process. This includes delivery dates of large dumpsters for discarded construction materials, removal of full dumpsters and removal of smaller items of trash. The cleanup portion of the home construction contract is important because as the new owner of the property, you could be fined for trash and other debris left behind after construction.6. Do you take clients on a final walk-through before they move into the home?
The answer to this question should be a definite yes. During this tour, the builder is able to show features of the home to you and explain how the AC and furnace system work, among other appliances.
This is the time to turn on lights, flush toilets and otherwise test the features of your home so you have the builder present if a problem arises.7. Do you offer any optional features and upgrades in the design?
The answer to this question should be a resounding yes. A reliable builder will have a list of upgrades along with the pricing that you’d be able to choose from if you decide to work together.
8. Who is responsible for getting the building permits?
The builder is responsible for getting the proper permits. The builder’s name should be on the permit so he or she is responsible for any issues or problems with the construction project. The fee for the permit will likely be worked into the price of the home.
A reputable builder will be able to rattle off the services and features that make them stand out from other builders in the Virginia Beach area. A diligent builder will have a stack of colorful photos of special features in the homes they have built.
Taking along this list of questions as well as any others you think of can help you to learn a lot about a Virginia Beach builder and what they can do for you. Remember, a reputable builder will be more than happy to answer any questions you have throughout the process. A professional builder wants to maintain a reputation for honest, quality work in the industry.
Originally published May 7, 2019