Define Your Needs
You don’t have to have the floor plans in place, but you should know what size and type of house you want to have made. This will help you narrow your search by focusing only on professionals who have completed similar projects. For example, if you want a Tudor home, you would only consider, or at least have a strong preference for, contractors that specialize in that architectural style.
Some new builders offer substantial discounts because they’re just starting out and they need to get their name out there. Unfortunately, this can cause problems if they make rookie mistakes and go over budget on your project. For these reasons, and many more, we strongly suggest that you find a contractor with a long and respectable track record. This should include experience in the type of abode you want to put up.
Always Check References
Experienced homebuilders should provide you with a list of customer references and referrals soon after you meet them. If they do not, simply ask for one. Find a way to follow up with their previous customers to ensure they have good reviews. You should contact at least a few former customers and ask if they are satisfied with the work the builder did. If all of the names on the list have nothing but great things to say about the contractor, you may have found your match.
Make Sure That The Builder Is Licensed And Insured
Believe it or not, not every state requires homebuilders to be licensed, which often makes finding a qualified contractor harder than it has to be. To simplify the process, ask every applicant if he or is licensed from the outset. You also want to inquire about insurance, since you could be held liable if they do not have the proper coverage.
Ask About Warranties
One of the key benefits of new construction is that the structure itself and most of its systems are covered under warranty. But because it may save them time and money on future repairs, some homebuilders do not offer extended warranties. As a customer, you should always look for a contractor who stands behind his work with structural warranties of ten year or longer on the abode itself. You will also want to ensure that all warranties are transferable to a new owner, should you decide to sell before they expire.