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Steps to Building a House: Find Your Builder

There are many steps to building a house. That’s why we’re devoting this series of articles to each stage along the way. An early one is finding the right builder for your project. Saussy Burbank can help, of course. First, we’ll provide assistance here by sharing tips on how to select your building partner.

With 3.46 million houses built in the United States between 2015 and 2019, it’s not surprising that there are also tens of thousands of home builders in the country. Each area will have its own mid-sized and small home builders as well as specialists in particular niches. Saussy Burbank, for example, is known for its innovative way of combining modern, open floor plans with architectural choices that reflect the history and character of the Carolinas.

Whether you’re looking for a modern, single-family home, a townhome, a condo, or even a tiny home, the number of builders vying for your business can be overwhelming.  The following strategies take some of the challenges out of your steps to building a house.

#1 List Possible Builders

The National Association of Home Builders offers several ways to identify potential local builders:

  • Contact your local builders’ association for a list
  • Survey the real estate section of your local newspaper to see who is behind the in-progress projects
  • Ask local real estate agents for suggestions
  • Canvas family, friends, and others in your network for their recommendations

#2 Interview Potential Partners

Think of it like dating for real estate. You need to find out more about the different builders on your list. Questions you might ask, depending on your priorities, include:

  • Does their design style suit yours?
  • What other projects in the area have they done?
  • Are they licensed in your state?
  • What jobs have they done similar to yours?
  • Can they provide references?
  • How will they determine costs?
  • What kind of communication can you expect during the process?
  • How are they making energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable design choices?
  • What type of warranty do they offer?
  • What does their typical design process/timeline look like?
  • How do they determine the quality of any subcontractors that might work on your project?
  • Can they provide evidence of certificates of Insurance for General Liability or Workers Compensation?

#3 Visit Recently Built Homes

You may be impressed with a builder’s answers in your interview, but you still need to see their work firsthand. A builder may offer to set you up to visit the home of one of their references. Otherwise, go visit an open house for another home or neighborhood being built by that builder.

Don’t just take the salesperson’s word for it. It’s also a great idea to get out in that neighborhood of recently built homes by the builder and talk to people who own those houses. Explain that you’re thinking of having the builder work for you and ask them (just as you’d ask the builder’s provided references):

  • Are they happy with their homes?
  • Did they have any problems?
  • If so, were they addressed promptly and properly?
  • Did the builder communicate well?
  • Was the project on time and on budget?
  • Are there subcontractors they would recommend or avoid?

Record your observations. You’re probably going to be seeing more than one builder’s work. So, make it easier on yourself when making the decision by taking along a notebook to jot down your impressions.

We have some questions for you too! View our Home building 101: What buyers should ask themselves.

#4 Review Relevant Documents

When you’ve narrowed down your options, you’ll want to do some background reading. It’s homework that can pay off down the road as you build your forever home. The builder should be able to provide you:

  • A sample contract
  • A sample budget
  • A written description of their process
  • A sample production schedule
  • A sample change order request
  • A sample warranty

#5 Check their Reputation

There are many trade associations for home builders and contractors. You can check with these organizations to determine if there are any known issues with your potential partner.

Main organizations include:

#6 Consider Customer Service

This is an important project. Even though you’d like your home done quickly so you can move in, that’s not how it works. Customer service is going to matter.

You want to be sure that you trust the builder you choose to communicate with you along the way. You don’t want to get someone who is all eager in the sales phase, but then won’t return your calls once building is in progress. So, look for a partner who is “responsive, open and glad to discuss things with you from the start to the final phases of the project.”

Finding the Right Builder

These are only some of the things you’ll need to do and consider as steps to building a house. You’ll also need to consider the quality of materials, their flexibility to accommodate your ideas, as well as budget and timeline of course.

Considering these different factors can help you find the right fit for your home build project. Saussy Burbank is here to help too. Contact our experts today about building your home or how to make the process easier

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