According to the website realestate.msn, you can visit the consumer complaint sites of HomeOwners for Better Building, Home Owners Against Deficient Dwellings, and Exposing New Home Builders to get an idea about the likely pitfalls a homeowner may encounter while hiring a home builder.
If you are planning to undertake the construction of your house, you must be on the look out for the right home builder. However, if you do not find the right one, it will lead to loss of time and money. How? If the home builder continues to postpone the date of the final hand-over, you will have to continue living in at a rental place which will incur a huge cost. Not only this, but the labor charges will keep on increasing as time passes.
To avoid all this, it becomes essential that you choose a home builder who is efficient and competent too. Here are few important points that will tell you how to find the right home builder.
Look for Recommendations
It is ideal that you look for referrals or recommendations from your family and friends who had recently hired a builder, to get firsthand account about a builder's work and credentials. Another option is to ask your real estate agent for a builder referral, since they are generally aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the builders.
Visit the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Website
It is advisable to find a home builder who has been certified under NABH's National Housing Quality Program. This will enable the builder to ensure that everything from planning to execution is carried out flawlessly. You can also log on to the NAHB website to find a home builders' association (HBA) near your locality. They will help you find a local builder or council in your area.
Search Online Directories
Scout through the ads placed by home builders in online directories. Also, go through the real estate pages of the newspapers. Shortlist builders who promise to deliver a well-constructed home within your budget. However, unless you meet them personally, do not take the final decision.
Check for Licenses and Insurance
While licenses are not mandatory in all states, it is recommended that you hire a licensed builder. This will ensure that he will be committed till the construction is complete. Also, hiring a locally licensed builder will help you obtain the necessary permits to carry out construction work. Also, ensure that he has the necessary liability and damage insurance to cover you (the client) and his employees at the construction site.
With the advent of Internet, getting a background check on someone has become fairly easy. There are several websites where people register reviews about home builders. Instead of trusting the testimonials on the builder's website, this will prove to be a far more reliable source. Go to the BBB website and check the grading of the builder. You can also see the complaints registered by people. Few websites where you can get recommendations are angieslist and contractorcheck.
Ensure Safety and Security Regulations are Followed
Ensure that you find a builder who follows stringent safety and security norms. The last thing you would want is a fatal accident while reconstructing your home. Often builders do not have the necessary safety equipment in place, and this may lead to accidents. Before he begins working, tell him clearly that he must follow all the safety regulations.
Interview the Short-listed Builders
Meet the builders personally, and ask all your queries or doubts. Question short-listed builders about their experience in the field, about the changes or upgrades that would be allowed, the construction process and the time taken to complete the job, etc. Also, inquire how they intend to plan for the inspection before the final walk-through. Look for the kind of construction he has undertaken in the past. If you are looking for a contemporary home, hiring someone who is fairly traditional in his approach will not work.
Should be Open to Suggestions and Change
While interviewing the builders, gauge if they are open to change or rigid in their decisions. If tomorrow, you decide to have some alterations and additions, he should not insist on following what was decided earlier. Choose a builder who will put your preferences at the forefront, and is willing to incorporate any change if required.
Compare Price Quotes
It is important that you call the builders to the site, and explain the scope of work, your requirement, and share the drawings of the house. As them to quote the total expenditure along with the work undertaken, time estimate, etc. Also, ask them about the variation in price that can take place, once the work starts. Hire a builder who will be cost-effective, yet will have a detailed plan for construction and execution.
While observing other houses constructed by the builder, look not only for quality of exterior construction, but also the cabinetry, paint, and trim-work. You should inquire if the builder is willing to commit to your work beyond his stipulated working hours. Go for a builder who will offer at least 10 years of warranty for any kind of small repairs in the house. Now that you know how to choose the right home builder, find one whom you can trust with the building of your dream home.