Choosing a custom home builder to bring your vision of your dream home to life can be stressful. After all, you’re about to trust hundreds of thousands of dollars to someone you may never have met before you decided to build a house.
The best way to cut down on this stress is by taking some time to speak with a potential home builder to get a feel for what they know and how they’ll apply that knowledge to your home. To help you feel fully informed before you decide, we’ve put together a short list of 5 questions to ask your prospective home builder.
We can’t overstate the importance of these questions. A flash-in-the-pan company with no real industry knowledge might leave you in the lurch, or hire inexperienced site managers who can’t answer your questions and don’t know how to handle the unique challenges that come with designing and building a truly custom home.
You need to be able to depend on a homebuilder with plenty of experience, a knowledge and understanding of the custom home industry, and a willingness to work with you and adapt to changing circumstances.
We’ve all heard the stories of seemingly beautiful homes where everything starts to fall apart a few days after the new homeowners move in… and suddenly the home builders are nowhere to be found and the new homeowners discover their home warranty isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.
Make sure you ask for a detailed description of any included home warranty — find out how long the warranty lasts, what it covers, and most importantly — what it doesn’t cover.
At Five Star Construction, we emphasize a clearly written and concise home warranty that lasts for a full year and includes guaranteed home visits to ensure nothing has gone awry. We are happy to sit down with our prospective clients to discuss just what’s on their warranty, what options they have if anything does go wrong, and what we can do to make it right.
If your home builder is not willing to stand behind the quality of their work with a thorough warranty, you may want to look elsewhere.
If you truly intend on living in your new custom home for the rest of your life, this question might not be on your mind. Many homeowners, however, build with the knowledge that they may need to move for work or other reasons in the near future.
In these cases, knowing the potential resale value of a home — and whether or not it fits within the standard of homes within your area — may help you make a decision on whether to use brick as a home exterior, include vaulted ceilings in your home design, or other important details that affect resale and curb appeal.
It may also be useful to ask this type of question even if you don’t intend to sell your home anytime soon, since it allows you to gauge how much your potential home builder knows about the real estate market in your area.
A local company that truly understands a business is only as good as its relationships with clients is simply going to be able to answer the question more easily than a larger-scale national company that isn’t as committed to making sure local clients are happy with the end result.
Most home builders will keep a few client references on hand, so you can get a better idea of what it’s like to work with them from start to finish. They may also have homesites where construction is in progress or even finalized, so you can take a look and get a better idea of what the process looks like. For safety reasons, you will probably not be able to step into a home construction site in progress, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look at it from a safe distance while speaking with your builder.
If a home builder absolutely won’t provide any references or let you know what neighborhoods and communities they have built in, it may be a big red flag that they don’t exactly have a lot of happy former clients willing to sing their praises… and it may be a good idea to keep shopping around to find a home builder who does.
Many home builders choose to subcontract out large aspects of the home building process. This isn’t always a red flag, it’s just part of the business, but it can be an issue.
If your home builder utilizes subcontractors, you’ll want to know in advance. While many subcontractors take great pride and care in providing the best work on the best timeline, some subcontracting companies have difficulty working on custom projects where adaptability is a required part of the job.
Any subcontractor used by a home builder in South Carolina should be fully insured and able to provide proven track records for doing custom work.
At Five Star Construction, we have decades of experience building custom homes in Greenville, SC and the surrounding areas. Whether you have a floor plan in hand or just a few must-haves on a piece of paper, we can work with you to build the home of your dreams.
Contact us by phone at (864) 303-9143 or online at any time to speak with a builder.