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10 Questions to Ask Before Building a New Home

Building a home can be a fun and exciting adventure. Being the first person to ever live in a home and make it perfect for yourself or your family can be rewarding for generations. It can be hard to find a home that fits you and your family perfectly, which is why many people decide to start with something brand new, and build. Unfortunately, this decisions can also be very overwhelming. From contractors to building costs, we have 10 questions to ask before building your home to help you get started on the right foot.

First things first - How long have you been building homes, and do you have a portfolio?

Picking a contractor can be one of the most difficult things to do. This person will be responsible for making a dream come to life, and you need to know that they are up to the task.

Are you licensed? Are you insured?

If they don’t have the necessary licenses, you will be opening yourself up for irreplicable and costly damage. If they are uninsured, if something is to go wrong, they may try and pin a fee on you that an insurance provider would have handled. Having both is in your best interest.

Is the lot cost included?

In order to know how much you can spend, you need to know if you’ll have to purchase a lot before hand or if this is something the contractor already has set up with their builds. You will have to pay for it regardless, but it can be an easier transition when the contractor knows the property will work for whatever you’re hoping to accomplish.

Is landscaping included?

When you move into the home with there be grass? Bushes? Just dirt? No matter the answer, you’ll want to know so you can plan for the home is done and ready.

What warranties are given with the house?

Odds are, not everything is going to go perfectly. Concrete may crack, foundations may sink, pipes could burst. What kind of protection will your contractor provide you if something happens?

How customizable are the custom homes?

Contractors often have a set of plans already drawn up and ready fir laying. However, some will have the ability to change features, and some you can even hire to create a completely custom home of your design.

How will we communicate throughout the building process, and how often should we expect updates?

The process will take months, but that doesn’t mean you won’t want to be well informed as each piece starts to take place.

What are the standard finishes?

Most counties or states will have building and finish standards. If your county or state doesn’t, then your county’s builder’s association should. Make sure that your contract has these listed in some way so you know what their idea of “finished” is. It can be very difficult for both a homeowner and a contractor when they were both striving for different goals.

Can you bring in your own appliances?

Contractors normally require that you accept the materials they use, as a contractor will normally understand the market and contacts better, but appliances within the home should be talked about as fridges, sinks and light fixtures can all be added in a fairly relaxed way. If this is something they are willing to do, make sure you have a timeline to get them any material you were wanting tog et yourself so you know when they will need it by for installation.

Does the contract include a cost escalation clause?

When you get a contract from the builder, make sure that you take it to a licensed attorney that deals with real estate and contract law. This attorney will look over the paperwork to make sure there aren’t any pitfalls that you or your family may have to take a hit from. Things like a cost escalation clause will make it so that even if you have agreed on a price range, if the cost of lumber has doubled overnight, and your contractor hadn’t bought it yet, it will be added to the cost. This can also include if something goes wrong and your builder adds on the hours his crew had to stay and repair damage.

These 10 questions to ask before building your home can help you feel more informed about your contractor and the costs of creating your dreams. If you have more questions regarding building a custom home, feel free to give us a call – we’re more than happy to address any concerns you have as well as provide you with a fair quote for the job: (574) 210-5951

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