Finding a home builder for a renovation project, addition or new home is one of the biggest decisions a homeowner will make. But deciding which one to hire can seem overwhelming. Getting to know the builders in your area will help you learn more about their quality of work, design skills and cost, and will make that decision easier.
Who are the builders in your community?
The best way to become familiar with local builders is to look at newly constructed homes for sale. Read the real estate listings online or in the local paper. Go to open houses of newly constructed homes to get a look at their work. Talk to a real estate agent for names of reputable builders. Of course, word of mouth from trusted friends and relatives is a great way to get names, too.
The New Hampshire Home Builders Association is another great resource. They can provide you with a list of home builders who work in your area.
Talk to people who live in the builder’s homes
Once you’ve found a builder you like, drive by a few homes or subdivisions the builder has constructed. Do you like the look and usability of the home. Are there unique features you like? Do the materials look high-quality?
Scheduling a drive on a Saturday morning when homeowners are out enjoying their yards or doing home projects gives you the opportunity to talk with them. If you’re feeling outgoing, introduce yourself and let the owner know you are considering hiring the builder of their home. Ask them if they like their home, what they’d change, and if they’d hire the builder again. People are usually flattered when you tell them you like their home and are eager to give advice.
Whether you talk to homeowners or not, make sure to carry a notebook in the car. Jot down observations and any questions that come to mind. Take the notebook with you when you meet with the potential builder so you can talk more about the homes you liked.
Ask lots of questions about the design-build process
Once you’ve selected a builder, contact their offices and let them know you’d like to ask them a few questions. Whether you talk directly to the builder or to a member of the sales team, they should be happy to answer any question you might have about the project and the process. Here is a list of questions you will likely want to ask a builder before hiring:
- What is your fee structure and what is your required deposit?
- How long will our project take?
- How often will you communicate with us about the status of the project and any setbacks?
- Do you have any references of recent buyers or occupants?
- Do you have a financing plan available?
- How much "customizing" can be done versus standard features?
- Are there options in set floor plan? Can a basement or deck be added?
- Can appliances be up- or down-graded?
- If moving into a subdivision, will there be a homeowner’s association or added fees for maintenance?
- What local permits or building permit fees are required?
- What are the property taxes in the town or will the renovation affect my property taxes?
- Do you offer a warranty program?
- Does the price include landscaping? What if the plants die within a year?
- Are there any restrictive covenants that could impact the project?
- If it’s a new home, are there any major development plans for the area in the next five years?
Reaching out to your local builder
Dube Plus manages all aspects of home construction, from new home construction to repairs and home improvement. Our licensed, insured and professional staff will work with you from planning and scheduling to the finishing touches. Contact us today and we can answer all of your home building questions.
Building a new home can be a joyous or difficult experience. Choose a design-builder that has a proven process in place and more than 26 years experience. Choose Dube Plus.