So you want to build a house. The question you may be asking yourself now is whether or not you should hire a contractor. Working with a home builder does have its disadvantages–modern home builders can charge you up to a quarter of the total price of building the house. However, good contractors are usually worth the money, because the amount of steps and details required to build a home yourself can prove too daunting for most people to handle. Here is what to look for in a home builder.
- What is the quality of their past work? It is never a bad idea to tour homes designed by the contractor you’re considering. Look for signs of quality workmanship and attention to detail. Modern homes by a good contractor will also often have a high resale value. A good contractor will know what attracts people who are buying a new home; for example, they may focus on maximizing energy efficiency, because a green certification label can increase the house’s value.
- Is the builder licensed? This may seem like a no-brainer, but not every state requires modern home builders to be licensed. Make sure they are carrying good insurance as well.
- What do past customers have to say? Reputable modern home builders will provide referrals and testimonies. If they do not provide these initially, seek them out yourself.
Are the two of you on the same page, design-wise? Have a look through their portfolio and make sure their work is consistent with what you’re looking for. If you want a traditional colonial style house and they seem to specialize mostly in modern, avant-garde designs, they’re probably not a good fit. Even if their specialty design is consistent with your preferences, make sure you clearly outline what you need and can afford. Be in constant communication with your builder regarding your personal specifications.