Top 10 tips when looking for a new builder

Selecting the right home builder for your needs and for the type of new home or renovations you seek is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your home buying process.
Fortunately, there are some proven ways to speed up the research and selection process and to help ensure that you find a quality builder who’s a good match to construct your new home.

10 Steps to Select the Right Builder

1. Define your needs. What size, type and price range of home do you need?
2. Experience counts. While every builder was once a new builder, experience matters.
3. Are past buyers satisfied? Ask for – and check – references from past home buyers.
4. Verify the builder is licensed (where required) and adequately insured.
5. Is there a design fit? Does this builder have expertise in the style of home you seek?
6. Warranty and service. How does this builder stack up for each?
7. Resale value. Have past homes from this builder maintained or increased value?
8. Industry involvement. Is the builder a member of the local Home Builder’s Association?
9. Tour model homes or customer homes. There’s absolutely no substitute for this step.
10. Look for signs of quality. In workmanship, materials and practices when you tour these homes.

Here’s a bit more detail on each step above.

Define your needs: While some builders construct a broad range of homes, many builders also specialize in a specific type of home, price range, or style. For example, Kre8 Constructions specialise in renovations and boutique housing. The building materials, trade contractors and even the building process itself can differ greatly by type and price of home. Take a look at some of our projects here.

Experience counts: Every building company (including the most experienced and well-regarded companies today) once built their first home. And many new home building firms were started by experienced veterans of other builders. Do look for strong experience overall and in the type of home you seek.

Are past home buyers satisfied? Many builders offer customer references and referrals. If not, ask. And in either case, follow up. A few great questions to ask: Would you buy another home from this builder? Or recommend them to close friends or family? And don’t forget to ask for the key reasons why a past home buyer would or would not recommend a builder.

Is the builder licensed and insured? All builders are required to be licenced and have insurance. Most of this information can be found online

Is there a design fit? A builder whose entire portfolio consists of contemporary homes may not be the best fit for that highly traditional home you seek – and vice-versa. While many builders have expertise in a variety of design styles and architectural details, in general, look for a builder whose work includes at least some examples of the style of home you want.

Warranty and service: One of the top advantages of new construction is that your home itself and most of the products, systems and components it contains are brand-new and under warranty. The peace of mind that comes with knowing that major repairs or a new roof are likely years away is important. In addition, look for a structural warranty of ten years or longer on the home itself, ideally transferable to a new owner should you sell. Also look for a builder who provides prompt and courteous service under warranty and who takes time to explain the proper maintenance and care that any home needs.

Resale Value: Good reputations follow good builders, among homeowners and Realtors. Look for builders whose homes tend to hold or maintain their value. So this is not an exact science, but where you see a builder’s homes maintain or increase in value, that’s a good sign.

Industry Involvement: Not every good builder chooses to join their local Home Builder Association, so don’t place too much emphasis on this. However, such membership does tend to show that a builder is committed for the long-term to the area. It’s also a sign of commitment to new home community developers, building product suppliers and trade contractors that work in your city or town.

Tour homes this builder built for past buyers: Once you’ve narrowed down a list of prospective builders using the criteria above, this is the most important step. Nothing substitutes for touring a home built by a builder on your short list. It can be a furnished and decorated model home that’s open to the public. Or, it can be a home the builder constructed for a past buyer that you visit by appointment. In either case, pay careful attention to the look, feel and quality of the home.

Look for signs of quality: Look for signs of quality construction and attention to detail when you visit the homes above. Also consider the building products that a builder uses. Are they brands with well-earned reputations for quality? What about the homes under construction you passed on the way to the completed model home? Were there signs of care and attention there, as well?

To discuss your building needs further please contact us.