August 8, 2012
You’ve heard the stories and watched the tv programs…the good, the bad and the ugly builders are among us!
When you are making the biggest investment of your life, selecting the right new home builder is an extremely important first step, and all prospective homeowners should be prepared to ask plenty of important questions. We put together some useful tips and information as a good starting point for formulating your own set of inquiries.
Reputation & Stability – check with existing homeowners or get testimonials/referrals before going with a builder. Sometimes builders have widely known reputations – both good stories and horror stories! A good builder will be happy to give references about work they have done in the past and you can often talk to the homeowners themselves.
Quality – A good builder should have a good quality program place. If they say “everything we do is inspected by the city inspectors”, that is not a quality program! Ask the builder what they do to prove they build quality homes. Claiming they are top quality is not enough. It is also a great idea to tour through some of the builder’s homes that are currently under construction and/or completed. This can help give you a sense of the quality of construction and finishings.
Experience – A good question to ask a potential home builder is how many homes has your company built? You don’t necessarily need to pick a builder who has built 500+ homes but you may want to think twice if they have only built a handful of homes to date. On the flipside, if a company has been around for a really long time you may want to ask them what they do to keep current on the latest trends and avoid just doing what they have always done.
Stability and Presence – A good builder will often work out of an office or have their own office building, will employ skilled and competent employees, and they will have taken the time to develop a complete and informative web site. With a lot of small home builders in the Saskatoon custom home builder marketplace, you may want to inquire if this is their full time profession or whether it is a side business or hobby. Full time builder’s have a lot more time, money, and effort put into their business and will work a lot harder to uphold their reputation as they have a lot more to lose!
Customer Service Program – A good builder will be responsive and accountable in terms of customer service both during and after you move in. They should fully explain their processes and systems with you and also provide literature that specifies what you can expect every step of the way after you have moved into your new home.
Memberships – A builder who is serious about their profession will be a member in various professional organizations related to their industry. This will often include the local and national home builder associations, as well as new home warranty programs, energy efficiency associations, etc. The home builder better have new home warranty coverage or you should look for someone else!
When looking for custom home builders in Saskatoon, it all boils down to asking some key questions, meeting the owners and staff, and going with what feels right. Good luck in your search!
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