What to ask a home builder?

Before you begin working with a custom home builder, you should be sure to conduct your due diligence and ask them some questions to ensure that their expertise and skills is the right fit for your particular project.  

There are a number of “kicking the tires” basic questions to consider, such as ensuring that they are licensed in your state and have the adequate manpower to take on your custom home building project.

Make sure they have tackled projects similar to yours in the past, with an emphasis on specific examples rather than generalities. Ask to see the final images of the homes they built – or even better, ask them for references from past customers. You can learn a great deal by checking in with them about their experience, even more than you can learn from reading online reviews and testimonials from customers. You may even be able to receive a visit to a past home to see how their work has physically come together in the past; there is nothing like actually standing there in the custom home they have built to help you build confidence in your builder and gain a sense of the mastery they bring over their work.

Ask them what some of their biggest challenges have been from past clients in terms of big demand they weren’t sure they could deliver on budget and on time. How specifically did they resolve those challenges and would they be prepared to take similar tasks in the future?

This will likely be a quite lengthy journey, with occasional setbacks. Ask them how they will deal with the prospect of delays and what their philosophy is on keeping you informed on the project status in your role as the client.

Finally, be sure that you have a sense of their current workload and responsibilities. Find out how many projects they are currently actively overseeing and how they will prioritize their personal engagement on your project.