Finding the right builder is just as important as finding the right house plan, since it is their expertise that will be responsible for constructing your dream home. Even before you purchase your house plans, it's a good idea to start looking for a builder so you can ensure that the home you're looking to build is suitable for your lot, lifestyle and budget.
Here are some important considerations as you begin your search for the right builder:
Look for builders that are experienced in building the type of home you're looking for in your price range. For example, a builder who specializes in constructing ranch homes may not be the best choice for a Craftsman or Victorian home that requires lots of architectural detailing.
Make sure that your builder is licensed in your local area so you will be able to obtain all the necessary permits to build your home.
Find out how long the builder has been in business in your area so that you know they are well established and familiar with local building codes.
Be sure to ask them how many houses they build each year. Being in business for years, doesn't necessarily mean they are well established.
Referrals are key, especially if you can get them from family, friends and neighbors so you can see the home firsthand and ask about any challenges they may have incurred during the home building process. You don't want to run into costly surprises while building your home. If you don't personally know anyone who has had a home built, ask your builder for the addresses of homes they have recently built.
Check out regional home shows and local open houses that are sponsored by builders so you can really preview their work and meet with them. Be sure to observe the quality of construction features like cabinetry, flooring, millwork, windows and doors.
Find if they have won any builder awards and/or are members of any organizations like the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
Make sure that the contract is easy to read and that you understand every aspect of it. A confusing contract should be a red flag. Also make sure that they offer some guarantee for their work.
It is a good idea that you put together a binder so you can keep all aspects of the home building process organized. Since there is a lot of research that goes into building a new home, you'll want to add our 10 Free Worksheets for Building Your New Home to your binder.