You’ve decided to take a major step, more than likely one of the biggest you’ll ever make. You’re going to have a new home built. It’s probably one of the biggest investments of your lifetime. You have to get a good builder–the best builder you can find. But how?
Where will your home be located? Southern California beach or northern California rainforest? Central Sierra mountains or the southern high desert? Obviously you need a builder who is familiar with the area chosen, one who lives in or around the area. That builder will know how to build and equip a dwelling appropriately for the conditions and climate you have chosen.
Talk to the builders in that location. Tell them what you want and listen to their suggestions and advice, they’re the experts. But watch how the discussions go. Does the builder dominate the conversation or does he listen to what you’re saying.? You need a compatible partner in this building project, one who will work with you willingly. And compare prices; it is your money, after all.
HAVE A LOOK AT SOME OF THE HOMES WE’VE BUILT
After finding a few builders whom you feel comfortable with, it’s time to check them out. You might want to speak to the local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau to find out something about their reputations. Learn the locations of some of the homes they have built, or are building, and go take a look. Talk to one or two of the owners if they’re available and willing to talk about their experiences.
If there are some open houses or home shows going on, don’t pass those up. It’ll give you a chance to get a closer look, a chance to check out the quality and the competition–and get more information, pro and con. Before making a final decision, ask for references. Verify their licenses.
If subcontractors are involved, it’s a good idea to find out who they are and check out their credibility. Are they properly qualified to do the work that’s expected of them?
Remember the internet. There’s a wealth of information available there. Many times, little tidbits you can’t find anywhere else. Finally, don’t forget to check into the financing options, too.
It’s a lot of work getting ready, but well worth the effort. You can’t be too careful. It’s your home and you want it done right the first time. There’s little chance for a ‘do-over’ if it isn’t what you want or expect.