Questions to Ask Your Builder
March 20, 2019
Buying a new home is a major decision. Building that home requires that you have full confidence in the builder you choose. Before you make that decision, Cothran Homes has some questions to ask your builder.Are you licensed and insured?Before any other questions, make sure the builder can provide you with proof of licensing and insurance. It’s a guarantee that your builder is committed to safe, ethical practices. If a contractor/builder doesn’t present the proof, you can check online to find out if they do indeed have a license,What guarantee do you offer for my home?Review the builder’s warranty before committing to using a builder. Your home’s structure should be covered for at least one year from your closing date. This period allows for enough time to test the critical points. In addition to the structural integrity, all of the systems (plumbing, electrical, mechanical) should be guaranteed by the tradespeople who handled those tasks. Just be clear about the coverage before you sign a contract!How long does it typically take you to build a home?The answer speaks to their experience, efficiency, and availability. While you don’t want a “rush job”, you also need to know if the builder has available crew to dedicate to building your home in a timely manner. DIscuss what conditions (like weather, materials availability) impact the schedule and how the builder navigates those challenges. Cothran Homes has a detailed homebuilding process that we review with every homebuyer right at the outset. We answer questions and address concerns so that open and consistent communication starts from the beginning.Can I provide my own plans?It’s understandable that you want to purchase the plans for your new home, but there’s a big risk in doing so. There could be errors in the plans that aren’t apparent until it’s too late. If you use those plans, you’re responsible for the costs to make repairs and adjustments. On the other hand, working with a builder who offers their own plans means that not only are they fully experienced with every detail, but they purchase the materials more affordably. Review the builder’s floor plans and discuss the opportunities to make changes. You should also ask if there’s a model available for you to do a walk-through, so you can get a better idea of the home’s design, features, space, and flow.Do I need a construction loan?When you choose to build on your lot or outside of a neighborhood, you will probably need to secure a construction loan. Once the home is completed, the loan converts to a mortgage. Depending on the lender and the loan, you could incur the cost of two closings.Building a home on a lot owned by a builder, like in an existing community, usually allows you to avoid a construction loan. The cost of the lot and construction is bundled into one loan with one closing when your home is completed.Can I visit the site during construction?Of course, you’ll want to see the progress on your home. Be advised that the builder might request that you avoid showing up unannounced. To prevent disruptions in the schedule and protect you on the job site, you should schedule the visit. Also ask the builder how often you will receive updates, including photos. Find out who will be your point of contact and meet with that person before you agree to purchase your home from this builder.You have one chance to choose the right builder for your new home. Make sure you have a competent, dedicated professional company that respects your needs, budget, and timeline. In the Greenville, SC, area, we hope you’ll consider Cothran Homes. We build communities of single-family homes and townhomes in desirable locations, like Simpsonville, Taylors, and Greer. Look through our floor plans and talk to us about building your new home.