3 Simple Ways to Evaluate a Home Builder

Tim King, President

North Coast Building Industry Association – NCBIA – www.ncbia.com

Home builders use similar tools and materials; however not all professionals are alike when it comes to training and customer service. Building a new home is a significant investment of time and money, so finding a builder whose business approach aligns with your preferences is critical to ensuring the process goes smoothly.

When you initially meet with a home builder, they will ask you questions about the dream home you want to build. During this time, you should also ask the builder about their professional experience to help determine if they are the right builder for you. Consider asking the following questions to help you vet the builder that works best for your needs.

Tell Me About Your Work Experience. You will want to find a builder with experience building homes similar to the one you want. Professional home builders will have examples of floor plans and designs. Ask them to show you what type of work they have completed in the past to ensure their company can deliver what you need. You should also ask if they have or are working toward professional designations, such as a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS), which shows that the builder has advanced training in a particular area. .

Can You Provide Customer References? Any high-quality builder should be ready to provide you with the names and phone numbers of satisfied customers. If they cannot, consider that a red flag and walk away. When reaching out to those former clients, ask how well the builder followed through on the initial plans, and if the builder met their expectations regarding budget and timing. Remember the most telling question: Would they hire that builder again if they could do it all over?

How Will We Communicate During the Home Building Process? Home builders will do their best to accommodate your communication preferences. But it is always best to establish expectations as early as possible. The frequency (weekly, monthly, as-needed, etc.) and method (phone, text, email) of how you communicate early on with each other will set the tone throughout the building process.

For more information about how to find the right builder to create your dream home, contact the NCBIA.   We are your local not-for-profit trade association representing member companies involved in all aspects of home building, remodeling, and other aspects of services available to help you in the future as well as more information on the above topic.   So, you can see it is for your protection that you use a NCBIA member. If you are unsure that your contractor is a member of the NCBIA or you are looking for a list of NCBIA members, you can visit our website at www.ncbia.com – go to Members and then Member Search, or call 440-934-1090.   We also have a job posting board (under the industry tab).   

Visit our 24/7 Virtual Parade of Homes!!!  Allows you to look at some of our builders’ new homes and communities on your mobile device or computer at your leisure (including our remodelers) We know time is our greatest asset and via our NCBIA Virtual Parade of Homes, we save you time looking for a new home or a community that fits your lifestyle.  The Virtual Parade of Homes is open online 24/7.  Many of the homes featured in our Virtual Parade host regular open house hours for those consumers who are looking to tour the actual homes.  You can click through to builder websites to see what they have to offer.

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Homeownership is truly a cornerstone of the American way of life.  North Coast Building Industry – Come Build with Us!