Your Building Blog for the Rochester Area

Choosing Your Rochester Builder: The Step Too Few Homeowners Take

Posted by John Graziose on Tue, Apr 17, 2012 @ 11:04 AM

select best rochester builder 2 marchAny reputable homebuilder worth his hammer and saw will gladly provide you with multiple references for homes he’s built. That’s just standard practice. What’s surprising is how few people actually go to the effort to follow up on these references. Just having a list of names on a sheet of paper really doesn’t help you. Before you choose your homebuilder you need to call some of these references and ask them some specific questions.

Some people might find it a little awkward to call someone they don’t know and asking them probing questions about their homebuilder. But if your potential builder gives you a name, he’s asked permission to do so. And how else will you find out if your builder really does what he says he does? Picking up the phone and actually calling other homeowners is one step that too few new homeowners take.

One reason people don’t take this step is that they are unsure of what questions to ask these references. We’ve included a few suggestions here. You’ll probably come up with a few of your own, but at least these will get you started.

  • Would you use this builder again?
  • What were your builder’s best qualities?
  • Why did you choose this builder?
  • Did you feel that the builder had your best interests in mind?
  • Did your builder communicate clearly with you?
  • Did this builder demonstrate character and integrity during the project?
  • How well did the builder communicate change orders to you?
  • Did your builder treat you with respect?
  • What was the worst thing that happened during the project?  Was it resolved to your satisfaction?
  • What would you do differently if you were to start over?
  • Was your project completed on schedule?
  • Did the project come in on budget?
  • Did you ever have a time when you felt the builder was not being truthful?
  • Did your builder meet—or even exceed—your expectations?
  • What would you say were your builder’s limitations, or weaknesses?

What other questions would you ask about a potential builder?

Topics: New Homes builder Ontario NY, Selecting the best builder

Choosing the Right Builder for Your Rochester Area Home Means Asking the Right Questions

Posted by John Graziose on Thu, Apr 5, 2012 @ 11:04 AM

select best rochester builderSelecting the right builder for your new dream home is one of the single most important choices you’ll make. As important as that decision is, many homeowners simply don’t ask enough questions before making that choice—and sometimes they just don’t ask the right questions.

When interviewing potential builders, too many homeowners limit themselves to questions such as:

  • What’s your cost per square foot?
  • When can you begin the project?
  • What time will you start and finish each day?
  • Can you finish before _______________ (July 4th/Our anniversary/Thanksgiving)?

There’s nothing wrong with those questions, and you probably need answers to them. But if you really want to know more about the individuals who will be working on the single biggest investment of your life, you’ll need to dig a little deeper.

Here are a few additional questions you should be asking in order to feel confident that you’ve got the right builder building your dream home.

  • How long have you been in business?
  • How many projects similar to this one have you completed in the past 12 months?
  • Will you provide me with a list of references from those projects?
  • Do you carry workers compensation and liability insurance for your workers? (Always verify this information by calling the agency.)
  • Will you give me a list of business referrals or suppliers?
  • What percentage of your business is repeat or referral business?
  • Are you a member of a national trade association?
  • Do you have special training/education/certification (i.e. Certified Remodeler, Certified Remodeler Specialist, Certified Lead Carpenter, or Certified Kitchen & Bath Remodeler)?

Even though that may seem like a lot of questions, it’s not out of line. Any legitimate building professional is used to responding to questions like these and will be happy—even eager—to answer them because they know that their answers will set them apart from less reputable operators. So don’t be afraid to ask. After all, it’s your house and your money!

What else would you like to know about your builder?

Topics: New Home Builders Rochester NY, Selecting the best builder

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