What Should I Look for in a Home Builder in Medicine Hat?
For many people, choosing the person who will oversee the building of your Dream Home is one of the most fun, but scariest parts of the building process. Choosing the right home builder is crucial to both the quality and enjoyment of your new home. This person will have a threefold role: trusted advisor, reputable expert and superb craftsman.
Building a new home is an exciting and stressful time. This is why you need a skilled home builder who will walk you through each step of your home’s construction, aid you in all of the decisions that need to be made and take care of you and your home after you have moved in.
Ask for Referrals
Asking your friends and family (aka “word of mouth”) is often the best way to find a reputable home builder. You will likely be able to go and see in person the results of their work. Ask around to your wider network to find out who built or managed the renovations for the homes of people you know, like colleagues and friends. Ask if they were happy with their builder and if they’d recommend them. Would they use them again? Was the customer service top-notch? Naturally, you want the answer to all of these questions to be “yes.”
You’re probably already familiar with the term “Google it.” Most home builders these days have websites, with photo portfolios and have social media profiles. So any savvy builder should have an online presence. So starting your search online is a useful approach. Your search terms might look something like this:
1. “custom home builder Medicine Hat”
2. “new home builder Medicine Hat”
You can also add on more specific search criteria, such as “testimonials” and “photo galleries.”
Testimonials are key once you find a home builder who looks good - make sure to read these or ask for them. For the same reason, you ask for recommendations from friends, testimonials provide great insight into a home builder’s reputation and the quality of their work. Especially, when you don’t have a direct reference for them. You can usually find these on their website or social media channels.
Determine Their Style
Once you’ve found a reputable and qualified builder, you’ll next want to make sure that their style is compatible with your vision. A good builder should have experience with many different styles. Make sure to check out the photo gallery on their website to see the breadth of styles and showcase their products. You can also find photo galleries for builders on sites like Houzz, Facebook and Twitter.
Now it’s time to give your prospective home builder a call!
Here’s a List of Suggested Questions for Home Builders:
1. What can we expect in terms of a client to builder communication?
2. What is your customer service process?
3. What type of warranty do you provide and how do you execute it?
4. How long have you been building in the Medicine Hat area?
5. Do your services include helping you find a lot?
6. How do you handle change orders?
7. How often would you meet with us on-site to review the project?
8. Do you supervise the project yourself or do you have a supervisor?
9. What work is done by your crew and what do you subcontract out?
10. Can you give us a mortgage lender referral?
11. Can you provide a copy of your insurance certificate?
12. What energy-saving features do you offer for the homes you build?
13. Do you assist with developing plans? Can I provide my own set of plans?
14. How and when will the final price for my home be determined?
15. What’s your process for inspection at key points of construction, at the final walkthrough and to address anything that needs to be corrected or finalized?
Once you’ve learned enough about their client service philosophy, feel comfortable with their personality, and their home-building quality, you can move onto interviewing their references.
Questions to Ask Builder References:
1. Would you use this builder again?
2. Did they meet regularly (once a week) on-site to review the project, answer questions, and keep things on track?
3. How was the builder’s customer service?
4. Did they make creative suggestions along the way to enhance the project?
5. Did they finish on time?
6. Did they address warranty items in a timely manner?
7. How is the quality of your home?
Make sure to pay attention to “how” your reference answers each question; this is almost as important as what they say. If they are short and their answers come off vague, they might have had a negative experience. Don’t be afraid to dig a little deeper.