If you’re building a dream home, take the time to find a dream builder
Buying a new home is the ultimate thrill, especially when you have the opportunity to customize it to suit your wants and needs. Unfortunately, the wrong builder might vastly exceed price estimates and timetables or fail to communicate with you. Worst of all, the end-result might be sub-par.
That’s why you need to take the time to find a dream builder for your project. Begin by asking trusted contractors and trade associations for references. Also consider reaching out to people you know whose new homes you’ve admired. Then, make sure your candidate meets the following five requirements:
- Clean, courteous work. All too often, contractors leave job sites cluttered with detritus everywhere: soda cans, masking tape, broken tiles and mountains of dust. Even worse, they disturb the neighbors, sometimes leading to complaints. Look for programs such as “Take Pride,” an initiative by GHO Homes. This Florida-based residential builder keeps job sites neat, safe, and organized, with work areas (plus the road in front) kept clean.
- A long track record and an A+ pedigree. Avoid fly-by-night builders or new businesses without the benefit of years of top-quality work. After all, the stakes are high with a home — an iron-clad reputation is critical. Look for builders with at least two decades of experience, and ideally some awards under their belt.
- Customizable homes. Unfortunately, many builders construct cookie-cutter developments and homes. Ideally, you should be able to select finishes and determine key floorplan elements, such as an in-law suite or a sitting room in the master bedroom. Some builders, such as GHO Homes, allow for extensive customization. In fact, with GHO’s “Tailor Made” design program, customers choose one from many floor plans, specify their general needs and intended uses for their home, and customize the interior and exterior finishes. They can enlarge the kitchen island or pantry, add a workshop to the garage, raise the roof, opt for two master bedrooms, and more. To help customers make informed choices, GHO even offers a Design Studio, professionally staffed with design experts and samples of granite countertops, different trim styles, choices in tile, select appliances, shingles, paint colors, and more.
- Responsiveness. Perhaps one of the most potentially frustrating aspects of building a new home is being kept in the dark about progress, problems, timetables and expectations. It’s unsettling when you can’t get in touch with someone, especially when that person is overseeing the construction of what is likely your most valuable asset. Seek out builders who stay in regular touch with you, offering transparency and honesty in their communications. One of the first ways to test this? Visit the builder’s website. Does it offer you prices, information and assurances of quality work? Are there testimonials from happy clients? These are all signs that the homebuilder keeps the customer top of mind.
- Quality assurance. Appliance purchases usually come with warranties. With a home, such guarantees are even more critical. That’s why you should work with builders who offer a warranty. For instance, GHO Homes provides one-year workmanship and two-year systems defect warranties. In addition, the company purchases an extended warranty through StrucSure Home Warranty and 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty Corporation.
If you vet builders according to these five requirements, your new home will likely be a dream house. Perhaps equally as important, the process will offer you peace of mind, so you can relish the excitement of your purchase.
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