Before you clear the land on that lot, before you dig the first ditch, you need to choose a custom home builder, and you should ask them these questions. A builder that is unable to answer all of these honestly and straightforwardly is a builder that you probably don’t want to be doing business with.
#1: How Long Have You Been Building Custom Homes in Bluffton, SC?
Generally speaking, if you’re investing in a custom home, your dream home, your forever home, you want your builder to have a lot of experience. More than that, you want your builder to know Bluffton, SC, and have worked here specifically for much of that time.
Working in a certain area means that you know all the ins and outs of various laws, statutes and regulations, which in turn means that you’ll be making fewer mistakes and you’ll be moving forward much more quickly and efficiently.
Greencraft homes has been building homes in the area for more than 40 years. It’s safe to say that we’re not novices when it comes to building homes in this area.
#2: What Sets You Apart From Other Custom Home Builders in Bluffton, SC?
Understanding what sets your builder apart from other custom home builders is important when you’re trying to decide which one of them will get your business. Some of the differentiating factors include the amount of hands-on work the builders will do versus how much they farm out to subcontractors, as well as any specific skills and experience they may have that give them an edge over other contractors.
Not everyone has the ability to pull off some of the more elaborate designs that exist in custom homes. (To be honest, not every builder can guarantee that their walls are straight.) Knowing what sets your builder apart is important.
At Greencraft homes, we use cutting-edge 3D-modeling software to help you truly visualize the home we’ll build for you. We help you experience your home before it’s even built.
#3: Are You Fully Licensed and Accredited?
While South Carolina doesn’t require all builders to be specially licensed, it does require specialty contractors to be licensed, and that accounts for a lot of the home construction. Licenses are needed for siding, floor covering, carpentry, insulation installation, masonry, stucco, roofing, drywall, painting, and solar panel installation.
Further, accreditations, such as being a Graduate Master Builder, or a Master Certified Green Professional are important things for a builder to have on their resume.
#4: Can You Show Us a Home Portfolio?
While a custom home builder, by definition, will likely not have a model home to show you, they should have an extensive collection of blueprints, artist’s renderings, photographs, and testimonials from other people who have used that builder to construct their dream home.
Many will have 3D virtual tours you can take to walk through custom homes, or at least videos you can watch that show the level of skill and acumen that the builders possess.
#5: When and How Can I Make Changes or Upgrades Throughout the Building Process? When Do Plans Need to Be Finalized?
Building a custom home means that you’re making a lot of decisions. It’s your custom home, after all: you want it to be just right. And we understand that there will be times when you decide, during construction, that something isn’t right and it needs to change.
Communicate with your builder to find out the deadlines for making changes. Something like moving a staircase will need to be very early in the process, while changing the color of carpet or the style of tile can take place later. But make sure you know, so you don’t get stuck with a bill for wasted materials, so tell us as early as possible if there’s a change you’d like to make.
#6: Are You Fully Insured with Liability and Workman’s Comp?
It’s important that your builder has insurance, both general liability as well as workman’s comp insurance. The reason this is so important is that, in some cases, if the builder isn’t insured and there’s an accident, you as the homeowner could get stuck footing the bill for the damage or injury, and you definitely don’t want that.
#7: How Often Do You Finish Your Project On the Planned Time Schedule?
This should be an easy question for your builder to answer: how often are they finishing their projects on time? There’s not a lot of gray areas here; either they finish it on time or they don’t, and they should have statistics indicating their performance in this arena.
#8: How Often Will You Be Onsite to Oversee the Job?
Many builders use subcontractors to get the work done, hiring a different contractor to do the framing, a different one for the drywall, a different one for the concrete. You need to know how often your builder will be onsite checking in with these subcontractors to make sure that they are living up to the same standards of quality that the custom home builder has promised you they’ll deliver.
#9: Who Will Manage the Project From Day to Day?
Like the question above, you want to know who is going to be onsite and managing the project day-in and day-out. There should be a person in a management or supervisory position who is overseeing the entire project regardless of what is going on on-site.
#10: Who Will Be My Contact Person For Job Updates?
You’ll understandably have questions throughout the process. Knowing who you can call to get periodic updates is essential to your peace of mind. Plus, having a line of communication open between the owner and the builder is important to creating a good working relationship.
You should have a number you can call or text at any time and talk with a real person and get real information. You shouldn’t be leaving endless messages with the receptionist and waiting for a call back.
#11: Have You Ever Been In Legal Disputes Over a Custom Home Build?
A custom home builder should answer this question honestly. (And they have incentive to, because it’s easy to visit the city offices and find out the truth.) If they have had legal disputes, find out the details. Find out who was at fault. Determine if it’s a deal breaker in your relationship with your builder.
#12: How and When Will the Final Cost of My Home Be Determined?
Building a custom home is different from buying an existing home: you don’t make an offer, get it accepted, and then close. There are a lot of costs that can go up and down, especially as you make changes, as well as when the builder runs into unforeseen complications. Find out how and when the final cost will be determined. It will help your peace of mind, and it will help your dealings with your bank.
There are a lot of questions to ask a custom home builder in Bluffton, SC, and don’t be afraid to ask any of them! A builder should be more than willing to address any of your concerns and give straightforward and honest answers to all your questions.
If you ever have questions for Greencraft Homes, we’re here to answer any and all of them.