Tips for Hiring a Builder

Buying a new home is one of the most important decisions an individual or a family can make during their lifetime. Not only is it the place you and your family will call home, but more than likely, it is also one of your biggest investments. Buying a home is not a purchase in the traditional sense. For most, your home will more than likely be your biggest asset. This is why we at Milton American emphasize the importance of doing your homework before choosing a builder. We know that reading detailed information is not usually a favorite pastime for many people, but if it weren’t important, we wouldn’t recommend it. If you were going to invest in a company’s stock, would you not research the company before you did? We ask you treat your most valued possession the same way. At Milton American, we believe in our record and our reputation. By doing your homework as a conscientious homebuyer, not only are you protecting your investment, but we feel that you’re more likely to choose us as your builder. In today’s fast paced world most people do their research on the web. Realizing this fact we made it our goal to equip you the buyer with as much helpful information as possible. Our business is based on the informed homebuyer, so please take a minute to read through the information provided on our website to gain some important insight into the home building industry.

SELECTING YOUR CONTRACTOR
Building a custom home can be the most expensive investment of your lifetime. Be very selective in choosing a contractor. Below is a list of things to consider.

Contact the Department of Labor & Industries and ask the following questions:

  • Is your contractor bonded and insured?
  • How long has this company been in business?
  • Are there any claims against the bond?
  • Are there any Lawsuits filed in Superior Court?

Is the contractor financially stable?

  • Check with bank references.
  • Check trade and supplier references from some of their vendors and subcontractors. How long have they done business with this supplier?
  • Do they pay their bills on time?

Contact customer referrals

  • Are the majority of past customers satisfied?
  • What kind of customer service was given to any warranty items?
  • Did the customer end up with the house they thought they were getting?

The misconception of a square footage price

  • In selecting a contractor, the majority of people immediately think of cost.  Frequently this cost is measured by price per square foot. This is simply a bad method to use when building a custom home. There are entirely too many variables that come in to play when selecting a piece of property, a home design and the finishing touch that you will ultimately select.

The allowance sleight of hand Look for these common pitfalls:

  • Allowances given by contractor may be too low.  For example, inadequate money allowed for specific items such as excavation, lighting and plumbing fixtures.
  • All local permit and impact fees may not have been included in the lump sum bid, such as school impact fees, sewer and water assessment fees and so on. Be sure this is spelled out in your contract.

Ensure what you want is what you get!

  • Make sure what you are expecting to get is in writing.
  • Be sure you understand the plans and specifications.
  • The majority of the products the builder will be using for your home should be spelled out in the contract, such as the roofing material, type of windows, siding material, finish material and concrete finishes.