Questions to Ask a Prospective New Homebuilder for Your Home Project

When choosing a new home builder for a home project you're planning, of course you'll look at their past work and ask about references. You may even look up online reviews about their company to see if they seem reputable and reliable. You want to do more than this, however, to ensure that you choose the right builder for the job. Note a few questions to ask when it comes to choosing a new home builder for your project.

1. Ask if they guarantee a completion date, and how

A new home builder should be able to give you a completion date, and it's good to ask how they guarantee this date. There are any number of problems they may experience with homebuilding, and these should be factored into the completion date overall. They should also have some type of guarantee for that date; this might mean a reduction in the invoice by a certain amount for every day that goes past that date or some other incentive that will ensure that construction doesn't drag on indefinitely.

2. Who guarantees the subcontractor work?

New home builders rarely have their own full staff and crew on hand for building homes and will often subcontract many aspects of the work. If they don't guarantee the work of the subcontractors, you should investigate those subcontracting companies they hire just as if you were hiring them yourself. Ask to see the subcontractor's guarantee and research their reputation as well as the builder's reputation. Contact the subcontractor and note if the builder pays on time; if not, the subcontractor may be able to bill you for their work and materials, even if you paid the home builder, or they may stop their work altogether! Subcontractors who are hired should have a guarantee for their work just like the home builder. 

3. Is cleanup included and if so, how much?

A contractor may offer basic cleanup, meaning that they remove their equipment and perhaps large remnants of debris left by the work, but you would need to rake and sweep the yard and interior of the home. Some builders may offer turn-key cleaning, meaning that the home is cleaned by professionals inside and out so you simply need to turn the key and walk into your new home. Whatever cleanup is offered by the new home builder, get an itemized list in writing so you know what work you might need to do after they leave the property in order for it to be ready for move-in.