Choosing a Builder

Purchasing a new home is one of the largest investments many of us will ever make, and that is why choosing the right home builder is just as important as choosing the right home.

Begin by looking at the profile of each builder to determine the builder’s level of professionalism. Ask such questions as how long has the company been in business and are they a full-time builder. Do they have any kind of certification? Is the company a member of a third party new home warranty program? Are they a member of their professional Home Builders’ Association? Will the company provide a list of previous customers for a reference check? Do they have an established network for trade contractors and who are they? Has the company won any awards and is the company active in the community?

Once you have established builder profiles it is time to look at the quality of the homes built. In touring show homes, pay attention to details. Notice how doors, drawers and windows fit and operate. Check all the trim, and examine the exterior with the same attention. Check to ensure brand- name products are used and that they come with a manufacturer’s warranty. Note which features are upgrades. If you can get a tour of a home in progress it provides the opportunity to see the quality inside the walls.

One of the single most important items to a successful new home purchase is a good working relationship with your builder. Every company has its own way of doing business. Some questions you can ask to determine your comfort level with this include, does the company have experience with the type of home you are considering? How much change is allowed to the standard plans? What are the standard features included in the price of the house? Does the builder offer upgrades and what do they cost? Can the company help coordinate the look of your home and do they have a design centre that provides expert assistance?

Other questions include: Will you get a written contract? Does the builder require payment at various stages during construction? When will the builder be able to start construction and when is the completion date? Will you be able to visit your home during construction? Will you get regular updates? Will you be able to make changes after construction begins? Does the company have a process in place for dealing with delays? Will the builder conduct a pre-delivery inspection before you take possession? Also ask each builder to explain what their after-sales processes are.

Consider what it would be like to build your home with each company and compare. Now, choose the company that offers the best overall value and quality, and gives you the greatest sense of confidence. Before you sign the contract, ask your lawyer to review it to take the necessary precautions to protect your investment.

To find a professional home builder, start your search on our website, where you will find a complete list of the Regina & Region Home Builders’ Association builder members. Go to the New Home Locator, to search the latest in show homes and inventory.