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5 Questions to Ask When Looking for the Right Home Builder

an unfinished custom home in the middle of construction

Your home is probably your most prized possession. Your home is where the majority of your time is spent, and your memories are made. So, when you decide to do a home renovation project or build a custom home, it’s critical that you find a home builder that you can trust. Asking these important questions will help you find the right home builder for your project and help you bring your dream home to life.

 

How much experience do you have?

One of your requirements when selecting a home builder should be that they have at least five years of experience in your city. When a home builder has been in business for five years or more, it shows you that they have a solid reputation and the experience needed to do a good job. Also, in a province like Alberta, where we experience extreme weather conditions and changes – it’s crucial to partner with a local builder that is familiar with the specific details that need to be taken into consideration.

 

Can I see past projects you’ve completed?

If a home builder is proud of the work they do, there will be no hesitation when you ask to see some of their past projects or for references from homeowners they’ve worked with. How they respond to this request will give you insight into if they are actually credible. If it’s an option, try to visit an active worksite. This will help you see how the team operates and how organized they are.

 

What’s the warranty you offer on your projects?

What happens if you move into your custom home and the floor develops a crack, or you start to notice water damage? It’s critical that before you sign any contract, you have a firm understanding of the warranty the home builder offers.

Homestead Custom Carpentry is a proud member of the Alberta New Home Warranty Program. The Program has been protecting homeowners for over 45 years with its professional and reputable coverage. They are an independent, not-for-profit new home warranty provider serving approximately 700 Builder Members—only the very best builders in Alberta. With our membership with the Alberta New Home Warranty Program, all of our projects include the following coverage:

  • Deposit Protection
  • Builder Performance Protection
  • First Year Workmanship & Materials Protection
  • 5 Year Structural Integrity Protection
  • 10 Year Structural Integrity Protection (Optional)
  • Additional Living Expenses Protection

construction home builders working at a table saw at a job site

What will be the timeline from project start to completion?

Now, it’s unlikely that a home builder will be able to give you an exact timeline. However, if you can get references from other homeowners who have worked with them, you’ll be able to get a good idea of what to expect. Also, don’t look for the home builder that provides you with the shortest timeline. You want the timeline they give you to be an honest estimate and not an optimistic guess to make the sale. It is also a good idea to ask them what tools their team uses to track their schedule and progress. If the builder doesn’t have the tools to provide you with a detailed timeline, it’s not a good sign that they’ll be able to keep the project on track. 

Looking for more information on preparing for a home renovation project? Check out our post, on the Top Home Renovation Mistakes (and tips to avoid them).

 

How do you ensure that you stay on budget?

From the very beginning, you want to make sure that your home builder is upfront about costs and transparent about what is and isn’t included in your build. 

At Homestead, transparency and keeping clients informed is extremely important to us. Because of this, we update our budgets every week. That way, our clients always see the most up to date budgets possible. To avoid cost overruns, we typically set a reserve budget aside to handle unplanned contingencies alongside the budget. Proper planning and accurate projections are important from the beginning to schedule scope and scheduled baselines.

 

Renovating your family home or starting a custom home project is an exciting process. Like any big decision, it’s important that you do your homework when selecting who you partner with. Meet with many home builders, get several estimates and don’t be afraid to ask the questions you need to be answered.

Check out some of our Red Deer home renovation and custom home projects in our gallery.

Have a home renovation project in mind for this summer? Contact us!