Don’t Build a New Home Before You've Read This

Andy Lindus
Written by Andy Lindus
Updated March 5, 2015
When considering potential builders, it’s a good idea to make your selection prior to even purchasing the lot. (Photo courtesy of Angi member Beverly M. of San Antonio)

These six homebuilding tips can help you to navigate what can be a complicated process.

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Many of us probably remember the first day of college courses. Typically you are handed a syllabus with an entire semester’s worth of work laid out, usually including a sizable project that requires completion by the end of the course in order to pass the class.

It’s not uncommon to experience a moment of panic. But once you relax, you realize that if the project is broken into small pieces, it is possible to get from point A to point B.

The same can be said for building a house. Here are six tips to help you have the best homebuilding experience:

1. Building a home: first things first

● When considering potential builders, it’s a good idea to make your selection prior to even purchasing the lot. That’s because the layout of your house and your lot need to complement each other. Angi reviews are a great place to start.

● Once you've narrowed down your list, it’s smart to have conversations with a contractor’s former clients to learn if the contractor kept to the agreed-upon time and budget allocations. The clients you visit with should be a mixture of brand-new and older ones. That way you’ll have an understanding of how the completed work held up over time.

2. Go for quality: selecting materials for your home

When building a home, a tempting way to cut costs is by opting for builder grade materials.

The term “builder grade” is a bit misleading:  Builders are technically using them, but by no means are these materials the best. In most instances, builder grade materials are of average quality and are prebuilt and mass-produced. Using these types of products actually can mean the homeowners will be replacing them sooner. This can end up costing more money overall than if they had just spent a little extra cash upfront.

3. Pricing and permits

● The client and the contractor normally agree upon a price range that encompasses the work to be done with the materials the homeowners have chosen. This amount can increase if the homeowners make changes once the project begins, but this should be done through change order paperwork that spells out the additional costs involved.

● Permits should be pulled by the contractor, who will have a working knowledge of which permits need to be pulled and the necessary timelines associated with them.

Build up your knowledge

Educate yourself about the homebuilding process with these Angi guides:

Homebuilders

Contractors (includes video)

Chat With the Experts: Listen to Andy Lindus discuss how to navigate the homebuilding process in this podcast.

4. Watching your home take shape: monitoring the project

The contractor should welcome the homeowners to the job site, because their presence can assist with the final product being everything they’ve dreamed of.

However, it’s important for homeowners to realize that too constant of a presence can cause the project to undergo serious delays. Weekly visits by the homeowners are typically the right balance.

5. Making the final inspection

One of the most appealing parts of the entire homebuilding experience is the final inspection, where the new homeowners get to walk through the home and take everything in.

Take full advantage of this opportunity.  Make sure that all light fixtures, faucets, windows and major appliances are in good working order. Don’t be afraid to make requests for work that you feel may still need to be done. It’s quite common for a contractor to have a small punch list after the final inspection.

6. Home warranties

What is a home warranty? In a majority of states, laws are in place that protect homeowners with a two-year warranty on a new home. You’ll also find that items such as roofing, appliances, siding, windows and gutters have warranties associated with them that you should understand prior to having them installed. Many contractors also include workmanship guarantees stating the installing contractor will take care of items that malfunction prematurely.

As of March 5, 2015, this service provider was highly rated on Angi. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angi for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angi.

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