How to Choose a Home Builder

We are renovating our home. It’s my first time! I’ve never built nor renovated, so I’m learning as I go, sharing as much as I can with those of you about to embark on the same journey!

How to choose a home builder for a home renovation.

The builder your choose is, so far, is the most important decision I’ve had to make, and the one that’s set the tone for the entire remodel. These are three things to consider when choosing your home builder.

Do you get along?

Not kidding. This is important. When you’re bidding out the job, see if you’re personalities jive. You need to be on the same page. I can’t stress this enough. You must be able to communicate well, trust them, enjoy their company (because they should be around your home a lot) and they should like you.

Why is this important? Because you’re paying the bills, but they run the sub-contractors. You need a builder who understands what you want and wants to do right by you. We interviewed several, and some personalities just got on my nerves almost immediately. Yes, they did great work. Yes, my friends really liked them. Yes, they gave a fair bid. Problem? I didn’t think they’d listen to me. They seemed to difficult for my personality to work with. They may work great with other types of people, but not me.

Trust your gut instinct on personality because you’ll be in this for the long haul.

How many projects do they have going on?

A few people I interviewed had a ton of projects in the works. While yes, some may read this as a positive sign that they had a lot of work, and were in demand, I did not. I read this as they were spread too thin.

The builder we chose is in between jobs. He had just finished one, and another hadn’t started. This is working (so far) to our benefit because he has time for my project. You want your builder’s time. Trust me on this.

Does he come recommended?

Referrals mean a lot. But you also have to factor in who is referring to them. Are those people as detail oriented as you? Was it the same budget size and scope of work? Does that builder work near your area?

Recommendations mean a lot, but please refer to my first point, that just because they worked for a friend it doesn’t mean they are the right fit for you. However, it’s a very positive step forward if you have seen the work they’ve done and someone had a good experience with them.

What builder did we choose?

We hired the original home builder of our current home. We are the secondary owners, but over the eight years we’ve lived here I’ve been able to call him for either help or advice. He always answered the phone, and stop by and look at the problem. Then he would fix it at no charge, or send someone for me to pay. He was an exceptional resource and I got to trust that he took pride in his work, was trustworthy and honest.

Also, 80% of the sub-contractors who built our home are still with him. This says a lot about his reputation. It shows the sub-contractors like working for him, he likes their work and that with all the options out there they are still getting solid work and making clients repeatedly happy.

The shorthand with hiring the people who built your house (if you’re happy with the house – and we have been) is priceless. There’s no pointing of fingers to anyone, and they know how they installed something so changing it becomes that much easier.

Renovating tips from a newbie. Tips and lessons I've learned when redesigning my house!

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