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General Information

  • Cost Per Square Foot

    Accurate pricing requires detailed specifications and input from suppliers and trade contractors. Done properly, the process takes days to weeks. Buyers who do not understand the complexity of this process and the importance of clearly written, detailed specifications sometimes compare floor plans based on cost per square foot. For instance, buyers comparing two homes that each include 4 bathrooms and 4 baths might find one is built for $81 a square foot and the other for $92. However, the apparently more expensive home might include a level of quality, features, and materials justifying the higher cost—items the buyers truly want. Study the details of materials and features included in the square footage you are buying and select your home and builder based on comprehensive information.
  • Read the Documents

    Review the contract, warranty and warranty standards. Note the amount of detail provided. This same attention to detail usually flows through the construction of the home. How does the company determine a delivery date? Many factors outside of the builder’s control can cause delays. Builders who promise a firm date too early often disappoint their buyers; but every builder can have a system for keeping you informed of the target delivery date.
  • References

    Ads and signs alert you to the fact that a builder exists; they do not establish how the company treats its customers. For the answer to that important question, talk to the customers themselves.

    • Homeowners Talk to previous buyers. Visit communities on Saturday morning and talk to people who are washing their cars, walking their dogs, gardening. “I’m considering having___build my home. Can I ask you a few questions about your home and how the company is to work with? Talk to at least five people and visit several areas if possible.
    • Building Departments and Consumer Protection EntitlesBuilding inspectors or departments are unlikely to provide you with much information unless you have a close friend who works there with whom you can chat. Similarly, entities such as the Better Business Bureau can only share information other customers have take time to report. They do not recommend or evaluate. Although if you hear that 87 complaints are on file, caution is in order, remember that lack of negative reports is not a guarantee.

      Many factors must come together for you to be comfortable with your builder—design, quality, price, scheduling ad of course location. Throughout your exploration, comparing one detail after the next, you keep coming back to the same builder. Phone calls are returned promptly, questions are answered completely, information is forthright and clear. Suggestions about the home you want make sense, and the price is in line with your budget. Your efforts have paid off; you have found your builder.