Make sure you have a list of good questions to ask when interviewing builders to build your house or major addition.
Do you remember hearing the old adage, “There are no stupid questions” when you were growing up? Well, for those building a house, the new adage should be, “There are no stupid questions AND no stupid follow up questions.” When interviewing builders, keep asking questions. This is the simple formula for getting the answers needed to make an informed decision.
Willie Eby of Mt. Tabor Builders, Inc. has had many meetings with potential clients over the decades he has built houses and major additions here in the Tri-State area of Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. He’s also answered many questions about home design, remodeling, permits, financing, move-in dates, final walk throughs, etc.…
Here are some questions Willie recommends asking when interviewing builders.
Questions for Builders
“Are you licensed and insured in the state where I want to build?” A reputable contractor should be able to offer documents and the statements in those documents should be easily verifiable through the local builders association and state licensing agency.
“Who will supervise the building and do you use subcontractors?” While subcontractors are often hired and supervised by the builder, it is almost always better to have a foreman and most of the labor force directly on the builder’s payroll.
“May I see some of your recently finished projects and one that is in progress?” A quality builder should be proud to show off these projects and put you in touch with former clients. If you can talk to someone currently under contract, you can ask them about the professionalism (workers showing up when expected and communication with the builder/foreman) of the builder in question.
“Can you describe your building process for me between the initial meeting and the closing with the bank?” This may be the ultimate test for judging a contractor. While not every little detail will be in this answer, the builder should have a solid agenda as to how the workflow will go and how you – the homeowner – will be kept connected to the project throughout each phase.
For more great questions, search “Questions for interviewing builders,” on most search engines. It won’t take long to compile a list.
“When you’re hiring a custom builder, there is a lot of trust involved,” says Bruce of Ellicott City, who hired Mt. Tabor to build his family’s second home in Berkeley Springs, WV.
“You have to do interviews to get a feel for that level of trust that you need.”
To find out more about Mt. Tabor Builders Inc. or to ask questions about building or major renovation projects, contact the Clear Spring office here or call us at 301-766-7161 to schedule a meeting. To see images of our building projects, click here.