Experience and History in your area
How much experience does your builder have with customer homes? Have they built them in Jupiter or Palm Beach Gardens – local areas where you can drive by their previous work? If they haven’t built in Florida they may not have experience building the types of homes usually built on the water.
Do they have local references
Will they provide contact information for previous satisfied customers? If not, that’s a warning sign. Happy customers are almost always willing to provide a reference and sing the praises of their builder.
What makes the builder unique
Always ask this question. This will help you select the right builder for you. If the contractor says they offer a great value and your focus is on your budget, then you might be a great fit. If your builder focuses on waterfront homes and you want something spectacular with rooftop living, this builder may the right one for you.
What type of warranty comes with the home
Pay attention to the details here and get the warranty in writing. What is covered, for how long. Who will do the repairs and how quickly will issues be resolved. Keep your warranty in a handy place so you can refer to immediately if there is an issue post-construction.
How are change orders handled
Let’s face it – changes are going to occur. You may initiate them or they may be recommended by your builder. It’s crucial to know in advance how these changes will be handled. You need to understand how to request a change, the cost of the change (in writing) and the impact to your timeline.
Does this builder have experience with upscale, waterfront homes
If your homebuilder has spent the last 10 years in Minnesota building log homes they may not be the best choice to build your dream home in South Florida. If you are looking for an upscale custom home in South Florida to enjoy for many years, be sure your builder specializes in that type of home build.
Access to house during construction and final walk through
To the buyer it’s important to have access to your home during the construction process. At the same time the builder wants to limit that access for safety and time considerations. Work out in advance how often you can visit the site, when you have walk-throughs of the property and especially, how issues will be handled at final walk through. There is always a small punch list of items that need to be completed – nail pops, a rough spot on the drywall or a cracked tile. Know how these are going to be handled BEFORE you sign off on your new home.