Choosing the Right Home Builder

Are you considering building your new home?  There are a lot of things to consider when you are looking for the right contractor to build your dream home, but one significant item is to make sure your contractor is legitimate.  We hear too often in the news about contractors who have scammed people out of money, are unable to complete the work in a timely fashion, or do sub-par work.

If you can check even ONE of the boxes below, you may want to reconsider your contractor.  These are significant red flags that something is wrong.

□ Your contractor can’t provide appropriate licensing and insurance documentation when you ask for it. Obtaining a Contractor’s license is hard work if your contractor has a current license they will be happy to show it to you.  Insurance is important too!  Make sure they can show you certificates for General Liability, Automobile, Workers Compensation & Builders Risk.

□ Your contractor can’t provide up to date portfolios of work or references from other customers. Your contractor should be happy to refer you to speak to a number of their clients and be able to show you homes they’ve built.  You should also be able to obtain online reviews through sites such as GoogleFacebook, and Houzz.

□ Is the permitting contractor the owner of the company?  If the owner of the company is not a contractor, then there are opportunities for any number of problems to arise.  The permitting contractor should be responsible to you, not beholden to another person. If there is a problem, who will REALLY be responsible?

□ The contract that the contractor presented to you does not go into detail about what is being provided in your new home and does not have the required legal protections that are afforded both you and the contractor by state law (these are required to be in your contract.)  There is a tremendous amount of information that should be in your contract; the contract is the detail of what is being provided, you don’t want to run into a situation where the contractor says “well, that isn’t in my contract.”  The contract should also have information in their contract that references their contractor’s number, the Florida Homeowners’ Construction Recovery Fund, and it should also discuss lien’s that can occur on your property.

□ They offer a lower price if you sign on the spot.  Aside from being one of the largest monetary decisions you’ll ever make, choosing the contractor to use can be a difficult decision. A quality builder will want you to feel comfortable and excited to start this process when you’re ready.

□ The contractor requests an odd or random payment schedule. Part of a well written new home construction contract is a Draw Schedule, with 6 -7 payments scheduled after certain designated parts of the house have completed (Deposit, Masonry, Roof, etc…)

□ Your contractor does not discuss or offer a warranty. As a builder, it’s always good practice to be registered with a Warranty company. A 10-year structural warranty is a benefit for the homeowner and builder.


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