Is your builder a licensed contractor and the license holder for the firm?
Many firms use an employee as the license holder or hire other builders to obtain the permits for their projects. The problem with this is that if a problem occurs your recourse can become limited. You should be sure that your builder is the license holder. You can verify a companies license holder by visiting https://www.myfloridalicense.com.
Is your builder a full time builder or a part time operation?
Your builder should be a dedicated professional with a local office location, model homes to show and a team of employees who compliment the organization.
Is your builder willing to work with you on changes?
Some builders are not receptive to changes and associate high fees with every change once construction has started. Be sure to understand how your builder handles change orders. This is your home, and it should be built the way you want it in the end.
Is your builder able to provide references or a list of permits showing consistent activity?
Every builder has a project or a client that they are proud of, but is your builder boasting about something he built 20 years ago, “back in his day”? You can verify a companies’ permits & inspection information at https://www.marioncountyfl.org/departments-agencies/departments-a-n/building-safety/permit-and-inspection-information then select option #9. Information is available for permits issued after January 1995 to present.
Has your builder every filed for bankruptcy?
When a builder files for bankruptcy everyone suffers. Homes and communities are often left unfinished, subcontractors are left unpaid and stop working, material providers exercise their lien rights on the owners, etc. As you can imagine the headaches quickly stack up. Make sure that the builder you choose to hire is financially stable!
Will your builder allow you to visit his current job sites?
We highly recommend visiting job sites and looking closely at the quality of workmanship, subcontractor organization and over all appearance during construction. This is a good indicator of what to expect during your new home project.
Is your builder able to give you complete plans, specifications, and a firm price prior to signing papers?
Nobody likes surprises. Everything should be decided upon and a final price given prior to the builder starting your project. This should all be put in writing which will eliminate potential challenges later.