Questions You Should Ask a Potential Homebuilder

June 23, 2017

The first step to making your dream home a reality is finding a homebuilder that can meet all of your needs. Because custom home construction is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, the selection of a builder is a decision that deserves plenty of consideration. It’s recommended that you thoroughly interview each of your potential custom homebuilders to learn more about them and get an idea of what you can expect should you choose to work with them. You should feel comfortable asking a builder anything that’s on your mind. Here are 10 of the most commonly asked questions for a potential homebuilder:

1. How Long Have You Been in Business?

It’s not essential for a homebuilder to have years and years of experience, but it certainly does help. A builder who has been in business for many years has most likely seen and done it all. They should be able to work efficiently and take on almost any request. Plus, the fact that they’ve stayed in business is validation that they do good work.

2. Can You Provide References From Recent Customers?

There’s no better way to learn what it’s like to work with a particular builder than to hear it directly from someone who has done it. You’ll be able to find out the good and the bad and whether or not they’d recommend working with the builder.

3. Can I Provide My Own Home Plan, or Do I Have to Choose from Yours?

Some homebuilders are willing to accept most projects, regardless of the specifications. Others, however, will only supply their own set of plans for customers to choose from. If you have a very specific vision for your custom home, it’s important to find out whether or not the builder is willing to work on the project.

4. Do You Finance Construction, or Do I Need to Get a Loan?

Often, the homebuilder will finance construction, but not always. It may be necessary to secure a construction loan. The answer may make a difference in whether or not you want to select that particular builder.

5. How Long Will It Take to Complete the Home?

Even if the completion of your custom home is not urgent, it’s still nice to have a target date on the calendar. If you do need to be in the home by a certain date, make sure the date provided by the builder is firm and that they will do everything possible to make it happen. If there is some uncertainty, it’s best to explore other options.

6. What is the Step-By-Step Process We’ll Go Through Before, During and After Construction?

It’s only natural to want to know what to expect. A project as big as building a new home is not one where you’ll want to go in blind. Have the possible builder provide an overview of how their home construction process works so you’ll know what is coming up as you achieve each construction milestone.

7. Who Will Oversee the Construction of the Home?

Depending on the size of the homebuilding company and how busy they are, construction may be overseen by the homebuilder or a manager. It is preferable if it’s the homebuilder because that means you’ll be working with the head of the company. Managers may need to contact the homebuilder first before completing certain requests or answering questions, which could potentially extend the construction time or cause frustration for you, the customer.

8. What is the Process for Requesting Changes and Upgrades?

Changes happen constantly with a custom home. However, many builders will not accommodate changes. It’s important for you, the customer, to remember that your choice in building a custom home should mean you have the freedom to request changes as you come up with different ideas. Be sure to discuss the changes policy with a builder before signing an agreement.

9. What is the Warranty Information?

Warranties are typically overlooked by customers until something goes wrong in their home. Don’t let yourself fall victim to that mistake. Avoid potential future frustration and find out from the beginning what kind of things in your home would and would not be covered by warranty.

10. What are the Pros and Cons of the Location?

If you are early in the process and haven’t secured a lot yet, ask the homebuilder to provide an assessment of the area you are considering. What are the schools like? What kind of amenities are in the area? How close are restaurants and shopping areas? What are the estimated taxes? Are there any negative aspects to the area? By asking these questions, you can find the ideal location for your home.

P.D.H. Builders: A Trusted Chicagoland Homebuilder

Phil Hartz at P.D.H. Builders has more than 30 years of experience and serves the Chicagoland communities of Lemont, New Lenox, Mokena, Frankfort, Orland Park, and Homer Glen. Phil provides one-on-one service with every customer and utilizes a trusted network of industry experts to ensure you get the custom home you’ve always wanted.

For more information, call 708-949-8244 or email