Buying a custom home is a daunting process, but the rewards are usually immense.
The Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction found that approximately 20 percent of single-family homes built in 2019 were custom.
Before you start hiring builders to construct your home, it’s important to make sure you choose the right company. Here are seven signs that you should fire your builders and bring on a new team.
1. They Ask for a Large Deposit
It’s perfectly normal for builders to ask for a deposit upfront. The company needs some form of payment in order to secure the job.
But, if your builders are asking for more than 15 percent right from the start, it’s probably a red flag. As the job progresses, you’ll be expected to pay more money.
Never give a builder a large sum of cash before work begins. You could end up losing if they happen to take too long, disappear, or other issues arise. Always get the requirements for your deposit in writing before work starts.
2. You Notice Odd Lulls in Work
Whether you hire duplex builders or workers to build a single-family home, most companies perform construction work during normal business hours. If you happen to drive by on a weekday in the afternoon and don’t see anyone, there could be an issue.
Most home builders set their hours, but if you don’t see workers, then there is cause for concern. The longer it takes for workers to do a task, the longer it will take your home to be completed.
While there will always be delays and setbacks, unusual hours or no workers during the day should prompt you to ask questions. Don’t hesitate to stop by the job site or contact your builder with questions. If something seems fishy, you may want to fire your builders and move on.
3. Poor or No Communication From Builders
A professional builder should keep the lines of communication open. If you’re struggling to get in touch with the person in charge, then it could be a sign that something is wrong.
New buildings take time, effort, and resources to construct. But that doesn’t mean that customers shouldn’t be able to get in touch with the superintendent or someone else in charge of the project.
Make sure you get the direct phone number and email address of the person in charge of your home’s construction. If that person doesn’t respond in a timely manner, it could indicate there’s trouble. As long as they reply or get in touch with you on a regular basis, then you should be on the right track.
4. Poor Management
Most builders hire and use subcontractors to help them complete a job. If the people in charge aren’t managing these subcontractors correctly, there could be serious problems later.
Make sure that your custom home builder is managing their team and keeping track of progress. They should also only hire skilled, experienced tradespeople to do the work.
Pay attention to how the subcontractors are managed and how they’re held accountable. If management seems lax, it could hold up progress. This can also indicate that you’ll have issues with the home later in terms of quality of work.
5. You Get Unexpected, Random Costs
There will always be a few variables when it comes to building a custom home. These variables should be taken into account when you sign the initial contract.
If your builders suddenly hit you with a barrage of “unexpected charges,” it might be time to fire them. Never let a builder talk you into paying more money than what you already agreed to.
While certain extra costs are to be expected, you need to know how much to plan for in advance. Don’t let the builders slap you with an expensive charge at the last minute that could derail your progress.
6. They Don’t Follow the Terms of Your Contract
It should go without saying that you should always sign a contract when hiring new builders. If your builders seem to veer away from the terms, it’s a serious red flag.
Make sure that your builders are abiding by the fine print in your contract. If they don’t, you should bring it to their attention right away.
Builders who don’t follow contract guidelines are in danger of a lawsuit. Be sure that you inform them of any issues you see immediately so they can correct them. If the problems continue, it’s time to fire them and find a new company.
7. Problems Aren’t Being Solved
All of the different types of builders you hire should know how to solve problems. If they aren’t addressing and correcting issues, it’s time to find another builder.
Whether it’s delayed progress or issues with employees, the builder’s job is to make things right. They should be able to accommodate you to the best of their ability. If you’re raising concerns and they’re not being fixed, you may need to fire your builders.
Make sure that your point of contact listens to you and comes up with solutions. This is the best way to make sure you’re on the same page at all times.
Find the Right Builder for You
Keep these tips in mind so you can decide if it’s time to fire your builders. A quality builder will be available, honest, and ready to help you construct the home of your dreams.
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