Who is the weakest link when building a home?

Of all the people who interact with a home being built, from the designer to the person who signs the certificate of occupancy, who is the weakest link?

Think about it, who is most likely to fail your home's integrity? Simple question but a complicated answer. This was the question I pondered today and I must tell you, though I am not big on long answers, this question deserves your time.

At first, it seems like the subcontractors would be most likely to be a weak link. That is what I first thought as I posed myself this question today. They are the people who build the house- the foundation, the framer, electrical, plumbing, and all the other trades that are critical elements of building a home. Each subcontractor has a small role but each role is critical for the next to be successful. At the end of the day, any mistakes they make can be fixed or overlooked or never noticed unless you take apart the home.

So it must be the builder. He/ she is responsible for every aspect of the home from start to finish. They decide who gets hired and are responsible for inspecting each person's job. They decide which products to use and negotiate contracts. They are ultimately responsible.

Not quite. You are the weak link. That is right, the person who ultimately hires the builder to take care of all the details is you. If you don't hire correctly or don't get what you want, you can blame the builder or subs all you want but it is your fault and problem.

If you have hired a builder who works with low bidders to maximize profits and you get shabby quality, it is still yours. If you decide to go with a builder because you like him and find out the hard way that he makes a great framer but not a great builder, you get to hold the bag.

So, you are the weakest link. You have to be the one who makes the best decisions. If you hire a builder to make them for you or decide to be your own general, you are responsible. You get to decide if you want to trust the person who bid $5,000 less than the other person because he tells you that everyone else is raking you over the coals, you get to live with the consequences.

Now you know why credibility with a builder is everything. Does the builder work with qualified subcontractors? Do they know what to do when things go south, and they will at one point. You are trusting someone with a large sum of money, how much do you really trust them? If you are not 100% confident in their abilities, find someone else. And if you hire someone and you start to get red flags. Stop everything and start asking questions.

Building a home can be a great experience, if you expectations are realistic. You may be saying to your self that the best in the business are too expensive, but bad quality is also too expensive. You are the boss and ultimately responsible for your home. Don't be the weakest link!

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