2022 Boise Idaho Real Estate Blog

New Homes 2C - 22 Tips to Finding the Right Builder for You! Main Nampa Homes for Sale

If you wouldn't hire a Part-Time Doctor to perform open-heart surgery; Don't hire a Part-Time Builder to build your largest investment.


I apologize for the lack of a timely second entry to my blog, but my very absence this week is where I found my topic!

My significant other went under the knife this week for a voluntary Tonsillectomy! Since I have been by his side to aid in his recovery, all I could wonder was WHY? WHY? WHY? Would anyone want to voluntarily go through this much pain!  This experience, made me think of YOU, the Canyon County New Home Buyer!

Lately, I have had some interesting experiences when you have been out there looking for that perfect place to put your new home! You know who you are! You are the maverick, the risk-taker, you want your friend/part-time/roofer/sider/ builder to build your new home!.... Excuse me? Did I hear you right? I don't know about you, but my home is currently my single largest investment. When deciding to build this investment I did not take the task lightly! I worked with a State of Idaho licensed builder who was registered with the Snake River Valley Building Contractors Association. Would these same people make the mistake of having a part-time doctor deliver their children? Or remove their appendix? I think not...but the cost of a house is often MORE than the cost of these surgeries.

So what's the big deal?  What really could go wrong? I'm glad you asked! I could go into all the negatives experiences that occur every day out there, but instead, I thought I would offer you a list of twenty-two questions to ask your builder!

1. How many people direct employees work for your company? What are their job descriptions? This gives an indication of the company's depth and level of support.

2. What is the average number of jobs you do at the same time? How many jobs does your company have in progress right now? Do these numbers seem in line with the amount of support staff? Does it seem like each job has an adequate amount of supervision?

3. How are jobs managed on a daily basis? Who will be in charge of my job each day? Who checks for quality, mistakes, progress? Get names and contact information!

4. How is Client Satisfaction tracked? Are you given an opportunity to provide feedback on BuildIdaho.com? If it's not tracked, maybe it's not taken that seriously by this company.

5. What were your best and worst building experiences? What does your firm like/dislike to do? Listen to the nature of the events behind the stories what has this designer or builder learned in order to become stronger and more qualified? Even negative experiences can have a positive impact when a company learns from them.

6. Who were your two best Clients? Who were your two worst Clients? Why? Do you sound similar or opposite? Do you sense a conflict? I also recommend requesting a referral from the builder.

7. What is the average length of time you have worked with your sub-contractors? An established firm will have worked with their "subs" for 3 years or more.

8. How long will it take to build my new home? Good builders should be able to give you a good finish date based on a solid start date.

9. What are your standard specifications? Do you have a list? A common complaint from new homeowners is that they don't feel that they got what they paid for Document, Document, Document!

10. What types of floor plans do you offer?

11. Is everything I see in your model homes a standard feature?

12. How long has this plan been built? Will my home be the first?

  1. Can I design my own floorplan? Do you utilize the services of a designer or a draftsman? A draftsman can cost less for custom-designed plans, but typically are less creative than architects.
  2. How do you compare with other builders? Why are your prices higher/lower? Having a builder gives you a cost per square foot is like selling a car by the pound. Every home comes with the standard bedrooms, baths and a kitchen just like all cars come with 4 tires the key is to know the standard features and amenities!
  3. What kind of warranty do you offer? You should never accept a warranty for less than a year and some builders are even offering 10-year warranties! But in either case, get a copy of the warranty because there may be restrictions on what is covered.
  4. Is there anything in your contract about material changes? Don't I have to give you approval first? Even further, will your builder require payment up front, if a change results in a charge?>
  5. How many years have you been in business? Are you financially strong? This is an important question right now; ask that your builder is upfront and honest about financial dealings, pending lawsuits, foreclosures or possible bankruptcy filings. In addition, ask whether the builder has ever been associated with a builder that filed for bankruptcy. Builders often file for bankruptcy, abandon their home buyers, and start-up their practices under new names.
  6. How do the subcontractors feel about the building quality?
  7. Ask for a list of several of the builder's properties in your area that will give you a broad representation of his or her work. Take a close look at the quality of those properties.
  8. How responsive and accountable are you in terms of customer service? Are your existing homeowners satisfied?
  9. Explain your processes and systems. Do you provide literature that specifies what I can expect while you are building my home?
  10. What is the customer service policy after I move in? When and how often will you check in on my home?

The above questions are just a sampling of the many issues you should flush out before deciding to retain someone to build your new home.

Asking and receiving good answers is necessary to achieve strong communication between you and your builder, which is critical to avoid problems and delays, and keep extraneous expenses down.

I welcome your comments on my blog!

Till next week,


Next Week The Big Dilemma You want out of your home and want to build your dream home How do you build and sell!?

Posted by Debra Henninger at 4/12/2007 2:40:00 AM

Client Care



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