Know What to Ask When Choosing a Builder

Baker Fred "Gene", Attaway, Denise  |  5/17/2007 11:25:03 PM

Knowing what to ask before construction and/or renovations begin on your home could save you a lot of money.

The Capital Region Builder’s Association (CRBA) says finding a builder or remodeler who is right for you may not be as easy as “picking up the Yellow Pages.” It may take you several months to find the right person(s) for the job. The CRBA offers these tips to help you in your search for the right builder(s):

  • Seek referrals from friends, family, neighbors, co-workers and others who have had remodeling work done.
  • Talk to independent trade contractors, building materials suppliers, architects, engineers, home inspectors and local lenders.
  • Contact local trade associations and ask them for some referrals.

Once you have identified some strong candidates, do even more checking to ensure that these are the kinds of remodelers with whom you would like to do business. Call the local or state consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau to find out if there are any unresolved complaints filed against the remodeler. Contact local building inspectors to verify that the remodeler has a clean record. Also interview previous or present customers.

Information from the CRBA also indicates it’s important for homeowners to know “what to look for and what to ask.” When hiring a remodeler, homeowners are “buying a service rather than a product. The quality of the service the remodeler provides will determine the quality of the finished project and the homeowner’s satisfaction with it.” When interviewing a remodeler, explore the following qualifications:

  • Maintain a permanent mailing address, phone number and pager number for the remodeler.
  • Make sure the remodeler carries insurance that protects you from claims arising due to property damage or jobsite injuries. Ask the remodeler how much the project will add to your home's value and obtain the necessary additional insurance.
  • Check to see how established the company is in the community. How long has the remodeler been in business? Does the company maintain solid relationships with experienced independent trade contractors? Does the company possess a trustworthy reputation among customers, peers and those in the industry?
  • Inquire whether the remodeler carries a designation such as Certified Graduate Remodelor(tm) (CGR), Certified Bath Designer (CBD) or Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD).

The attached form has been designed by the CRBA to provide homeowners with information needed when interviewing builders for a project.

The Capital Region Builder's Association

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