Building a home from scratch is an exciting project — but also a daunting one. People invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in new home construction, and it’s truly one of the most important investments you can make. In the vast majority of cases, there are going to be wrinkles and problems to work around. If you’ve got an experienced and reputable builder in your corner, these problems are likely to be handle with grace and poise — without seriously affecting your budget and schedule.
The only problem is, not all homebuilders represent the same level of integrity, workmanship and service. Here are a few of the most common complaints against contractors who build new homes. But learning about them, you might be able to ask the right questions when researching contractors to build your new home, and avoid serious problems down the line.
1. Too many projects at once
It is always a good idea to check out other homes a prospective builder is working on or has recently completed. This gives you a solid idea of what kind of results you can expect. If a builder you are considering has a dozen projects already in the works, they should have a large, organized and highly professional team of skilled workers. If not, they’re probably working too hard to juggle various projects — and paying clients like you are likely to bear the burden.
For these reasons, it’s a good idea to be specific with your contractor about who will be on your job site and whether your home will remain a top priority until completion. With an investment of this magnitude, you don’t want your new home to be something scribbled into the margins of the contractor’s own schedule.
2. Not being clear about timelines or budgets
A great many complaints come down to communication and transparency. When you negotiate a contract for the construction of a new home, there are so many important details to get right. The best contractors are transparent about costs, payments, and scheduling concerns. Dubious contractors try to “sugar coat” the financial and scheduling realities at hand. Perhaps they want to win the project and get a contract signed. But their reputations suffer in the end, as clients are left feeling shortchanged and deceived.
3. Corner cutting
Some contractors will start a job with impressive workmanship and discipline, but as the deadline approaches (or simply because they want to “be done” with the project), they start cutting corners. This often leaves new homeowners with problems and imperfections that might not be noticed until later. The best way to avoid these problems? Be very clear about what you want, and make regular visits to your building site to check the progress and quality of work.
Can building a new home be an easy and smooth experience?
While there is no guarantee that building a new home from scratch will be a painless or easy project, you can save yourself a number of different headaches by carefully researching contractors before you choose one. Finding the right professionals to build your new home — people who have the utmost respect for your time and money — is one thing that definitely pays off in the end.