Choosing a Builder
Creating your dream home should be one of the most exiting
and rewarding experiences of your life. Our goal is
your satisfaction living in your beautiful quality-built
To guide you through this exciting project, we would
like to pass on some ideas and tips we have learned
after helping our Customers create over 1,000 homes
in the Rochester-area.
Below is a list of items to consider when choosing a
builder or to live in a recently built home.
Is the builder a member of the Rochester Homebuilder
Most builders who belong to this organization are professionals
with a positive history in the community.
Look closely at the homes the builder has under construction
or has already built.
Is this the quality you desire?
Request the names of several recent customers and call
them for a recommendation. Drive by the home and see
if it is comparable with what you want. Ask if the builder
was easy to work with and open to specific needs. Was
he willing to make changes or explain if he could not
Do you have a firm price for the house including specifications
Do you feel comfortable and have an easy rapport
with the builder?
Does the builder have experience in the size, type,
and price range of the home you are contemplating?
Ask to see homes he has completed in your price range.
In some cases you will be looking at an entire subdivision.
Is the builder also the developer?
Does he sell lots to other builders? In cases where
there are a number of builders in the same subdivision
there may be inconsistencies in the style, elevation,
or value of the home. This may be an issue if you sell
Look at the builder's model and a home under construction.
If a builder erects less expensive homes, he will often
use a lower quality group of subcontractors. If he builds
middle- to upper-end homes, he will then employ subcontractors
and craftsman using higher quality materials with a
greater level of expertise.
Beware of a builder who does most of the work himself.
Craftsman and contractors who specialize in one field
are skilled experts and do the best job. If your builder
does everything from basement footings to roofing and
trim, ask yourself how good he is at each task, as he
does not have the same level of experience as a specialist.
Is he a full-time homebuilder? Is he organized?
You should be presented with plans and specifications
that are organized and professional. Does he have an
office and experienced staff?
Make sure everything is in writing.
Does he have a system for change orders? Insist on a
copy of every paper you sign. This will prevent disputes
Who owns the company?
Drive around the subdivision and look for him. This
serves two purposes; it shows you are interested, but
more importantly it lets you know if he is on the site.
A builder who is there during working hours will watch
your home better than a foreman. After all, the builder
has a reputation to maintain.
Carefully compare, item by item, what is being proposed
in the house plans.
If there is a large difference in price between builders,
it will almost always be in the quality of the labor
and materials. Be sure you understand what is considered
standard and upgrade in the home. At Viola Homes we
assume our Customers want high quality finishes as standard.
Some builders present a lower price, but Customers will
have to upgrade to get the quality they need.
Ask the builder how long his subcontractors have
been working with him.
Exercise caution if they are all relatively new. When
a long and solid working relationship exists, there
is less chance for mistakes.
Look at quality of the products in the home.
Check the factory warranties. If the builder uses an
item with a 10-year factory warranty, chances are excellent
the product will last that long. Beware the one-year
warranty; it is probably not as good a product.