Finding and Hiring a Builder or Remodeler
When you are looking for a builder or remodeler, here are some things to keep in mind:
Seek a professional: Look for companies that are licensed and insured and emphasize customer service, quality and integrity.
License: Make sure your builder holds a current Builder License with the State of Michigan. VERIFY A LICENSE HERE
Insurance: Your builder should have workers compensation insurance and liability insurance. Ask them for proof of insurance.
Contract: You should obtain a written contract that outlines all of the specifics of your building project. New Home Construction Agreements have been made available for current members of the Home Builders Association of Western Michigan. The member number should be listed on page 1 of the document. Contact us or check the online directory to be sure they are members. These documents are copwritten and all other usage makes these forms void.
Payments: Your contract should outline the terms of payments, referred to as a payment schedule. Never pay in cash. Be sure you are comfortable with your payment schedule and have your attorney review the terms.
Customer service: A member company that’s truly committed to client satisfaction will emphasize outstanding service from every member of its team and maintain a professional approach in every interaction.
Communication: Do you feel you can easily communicate with the builder/remodeler? Remember you will be in close contact with them throughout the construction process and afterward as you live in your new or remodeled home. Ask what the process for change orders will be and how they will communicated about its affect to the budget.
Quality: Be careful when assessing the prices set by different builders. The quality of the materials and service can make a significant difference in cost.
Integrity: Is your prospective builder trustworthy? Are they actively involved with a professional organization like the Home Builders Association of Western Michigan?
References: A reputable builder will be glad to provide you with names of former clients, as well as suppliers, subcontractors and consultants such as architects and engineers with whom they’ve worked.
Warranties: Ask if the builder provides a warranty and how many years are covered or if there are any exclusions. New Home Express Limited Warranties have been made available for current members of the Home Builders Association of Western Michigan. The member number should be listed on page 1 of the document. Contact us or check the online directory to be sure they are members. These documents are copwritten and all other usage makes these forms void.
Special Certifications: If you are planning work in a pre-1978 home that will disturb more than six square feet of painted surfaces inside the home or 20 square feet on the exterior of the home, verify that your remodeler is an EPA Lead-Safe Certified Renovator. Learn more about the EPA's lead paint rule HERE.