A SHORT GUIDE TO FINDING THE RIGHT BUILDER FOR YOUR OUTER BANKS HOME
Building a home on the Outer Banks can be a very satisfying and rewarding experience. Choosing a quality home builder for your project is paramount to it’s success, so be sure to take time to do your homework. Here are a few things to help find the Outer Banks builder that’s right for you?
THE RIGHT FIT: Find a quality outer banks home builder that’s right for you and your project. The Outer Banks is home to many residential contractors and home builders. Some contractors specialize in a particular style, size or price range while others build a broad range of homes. Some companies are large and some small. Some have in house design teams and others outsource the design. Start by defining your projects size, style and budget. Decide if you need a professional in-house design team that will follow the project through completion. Then determine if you want to use a large corporate company or a small hands on contractor. Defining your projects needs is key to finding an Outer Banks builder that best suits your project.
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION: Find out what previous customers have to say. Above all, talking to previous customers is one of the most important steps when choosing your Outer Banks home builder. The information you can obtain from a previous customer is invaluable. A trustworthy builder will proudly, and without hesitation, provide you with testimonials and references. If you didn’t receive a list of references from your potential builder be sure to ask for them. A satisfied or dissatisfied customer will enjoy sharing their building experience with you so don’t hesitate to contact them.
EXPERIENCE: Don’t confuse experience for quality and visa versa. You cannot discount experience as it is one of the most important attributes in construction. However, experience does not make a quality Outer Banks builder. Not every experienced architect is a quality architect. Not every experienced doctor is a quality doctor. And not every experienced home builder is a quality home builder. Fact is, every home building company, including the top quality firms, once built their first home. Most new or start-up companies are founded by highly experienced and qualified builders, so don’t be quick to discount them. Instead look for strong overall experience within the company as well of signs of quality construction when evaluating experience.
TRUST AND COMMITMENT: Building a home is a balancing act between the design, the construction and the budget. It is imperative you partner with a builder who is committed to your project and one that you trust unequivocally. The relationship you form with your Outer Banks builder will be paramount for the projects success. With home construction lasting from 6-18 months, it is crucial to develop not only a professional relationship with your builder but a personal one as well. A great relationship with a builder who is committed to you, the design and the quality of your home will pay dividends in the end.
QUALITY AND DETAIL: A well built-quality home becomes quite apparent if you know what to look for. Take some time to tour a few homes that the company has built. Be sure to look at both new and older homes. Most new homes look great at first glance but viewing older homes gives an idea of how they hold up to the test of time. Look for quality and detail in every aspect of the home. What products are being used? What brand cabinetry and counters are in the homes? What type of doors are being used and how do they fit? Look at the miters and joints on the trim? How is the outside detailed and what products are used? Look at the appliances, toilets, tubs, plumbing fixtures and lighting, are they reputable brands? Don’t get caught up by the look of the home, dig into whats underneath the presentation, that’s were you will determine the quality.
LICENSED AND INSURED: Be sure your dealing with a licensed and insured general contractor. North Carolina requires a residential contractors license for home construction and any construction project over thirty thousand dollars, so be sure to ask your contractor for his/her license number. You can check online with the NC Board of General Contractors at www.nclbgc.org. Be sure to check the license type, status and validity. In addition to a valid license, be sure your builder is insured. Workman’s Compensation, General Liability Insurance and Builders Risk are the typical insurances which should be present throughout a typical building project. Discuss this with your potential Outer Banks builder and be sure the insurances are in place during the building process.
WARRANTY SERVICE: One of the advantages of building a new home on the Outer Banks verses buying one is the warranty. A new home and everything within it, including all fixtures and appliances, should be warrantied for a minimum of one year. Some builders offer extended warranties and others handle extended service plans. Be sure to look for a structural warranty of 10 years or more. A builder who can offer this type of warranty stands behind his/her work and is willing to back it up. Ask previous clients about prompt warranty service. Was the service handled quickly and professionally or were the warranty items put on the back burner? Issues will arise in home construction, its just a fact, but how the issues are handled by the builder is key.
Lastly, you are entering into a long term commitment with your builder. Be sure you take the time to ask the right questions, check references and look for signs of quality and outstanding character. Doing your homework and choosing the right builder for your new home will make the entire process more enjoyable and run smoother for both you and your builder.
–blog by Michael K. York, The Coastal Cottage Company