The most important choice you will make on your new home is which builder to hire. Following is a list of questions to ask your potential builder.

  • Is the owner of your company a South Carolina Licensed Residential Builder? Are there other licensed builders in your firm?
    • How long have you been in business?
    • How long have you been in business under your current name?
    • Have you ever done business under another name? If so, why did you change names?
    • Is your company Incorporated or an LLC?
    • Please provide information regarding the company‚Äôs financial stability.
    • Have you ever filed Bankruptcy?
  • What type(s) of insurances do you currently hold?
    • What are the insurance limits?
  • How many homes do you currently have under construction?
  • How many homes has your company built in the Hilton Head/Bluffton area?
    • Please provide a list of every home you have ever built in this county.
  • Who will be building my home?
    • Will I have a dedicated Project Manager?
    • If so, can I meet him/her?
  • Do you have a physical office?
    • Are you a locally based company?
  • Do you have a full time Accountant/ Bookkeeper to manage my funds during the build process?
    • How will I be protected against liens on my home?
  • What is your Business Model?
  • Do you have a Website?
  • Do you have a Selection Coordinator or Designer that assists your clients?
    • How do you handle selections and design elements?
    • Do you have an In House Design Center?
  • How many people does your company currently employ?
  • What phases of construction do your employees handle?
    • Should something happen to the primary person building my house, who will complete the build?
  • Who in your company handles the ARB process, before and during construction?
  • Do you offer any In-House Crews or sub contract everything out?
  • What is your procedure for selecting Subcontractors and/or Vendors?
    • Do you have a contract with them?
    • What type of insurance and limits do you require of your Subcontractors?
  • Does your construction agreement include a complete list of detailed Specifications and Allowances?
  • How are the following fees handled by your company:
    • architectural design
    • tree and topography survey
    • landscape plan
    • drainage plan
    • structural plans
    • Architectural Review Board fees
    • ARB stakeout plan?
    • How much are the above fees?
  • How do you handle the county/town permitting fees?
    • Water and sewer tap fee?
    • How much are these fees?
  • If I live out of the area, how do the processes work and what measures will you take to ensure a comfort level when building from a distant location?
  • What types of Green Building do you incorporate in your standard construction practices?
  • Do you offer an online software program to keep me organized and informed throughout the building process?
  • Do you offer computer rendering services for the homes you design?
  • Do you send weekly photos of my home to keep me informed of progress?

8 Response Comments

  • Annie Frances  May 5, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    My parents are planning to build a custom home when they retire so I have been helping them do research. The last question actually stood out to me the most because it would be great to be in constant contact with the contractor. Weekly photos of the house would definitely calm my worry a lot.

  • Jen Pack  June 1, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    My husband and I have decided that it is time for us to have our own custom home built, so I really appreciate this information. I like how you point out the importance of asking potential builders what type of insurance they currently hold so that you know you are covered. I imagine that in addition to asking the correct questions, we will also want to do our research online to find companies that other people have been satisfied with. Thanks for sharing this!

  • David Hawkins  June 7, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    That’s a really good idea to make sure your custom home builder is licensed. I’ve been looking at getting a home built and I definitely want to make sure the quality is very high. I’ll have to ask these questions you’ve listed to any potential home builder I hire. Thanks for the advice!

  • Daron  July 12, 2016 at 11:29 am

    fEvEEveryone must disscuss everything with the home builders company before start work. Everything must be disclosed about the project so that they can’t cheat with you. Love this discussion. Thank you

  • April Cook  August 5, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    We are thinking of building a custom home, but I am overwhelmed by all that I need to do and the task of finding a good home builder. I like your tip to ask who exactly will be building your home and ask to meet those people. I can see how this would be important especially if you are working with a larger building firm. Thanks for all these great suggestions. I’ll make sure to ask these questions.

  • Leviticus Bennett  February 24, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    I have heard of people waiting nearly a year for a custom house to be built with right as the builder declares bankruptcy and flees the country. Consequently the house gets tied up in the legal issues and is no longer available. So I strongly agree that it’s a good idea to research a builder and ask if bankruptcy has ever been a problem.

  • Alex Dean  May 23, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    My husband and I are ready to start building our dream house, but first things first, we need to find a home builder. I like how you pointed that when it comes to looking at potential builders, we need to ask them who specifically will be building our dream house. Especially if they are going to have a dedicated project manager, that way we can meet the crew and know if this is the one for us. That is something that we are going to look into.

  • Bobby Saint  October 24, 2017 at 7:14 am

    I like that you were able to provide some basic questions to ask before hiring a home builder. Some of these questions such as how long the contractor has been in business and if they are licensed are essential because you certainly would like to hire someone who is reputable in the industry. If I were to look for one, I would definitely ask the same set of questions. Thanks for sharing.

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