Are you looking for Atlanta real estate, to remodel your current home, or just for a great deal? If you do your homework you will have a more successful experience (I remind my 6th grader of this all the time). June is national homeownership month, so as the weather in Atlanta heats up, look for tips from us on a variety of home related topics.
Use this handy checklist to select a home builder or home remodeler to work on your current home or build your dream home.
- Contact the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association at www.atlantahomebuilders.com for the names of member builders and remodelers.
- You can also ask family, friends or coworkers for recommendations or check out other posts on www.AtlantaRealEstateForum.com.
- Make sure the builder or home remodeler has a permanent business location and a good reputation with local banks and suppliers. In other words, get some referrals from them and check them out.
- Find out how long they have been in the building business. It usually takes three to five years to establish a financially sound business. You want to make sure they will be around after the construction is complete to service any warranties. Of course, in today’s Atlanta market you will find a number of highly reputable start-ups with deep building histories. Don’t overlook these companies just because they are new.
- Check out the company’s rating and if there have been any complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, Kudzu or other ratings services. Of course one of the best ways to do this is to Google the builders name. Review the results on page one, do you like what you see?
- Make sure the builder/remodeler has sufficient workers compensation and general liability insurance. If not, you may be liable for any construction-related accidents on your premises. (You might consider checking to see what your homeowner’s insurance will cover.)
- Ask the builder/remodeler to provide you with names of previous customers. If they won’t, beware. If they do, ask the customers if they would hire the builder/remodeler again.
- Ask if you can see the builder/remodelers work, both completed and in progress. Check for quality of workmanship and materials. So much of what is important during the building process gets hidden behind drywall. It is important to see it during the framing stage or other work in progress.
- 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 home.
- Make sure the builder/remodeler provides you with a complete and clearly written contract. The contract will benefit both of you. If you are having a new home built, get and review a copy of the home warranty and homeowner manual as well.
Be cautious of unusually low-priced bids. If the builder/remodeler is unable to pay for the materials and labor as the project proceeds, this may indicate a potential problem. Keep in mind that less expensive does not necessarily mean better!