Most people suppose that home experts that will give you home buying advice have no real experience in building. That does not necessarily disqualify them from giving advice for they may have expertise in analysis that simply comes from time to put in looking at various builders finished products.
Myself, I am a contractor and I have first-hand experience in building new homes, doing renovations, additions, and remodeling.
This gives me a different perspective the type of person mentioned above. I have seen firsthand the shortcuts that builders take not to mention the poor quality service that they provide on the back end.
Now that we’ve touched on the back end service quality let’s expand upon that subject. For the most part, the quality of the initial construction of any new home is generally about the same. That may come as a surprise to most people because each builder claims to be the best in terms of quality. However, the majority of the determining factors that constitute good structural building quality are actually determined by the building code and or engineering specifications. The building code has been built up through practice over hundreds of years of trial and error and the engineering specifications are determined by laboratory testing based on material strength, geometry, and other mathematical factors.
So suffice it to say, most of the structural aspects of I given home are predetermined by these criteria. As a builder, I see this in the building plans every day. The plans are laid out in a manner that does not allow for artistic interpretation and variation. They are very straightforward and the specs are quite clear. If the specifications are not followed local building inspectors Will ask for modification until the specifications are what is laid out in the predetermined plan.
So when builders talk about quality I have to question what they’re intending you to want to believe. The reason I say this is because when I overhear conversations about building quality he generally tends to lean towards structural elements. Of course, this is mainly men we are talking about as men tend to be more focused on the structural aspects of a building. Just seems to be male human nature.
If you really want to find out what kind of qualities that a homebuilder delivers I suggest you talk to previous customers. Previous customers of homebuilders shouldn’t be too difficult to find through a simple Internet search. Take a drive on a Sunday and knock off a few doors say that you’re a prospective buyer of one of the companies homes and that you would like a little bit of feedback. Most people are pretty polite and liked to talk about their purchases. I’m sure that you will get some honest feedback if you talk 4 or 5 different buyers.
Like I said previously I would be more concerned about service quality after the purchase than the actual quality prior to the purchase. Any builder can go the extra mile on one other model homes and make sure that every nail pop, scratch, blemish and tear can we polish to perfection so as to give the illusion that their homes are infallible and perfect. But the real facts are revealed in the volume of houses they build for the general population every day. Let’s face it, building materials particularly wood are not perfect. As would dries and building settle things to get loose, nails pop out, drying lumber warps and many other unpredictable things happen. You can’t fault the builder for any of this.
What you can fault them for is how they handle these situations and this will be revealed clearly by previous home owners who have purchased from this particular builder.
Another tip is to visit a current building site of one of the prospective builders you’re intending to buy from. If you go to one of the sites on a Saturday you should be able to find some units that are in the late stages of development in terms of their finishing. Many homes will sit for a period of time waiting for things like plumbing and lighting fixtures to be put in. This is a good time to see the fit and finish of things like drywall, paint, carpet, trim etc.
Of course, some of the units will be locked but many trades work extra hours on Saturday and typically the building superintendents are you there nonexistent are few and far between. This will give you a chance to have a look at the unit and possibly even talk to some other finishing trades and get their opinion on the quality of the builder. Surprisingly enough many trades Will be quite frank as to their opinion of the quality of the builders fit and finish and service. We builders here a lot of things around the site and can be quite knowledgeable about what goes on.
Anyway, there are a couple of useful tips that you won’t hear every day. Take them to the bank.