Building a home is an exciting adventure, and when you collaborate with seasoned industry professionals, it can be a rewarding experience. Your home is a gathering place where you will create beautiful memories and live out your dreams. That’s why it’s important to choose the right builder. Here are 8 questions to ask so there are no surprises – before, during, and after the build.
1. What Features Are Included in the Base Price?
Upgrades are great – they give your new home extra pizazz, create additional focal points, and add a personal touch. However, many builders charge an arm and a leg for upgrades, so make sure to find out what features are included. Many of Fischer & Frichtel’s collections include additional options in the base price. For example: upgraded cabinets, granite countertops, and/or landscape packages.
2. Who Will Help Me Choose Features and Finishes?
Make sure your home builder employs professional designers to help you select your home’s features and finishes! Fischer & Frichtel’s Home Center Design Consultants are industry professionals who guide their customers through each step of the selection process and collaborate with them to express their individuality, from floor to ceiling, inside and out.
3. Can I Make Design Changes?
Home builders create portfolios of floor plans with your family’s needs in mind. If you’ve found an almost-perfect floor plan but want to make a few changes, be sure to find a builder willing to make the adjustments you want to the plan. Fischer & Frichtel‘s Home Center Design Consultants often make modifications to floor plans while collaborating with customers to personalize their homes. For example: adding extra space to a room, or moving the location of a door or closet.
4. Who Will Actually Build My Home?
Experience, skills and craftsmanship are the keys to a well-built home. Ask your builder about the background of the professionals who build their homes, and if they are employed, or subcontracted out. Fischer & Frichtel employs its own carpenters, many of whom have been with the company for more than 10 years, and some for more than 20 years! The head of F&F Carpentry Specialties has been with the company for 26 years, and all construction project managers have 20 or more years of industry experience. F&F does contract out some specialties, such as roofing and electric. However, the majority of its contractors have been with them for more than 30 years, and some for more than 40 years!
5. Are You a Union Builder?
Union members are required to complete up to 6,000 hours of training before they can enter the field, so they are more educated, experienced and reliable, which ensures the desirability and durability of the homes they build. A more reliable workforce also reduces safety issues, the need for last minute replacements, and extended building schedules, which can really drive up production costs. Union labor is truly the best value for you and your builder—especially since bids from union vs non-union contractors are surprisingly close in cost. For those reasons and more, Fischer & Frichtel insists on using union labor in all of their communities.
6. Will You Take Me on a Pre-Drywall Walk Through?
After framing, and before the drywall is installed, walking through the home with your project manager gives you a chance to make sure it is being built the way you expected. It also allows you to see how the electrical and plumbing systems are installed, and visualize the placement of your outlets, switches and other essentials. At Fischer & Frichtel, the pre-drywall walk through is an important part of the customer experience.
7. Who Provides the Warranty?
It’s easy to push the warranty of your new home to the back of your mind, and think: “It’s new! What could go wrong?” but it’s always best to be prepared. Make sure you understand the terms of your warranty and the company behind it. Fischer & Frichtel homes are covered by a 10 year limited warranty through RWC (Residential Warranty Company). During the first and second year, claims are managed by Fischer & Frichtel and/or the contractors who built your home. Ask your builder if they immediately hand off the warranty to an outside company!
8. Can I Work with My Realtor?
Some builders refuse to work alongside the customer’s realtor, which is a huge red flag. Make sure to choose a builder who is not only willing to work with your realtor, but happy to work with him or her! Fischer & Frichtel understands the importance of realtors for some customers’ home buying experience, so they encourage those partnerships and welcome them to be a part of the process every step of the way.
With these eight questions in your back pocket, you should be ready to start interviewing potential home builders. A great place to begin is with Fischer & Frichtel Homes—voted Best Home Builder of 2017 in the Post-Dispatch Reader’s Choice Awards. Visit our area communities page to inspire your property search, or connect with our New Home Specialist, Kim Kelly, to discuss your needs, and find the right home and community for you.