Building a new home is the largest investment most people will make in their lifetime. It is very important that you get it right the first time. You don't want to just hire "Chuck in a Truck" to build your new home. You will want to hire only the best new home builder.
There is a lot more to it than just choosing the best custom home builder for your project. While there are many good builders in Houston, finding a good builder is only one aspect of building a new home. It is essential to get all of the aspects correct on the first try to ensure success.
You should take steps to ensure that your project is on time, on budget and meets your quality standards. It is essential is to hire a builder who can take this enormous challenge off of your shoulders. Your builder should handle all of the many facets of the new home building process for you, 100% turnkey. As the owner, you always want to be in a position where everything that goes wrong during the construction process is the builder's responsibility to address. This helps avoid finger pointing and you’re not left on the hook for problems that arise. For example, hiring an architect that you thought seemed great, but drafted a set of flawed plans city inspectors keep rejecting.
Believe it or not, this is an advantage for the builder also. More often than not, when owners attempt to “help” the builder by “getting the plans” or “doing the demo”, it results in added costs, additional problems, delays and frustrations in the process almost every time. If you are serious about hiring the best new home building company for your project, you need to learn what you should be asking them.
Remember, you will likely be working together for 6 to 12 months in a business relationship. So as in any relationship, there needs to be trust and clear, honest communication. Here is what you should be asking to make sure you are getting what you need - which is a 100% turnkey new home builder.
1. Are you a 100% turnkey builder?
The answer should be unequivocally “YES”. If not, either prepare to work your rear end off and pay a lot more money for additional professional services, or run. Those are your options. You should be selecting a builder who can provide you a turnkey price which includes the following:
Pre-Construction Cost Analysis & Construction Consulting;
Land Surveying and, if required, Replatting Services;
Demolition Services, as required;
Professional Design Advisory;
Architectural Drawings and Engineered Structural Plans;
Building Permits and Accompanying Affidavits;
Construct Project Management & Oversight, Materials and Labor;
Trash Services, Portable Restroom Services & Security Fencing; and
Post-Construction Warranty Service.
CRV Homes is a great example of a Builder providing all of the above services and many more. CRV Homes offers new construction Houston homes starting at a standard price of $120 per square foot for homebuyers and those who would like to build on your lot.
2. What is your reputation and how do I know if you are credible?
You should select a builder that is a good standing member of the Greater Houston Builders Association, Texas Association of Builders and National Association of Home Builders. If you are working with a builder who isn’t, perhaps you aren’t dealing with a real builder at all. Maybe it is just “Chuck in a truck”, and you should keep looking for the right builder.
At CRV Homes, we are active and contributing members of the above associations and we make continuing education a priority. Our homes are inspected by engineers to ensure compliance with building codes and our stringent quality requirements. We utilize third party consultants to perform inspections during and after completion on every home. Our professional builders conduct daily project management and oversight of all work. You should make sure that your builder does the same.
3. Do you have “Green” and energy efficient building practices?
This can be a tricky question. Why? Because anyone can just say they build “green” and energy efficient. But you need to dig just a little bit further and find out what specifically the builder does to validate their assertions.
For comparison sake, like many other builders, CRV Homes also commits to building green, energy efficient homes. We are environmentally responsible and build using materials, appliances, and mechanical systems that reduce the carbon footprint and decrease energy consumption in our homes. As a result, our homes are more energy efficient and you save on utility bills.
For example, our homes have reduced energy consumption by using LED lighting and advanced thermo-insulating installation techniques. We also provide a Tech-Shield Radiant Barrier, roof ventilation, 16 SEER HVAC systems, and programmable thermostats. Our appliances are Energy Star rated and we use Low-E windows. Most importantly, a third party energy HERS rating firms inspects our completed homes and certifies them with an energy certificate of efficiency. You should make sure that your builder does the same.
4. Will I get a Smart Home technology package included for no additional cost?
Okay, it’s 2019! It would be quite frankly a little silly to build any new home that doesn't automatically include Smart Home technology. You shouldn't have to ask when you buy a brand new car if it has power windows and speakers - nowadays most new cars come standard with much more than that. Why should a new home be any different? Unfortunately, "Chuck in a Truck" may not see it that way so you need to be careful.
For example, buying a CRV Home includes smart home technology as a standard feature. We have partnered with technology companies to build the leading-edge solutions right into your new home at no additional cost. With CRV Homes, your new Smart Home is the standard! It is built right into your new home.
We are including on all new homes contracted in 2019 a Nest Smart Home technology package. Our package includes a Nest Video Doorbell and Outdoor Camera. Also included is a Nest Thermostat, Levition WiFi Light Switches, and USB charging ports. For your added security we include a Nest x Yale Front Door Lock.
5. What kind of warranty do you offer and how does it work?
In Texas, new home builders are required to provide you with a warranty by law - but the warranty requirements aren't very clear and that's not good for home buyers. Some builders use the standard TREC contract, while more professional builders have their own contracts outlining their warranties, which are typically better for you because they include higher standards and specifics. In each type of contract, the builder makes no warranties other than those set forth elsewhere in the contract, in a separate document, or as provided by law. The first two are easy to figure out—if such conditions or documents don’t exist, there are no other warranties.
But what about those warranties “provided by law”?
Current Texas law provides two implied warranties in connection with new home construction:
Implied Warranty of Good Workmanship; and
Implied Warranty of Habitability.
A buyer can file suit against a builder if a new home isn’t constructed in a good and workmanlike manner, using industry standards. It also must be suitable for habitation, safe and sanitary. Claims based on a breach of these implied warranties provided by law may require legal action to determine the merit of any such claims.
We appreciate the importance of excellent customer service - to keep you satisfied. CRV Homes stand by our quality craftsmanship and back it up with our express limited warranty. Our warranty includes a 1-year workmanship warranty, 2-year major mechanical warranty, and a 10-year structural warranty. The products in your home are also protected with product warranties from trusted, reputable manufacturers we work with. CRV Homes is proud of the robust warranty we provide our valued homeowners. We're always looking to give you the best service possible!
In conclusion, please remember that building a new home is a huge financial and emotional investment. Please take the extra time to do a thorough check on any prospective builder's workmanship, references, and credentials. There are a lot more questions you should be asking once you identify the right builder for you. Finding and choosing the right custom home builder for your project may be difficult and possibly awkward at times. You are embarking on one of the biggest purchases of your life so you need to be confident in your decision. Do your homework and understand the process and you will reap the rewards with a beautiful home built to your specifications.
And remember, you want to use a builder who is 100% turnkey. If you would like to contact CRV Homes to see how we can help build you a quality, efficient, smart home, please come see us at www.BuildinHouston.com. Our phone number is on the front page so feel free to call or chat live online anytime. We would be happy to talk to you.
By the way, one last shameless plug... CRV Homes knows the importance of excellent customer service. CRV Homes has high ethical and professional standards, and we are committed to providing our customers with exceptional services and quality products. Additionally, we know it is exciting to build a new home so our construction professionals keep you updated on progress via phone, text, email, and even photos - every step of the way!
We try our hardest to be a responsible builder and environmentally friendly!