A home builder proposal will spell out all the costs and details of your new home up front, so you know exactly what you're getting. A homeowner who is clear on the details at the outset is less likely to make changes down the road. Fewer changes means you're more likely to complete your project on budget.
Building a new home (regardless of size) is a huge undertaking. Your home is probably one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime. You want to do everything possible to make sure you are getting the greatest value for your money. Value doesn’t always mean the least expensive route. Sometimes it means paying more up front for materials and workmanship that will last far into the future, with lower operating costs.
Ultimately, all the costs associated with building a new home will be paid by the you as the homeowner. There are steps you can take before a single nail is hammered. to ensure you get the best bang for your buck.
Before You Ask For A Home Builder Proposal
The more clear you are about your requirements, the easier it will be for the builder to give you the kind of home builder proposal you want. It's also a good way to start building a relationship with your builder, as it takes teamwork to build a house.
- Do your research.
- Ask trusted professionals, like architects, plumbers and handymen who they recommend.
- Ask friends, family and colleagues who've built homes, for their recommendations.
- Get recommendations from local, reputable building supply stores.
- Ask your preferred home builders for references and CHECK the references.
- Make in-person visits to homes that will be similar to yours, and pay attention to the details … and ask owners about the experience they had working with the builder.
For help finding the right builder or other contractors, see our guide for Finding and Hiring the Right Home Contractors.
Reviewing A Home Builder Proposal
Once you’ve done all the background work, it’s time to sit down and compare the proposals you've received. There is no standard format for home builder proposals and the devil, as they say, is in the details.
Coleen Dolan, owner of Certified Lead Services and Certified Lead Specialist says a well qualified home builder proposal is “one that is all inclusive of all aspects of the project; this may make the price higher than all the rest, but it must contain and be expressive of all items and work to be performed.”
The documents that make up a home builder proposal should contain detailed information about every aspect of the project. It should also include the most up-to-date costs for the materials to be used. The more detailed the proposal and resulting contract, the fewer changes will be made once construction begins. And fewer changes equals less expensive in the long run.
According to Dolan, the following items are all part of a qualified home builder proposal:
- Exact architectural/design drawings.
- Comparable product selections.
- Exact scope of work.
- Awareness and documentation of applicable laws and building codes.
- Materials and/or installation methods must be at or above a level deemed professional.
- Company submitting proposal must be properly licensed, insured and a registered business (more than 5 years).
- Company must be registered with the Better Business Bureau and maintain an A or A+ rating.
- Electricians, plumbers and/or architects must all be licensed.
- Project managers and carpenters should be included on team.
- A complete timeline from start to finish should be provided.
These are the first steps towards creating the home of your dreams, built on budget and schedule.
Have you built a home? Do you have any “must have” tips for home builder proposals?