Building a new home, remodeling your present home or even changing out your hot water heater, air conditioning unit or painting your home is a major investment. As you begin planning to build or improve your home there are important steps you should take to ensure that your investment is a wise one and that you are protected from loss or disappointment.

3 Questions to Ask When Looking for the Right Builder ore Remodeler

Though builders might generally use similar tools and materials when building ore remodeling homes, not all are alike when it comes to things like technique, training and customer service. Finding the right builder whose business approach aligns well with your personal preferences is essential to a pleasant home-building experience.

The builder will be asking you plenty of questions during your initial meeting to discuss the home you envision. But the questions you ask the builder are equally important to determine if it’s going to be a positive partnership. Consider asking the builder about the following:

Work Experience – You will want to find a builder with extensive experience building homes similar to the one you want. Ask to see examples of floor plans and designs they’ve done before to ensure their company can deliver what you need. You should also ask if they have or are working toward any professional designations, which show that the builder has advanced professional training in a particular area. A few examples of such designations include a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS), a Graduate Master Builder (CMB), and a Certified Green Professional (CGP).

References – Any high-quality builder should be ready to provide you with several names and phone numbers of satisfied customers. If they can’t, consider that a red flag and walk away. When reaching out to those former clients, ask about how well the builder followed through on the initial plans, and if the builder met their expectations regarding budget and timing. Don’t forget the most telling question of them all: If they could do it all over, would they hire that builder again?

Communication Style – Many builders will do their best to accommodate your communication preferences. But it’s always best to establish expectations as early as possible. The frequency (weekly, monthly, as-needed, etc.) and method (phone, text, email) of how you communicate early on with each other is something that will set the tone throughout the whole building process.

For more information about how to find the right builder ore remodeler to create your dream home, contact the Tallahassee Builders Association at 850.385.1414.

Additional Resources

Advice on Financing your First Home

The Not So Obvious Benefits of Buying a New Home

Homeownership: Opportunity is Knocking

Hire a Licensed Contractor

Parade of Homes 2018 Online Digital Magazine


Choosing a Career in Construction

Did you know that it takes an average of 22 different subcontractors to build a home?

October is Careers in Construction Month and it’s a perfect time to recognize the contributions of all the professionals working in residential construction as well as highlight the rewarding careers available in the industry.

Indeed, a home builder relies on a number of highly trained workers to get the job done right. This includes dozens of skilled artisans and professionals, including carpenters, architects, engineers, plumbers, electricians, painters and landscapers. Analysis from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) shows that 70% of builders typically use somewhere between 11 and 30 subcontractors to build a single-family home.

As the housing market continues to strengthen, home builders across the country and here in Tallahassee and our surrounding counties our industry is seeking skilled workers – such as carpenters, framers and roofers – to help them build the American Dream. In fact, according to NAHB analysis of the federal government’s latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, the number of open construction sector jobs (on a seasonally adjusted basis) rose to 214,000 in July.

This means there is ample opportunity for motivated students seeking a rewarding career path. Residential construction workers consistently express high job satisfaction. And average salaries in the Big Bend remain competitive with other industries in our area. For example, the average annual salary for the following trades recorded by NAHB as: Carpenters ($39,810); Electricians ($42,820) and Roofers ($34,430). And projections from all sources predict that construction jobs will see steady wage growth for at least the next five year.

The building trades offer a great career path. And, the residential construction industry is one of the few sectors where demand for new workers is rising. Parents, teachers, counselors and students must once again recognize that a vocational education can offer satisfying career paths and financial gains.

To learn more about job opportunities in Tallahassee, visit Visit Lively Technical Center or the Tallahassee Community College for details on programs in Housing. Both schools offer certification programs and dual enrollment for High School Students.