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10 Questions to Ask When You Visit a Builder’s Show Home

10 Questions to Ask When You Visit a Builder’s Show Home

It can be a daunting task to decide on a builder for your new home. These ten questions will help differentiate between builders and give you the confidence to make this important decision.

10 Questions to Ask When You Visit a Builder’s Show Home Couple Image1. How long has the company been in business, and how many homes have they built?

This is an important question to ask. When a company has been around for a few years, they have a reputation. You’ll be able to do an internet search about previous homes built and check to see if any complaints have been lodged against the company.

2. Is the builder insured and registered with the Canadian Homebuilder’s Association (CHA)?

A reputable builder will always carry insurance, and it’s perfectly okay for you to ask to see proof of it. Registration with the CHA means that the home builder agrees to follow their guidelines for doing business according to established standards.

3. If you decide to go forward, will you be able to speak with former customers?

Most quality home builders will gladly set you up with former satisfied clients. It’s helpful to find out if their build went as planned and how the builder handled unexpected problems.

4. Which features are standard and included with the home, and which ones are upgrades?

It can get confusing as to what’s included when you look at models and brochures. These advertising tools are the builder’s chance to put their best foot forward, and it’s likely they’ll include more than the standard features. Make sure you get a clear description of what to expect.

5. What additional goods and services are included in the build?

Most builders establish relationships with mortgage professionals to try and get a better deal for their homebuyers. Another perk that’s often available is access to home design tools. Make sure you find out everything that’s included, including how much landscaping to expect, if any.

10 Questions to Ask When You Visit a Builder’s Show Home Kitchen Image6. At what point do you have to make a final decision on flooring, cabinets, paint colour, lighting, and other features? 

You may have a pretty good idea how you want your new home to look, but it could change as construction progresses. Make sure you know when the cut-off is for decisions, and write down those dates.

7. Is there a completion schedule that indicates how much of the home will be finished by certain dates? 

Most builders will be happy to share the proposed dates for finishing each stage with you. However, keep in mind that availability of materials and labour may affect the schedule.

8. How often will you get updates on progress and be able to visit the construction site?

Some builders allow you to view the construction site at certain times during the construction. Your builder should be open to letting you visit regularly, as long as you give advance notice.

9. Once the home is built, what’s the process for taking care of details that need to be fixed?

Knowing how quickly you’ll get help after the sale gives you peace of mind. There are always a few last finishing touches that crop up after you move in, and a reliable builder will expect this and take care of it speedily.

10. What kind of home warranty is offered?

Find out what’s covered by the home warranty. At a minimum, your new home should be covered for labour and materials for a full year. Heating, plumbing and electrical systems should be covered for two years, and the exterior should have a five-year warranty. Major structural elements like the frame and foundation generally have a ten-year warranty. Most reputable builders offer the 1-2-5-10 coverage through The Alberta New Home Warranty Program.

This list gives you the ability to determine what’s really being offered by each contractor and what you can expect during the process. It’s a useful tool for comparing builders to find out which one offers exactly what you’re looking for in a new home.

If you found this article informative, check out part 1 of our list of Calgary home builders.


Photo credits: couple with agent, kitchen, couple

About The Author

Casey C.

I enjoy long walks on the beach...just kidding. Diehard Oilers Fan (#SorryNotSorry). Old Man Millennial.

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