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Old 01-21-2009, 09:57 AM   #1
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How Many Quotes?


I am new around here so please be nice

We are going to be building a house soon. We have narrowed down our house plans to 2-3 in a good square footage range. We were thinking of getting bids from 3 builders.

Would you recommend 3? More? Less? We have a few people that we would prefer to use (we like the tile guy who has done previous remodels for us, etc.) so we will let the builders know up front.

We have the land already so now it is just finding people.

Any tips (books to read, articles, helpful hints on interviewing these people) are greatly appreciated!!

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Old 01-21-2009, 12:28 PM   #2
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How Many Quotes?


Your home is the single most expensive purchase and I recommend 5 builders.

This is a buyers market, but you really should have one complete plan for all to bid on (NOT 2-3). Make sure all of your bids are an apple to apple comparison. Any specifics to your home should be included on your RFQ.

You are hiring a builder to construct your home and let him/her do their job and they alone are responsible for your satisfaction. Do not dictate the subs that they will use.

Good luck

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Old 01-21-2009, 12:51 PM   #3
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Agreed, dictating to the builder what subs you want used is not common practice and would be unacceptable to most builders. If they have any respect or loyalty to their own subcontractors...Something that should be viewed favorably by you...They'll decline to bid the house using your subcontractor(s).

How many bids doesn't matter. The bids are only one facet of researching a builder. Comparing bids on a new home is pretty much impossible. You're buying a builder's services to create a home his way and your way. Nobody does it the same...They aren't like assembling TV's.

First, find homes they've built. Go to the city or county for those records. Go to those homes and knock on the door. Ask the homeowner their experiences. Asking the builder for references is fine, but they're not going to give you references that will say anything but good things about them. Go door to door and do your research. People who aren't happy will let you know, and vice-versa.

Then check the city or county court records for litigation the builder has been involved in. It is public record, much of it is available online. Does he owe people money? Did he get sued by subs? Does he have delinquent taxes? Have any customers filed suits against him? Does he have six DUI convictions? Drug charges? All this information is very valuable to have before you trust him with your largest investment.

Also, check with the City or County for issues with his builders license. Is it current? Does he get acceptable finals for all his projects? Since it is also public record, it can be interesting to look through the records of a home he's built. Did he pass all the inspections? Did he fight the codes people? Any glaring issues?
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiredsigh View Post
I am new around here so please be nice

We are going to be building a house soon. We have narrowed down our house plans to 2-3 in a good square footage range. We were thinking of getting bids from 3 builders.

Would you recommend 3? More? Less? We have a few people that we would prefer to use (we like the tile guy who has done previous remodels for us, etc.) so we will let the builders know up front.

We have the land already so now it is just finding people.

Any tips (books to read, articles, helpful hints on interviewing these people) are greatly appreciated!!
You mentioned you are down to 2-3 floor plans. Do you have an architect drawing up plans, or are you ordering from a catalog? If you are using an architect, have them draw up a detailed specification sheet so all of your builders are bidding the same info. If you are looking at plans from a catalog, talk to a few builders first and see if they have one of their standard plans that is close to your requirements. You'll get a better price building a standard plan with a few modifications versus going completely custom.
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