Need great questions for a builder's references.
June 6, 2020 8:16 AM   Subscribe

Which questions should I ask of a home builder, specifically a tiny house builder?

This week I started a conversation with a tiny house builder. I asked him for references and he was happy to send me a couple.

I've never hired a builder for a WHOLE HOUSE before, although I've worked with contractors on small projects.

Which questions should I ask?

Here's a model list.
posted by Sheydem-tants to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I am considering an addition and I picked up
The Homeowner's Guide to Managing a Renovation by Susan Solakian. It is very detailed and has a vendor interview log with good questions. The rest of the book might be helpful for managing the project as well.
posted by vespabelle at 8:26 AM on June 6, 2020 [3 favorites]

Get their insurance and worker's comp insurance certifications, and copies of any state licensure and verify them.
posted by theora55 at 12:10 PM on June 6, 2020

From my experience - and it was a costly and highly inconvenient experience - a builder is only as good as his subs. My builder's roofing sub was a moron, possibly a drunk moron, and put my complex (modern addition, multiple roof levels) roof on without knowing what the heck he was doing. I developed costly leaking that was slow to reveal itself and very expensive to remediate because by the time it was caught, it had done major structural damage.

If I had it to do over again, I would want to know how long the builder had been working with the subs and what specific expertise the subs had with my type of work. For instance, I would have insisted that my builder contract with a roofing sub that had extensive experience with modern homes and flat roofs. I would have taken a high level of specific experience over a long-standing relationship with the builder. In your case, I would want to know how many of the subs had worked on tiny homes. I would want to talk to the subs references too.

This may seem like a level of due diligence that is overkill but it could save you a ton of headaches later. Asking for this level of information about the subs gives you the opportunity to see how comfortable the builder is standing behind the quality of the work for everyone that touches your project. I'd nix a builder who got pissy about providing in-depth references for his subs.
posted by MissPitts at 11:35 AM on June 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

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