Homebuilding and Remodeling Process

Starting Your Search

The selection of a builder is a critical step when building a new home. Membership in the HBA shows that a builder cares about their company’s history and integrity and adheres to professional standards that every home buyer should seek.

The Home Builders Association of Greater Cleveland has a list of member builders who construct well-built single and multifamily homes. Members of our association subscribe to a Code of Ethics, and offer an exclusive one-year limited home warranty. .

Ask friends and relatives for recommendations. Search for builder references that they have dealt with directly, or ask them for the names of acquaintances who have recently built a new home.

Making the Right Choice

Once you develop a list of builders, find out about their reputations and the quality of their work. .

Ask builders on your list for the addresses of their recently built houses, subdivisions or multifamily complexes. The best way to learn about builders is to visit homes they have built and talk to the homeowners.

 

Shop Quality and Value

When examining a home, look at the quality of the construction features. You may wish to inspect the quality of the cabinetry, carpeting, trim work, paint and items that are important to you.

Always keep value in mind when shopping. Just because a home is less expensive than another does not mean it is a better value. Likewise, a more expensive home does not assure a higher quality.

A home is primarily a place to live, but it is also an important investment. Consider the appreciation potential of any home. Be concerned with the value you are getting for your money regarding location, housing supply and demand and other market factors.

Another important aspect of value is design quality. In viewing each home, determine whether it lends itself to the type of lifestyle you want to lead.

Warranties and Service

An important criterion for selecting a builder is the warranty provided on the home. Ask to see a copy of the builder’s warranty. Although reading legal documents is tedious, you should read the warranty to understand what protection you will have. Don’t wait to read it until after you move in. If you have any questions about the coverage, ask the builder.

Most builders offer some form of written warranty. Many builders back their own warranties on workmanship and materials, typically for one year. Other builders offer warranties backed by an insurance company. To get an insured warranty, you must buy a home from a builder who belongs to a warranty program.

Also, find out from each builder what kind of service you can expect after the sale. Typically, a builder makes two service calls during the first year after you move in to repair non-emergency problems covered by your warranty. The first call is usually 30 to 120 days after move-in, and the second is around the eleventh month right before any one-year warranties on workmanship and materials would expire. For emergencies, the builder should send someone to your home right away.

Be Thorough

When choosing a builder, be thorough and ask a lot of questions. Get as many specifics as possible. If you receive the answers verbally rather than in writing, take notes. Never hesitate to ask a question for fear of not sounding knowledgeable. What seems like an uninformed question might yield an enlightened answer.

Buying a new home is the biggest and most important purchase you will make in your lifetime. By doing your homework, you will be able to shop for a home with a sense of confidence and knowledge that will help you make the right decision.

Take Care of Your New Home

A new house isn’t a home until it’s warmed by your personal items: Family photos on the wall, towels in the bathroom in your favorite hue and a joyful cacophony of pots and pans, plates and flatware for serving the foods you love.

It's easy to forget that a home is also a house made up of thousands of parts, many of which require a maintenance regimen and regular inspection to ensure they are at peak performance, just like your car.

Devote regular attention to maintenance. Familiarize yourself with the warranties you receive with your new home, and be sure to activate manufacturer warranties by completing and registration forms. Besides activating your warranty, this step allows the manufacturer to contact you in the event of a product recall. Retain all warranty documents and make sure recommended maintenance is up to date.

Few products combine science, technology, art and skill the way a new home does. Make preventative maintenance the hallmark of your home care plan, and you’ll enjoy the full satisfaction that owning a home can provide.