QUESTION: What should I look for in a builder?
ANSWER: First and foremost, look for a builder who considers his or her profession to be one of the most important and meaningful ways to make a living. A building contractor needs to be committed to taking a person's dream of owning a custom home and brick-by-brick, room-by-room, making that dream come true. It is also important to see if he or she has ever actually physically participated in the framing and trimming of a structure. This hands-on experience is invaluable in the understanding of knowing how to recognize quality and craftsmanship in subcontractors.
ANSWER: In the state of North Carolina, a builder must be licensed by the NC Licensing Board for General Contractors located in Raleigh (919) 571-4183. There are three levels of licensing available in North Carolina, all with different monetary building limitations. A Limited License allows a builder to build a structure for up to $500,000. An Intermediate License allows up to $1,000,000 on a single project, and an Unlimited License allows the builder to build without monetary restrictions. Each level of licensing requires the builder to keep a certain level of working capital in his or her business at all times. Randy L. Faircloth Construction, Inc. holds an Unlimited License. A phone call to the licensing and regulatory agency to inquire about any complaints filed against the builder(s) you are considering is always prudent.
ANSWER: Absolutely. Ask the builder(s) you are considering for a list of the names and phone numbers of people he has built for in the past. Ask his or her customers questions about the process, allowances given, costs, etc. It is also important to ask the builder for bank and supplier references. Ask these references about account payment and management.
ANSWER: This may seem like a lot of detail and trouble to go through before you even choose a builder, but it is important to know the person you are going to make one of the biggest investments of your life with. Building contractors are professionals, and should be knowledgeable about finances, market trends and changes in the state building code. He or she should welcome your questions and should be able to answer them to your satisfaction.
ANSWER: A custom home builder typically lives, works and is a big part of the local community. He or she builds a small volume of homes a year and is better able to give each home and homeowner the attention they need. Custom builders use local subcontractors and suppliers, thereby supporting the community. These builders are easily accessible and can address issues, concerns and problems if they come up during or after construction. Volume or tract builders are often from out of state, hard to get in touch with if concerns arise, and build dozens or even hundreds of houses at the same time. They frequently use subcontractors and suppliers from other areas which does not help the economy of the local community.