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12 Questions to Ask Builders When Building a Home

KW Homes - custom home builder in Saskatoon

KW Homes

Published on Aug 21, 2023

12 Questions to Ask Builders When Building a Home | Saskatoon Home Builder


You're thinking of building a new home.

Many questions cross your mind. Am I choosing the right builder? What materials will the home builder use?

For many families, building a custom home is one of the biggest investments of their life. Your goal is to build a dream home where your family can prosper and thrive for a lifetime.

Given its significance, it's crucial to ask the right questions. So, what to ask builders when building a home?

How many homes have you built?

The number of homes a builder has constructed is a direct reflection of their experience and tenure in the industry. If a builder has been involved in the creation of numerous homes, it signifies their sustained reliability, expertise, and ability to navigate the complexities of home construction.

An established builder is expected to create and maintain a portfolio that displays a selection of their completed projects. This portfolio stands as testament to their quality of work and provides potential clients with details into their design capabilities, style, and versatility.

Can I visit a model home or any of your previous houses?

Seeing a new construction home, especially model homes, provides tangible understanding of the builder's craftsmanship and attention to detail. Such visits enable potential homeowners to visualize and experience firsthand the end product of the builder's efforts, facilitating a more informed decision-making process.

Some builders may also offer contacts of prior home buyers for a first-hand review.

What standard features are included in your houses?

Understanding the standard features included in the base price of a house is essential when choosing a builder. Every builder will typically offer a set of amenities that constitute the basic package for the home, encompassing elements such as flooring types, appliances, cabinetry, lighting fixtures, etc.

However, these inclusions can vary widely between builders, making it vital for prospective homeowners to inquire with home builders specifically about what is and isn't part of the standard offering.

Additionally, it's crucial to differentiate between standard features and upgrades, as some elements showcased in model homes might be considered premium additions at an extra cost. By clearly identifying what is included in the base price and what requires additional investment, buyers can make informed decisions that align with their expectations, needs, and budget. This knowledge also enables more accurate comparisons between different builders and their respective offerings.

Can I customize the floor plan or the home design?

Lots of people love the idea of tailoring their space to fit their unique lifestyle and preferences.

Now, whether you want to do something small like enlarging a bedroom or something bigger that changes the whole layout, that really depends on your builder. Some are super flexible and willing to work with you on those individual touches, while others might have some limitations.

So, how much customization can you do? Well, that's something you'll want to talk about upfront. Find out what's possible, what might cost a bit extra, and how it could affect the building timeline. That way, you can make sure the final design is everything you dreamed of, without any unwelcome surprises on the final price or schedule.

What's the build process like from start to finish?

Embarking on a home building journey can be both exciting and daunting.

A good builder will provide a clear overview of the construction process, from breaking ground to the final walk through. Understanding the step-by-step progression from the first scoop of dirt to receiving your house keys can alleviate uncertainties.

A competent builder will always begin by providing a transparent roadmap of the construction journey. This typically kicks off with the initial ground-breaking phase, where the foundation is laid. Following this, you can expect phases like framing, installation of electrical and plumbing systems, drywalling, and painting. There will also be periods dedicated to interior finishing, where you'll see cabinetry, flooring, and other design elements come to life.

Concluding the process is the final walkthrough, where every detail is inspected to ensure the home meets the agreed-upon standards. Throughout this journey, there will be pivotal moments where your input is essential. Whether it's choosing paint colours, fixtures, or reviewing modifications, it's crucial for homeowners to be well-informed so they can be actively involved in these decisions.

After all, timely consultations and decisions not only keep the project on track but also ensure the final result resonates with the homeowner's vision.

Who will oversee the construction of my home? And how often can I access the site?

Firstly, there's usually a site supervisor or project manager who oversees the entire construction. This person is your go-to for any questions or concerns. They manage the crew, make sure everything is on schedule, and ensure that all the work is up to par.

Most buyers want to see your dream home taking shape, and most builders are totally cool with that. They usually set up regular times for you to come by and check things out. It's an excellent opportunity to catch up with the project manager, ask questions, and just see how your new place is coming along.

But here's a pro tip: Always schedule your visits. Construction sites can be busy (and sometimes a bit dangerous). By scheduling your visits, you can make sure that someone's there to guide you and that you're not in the way of the construction crew.

Remember, it's your home they're building. Keeping in touch with the people in charge and seeing the progress with your own eyes isn't just comforting; it's a big part of making the place truly yours. So don't hesitate to get involved and make those visits. Just grab your hard hat, and enjoy watching your dream home come to life!

Do you offer a warranty program?

Think of a warranty program as a safety net for your new home. Most reputable builders will offer this as part of the deal. But not all warranties are created equal, so it's worth diving into the details.

A typical warranty might cover things like materials, workmanship, and even some structural elements of the house. This could mean if a doorknob falls off or if you find a leak in the roof, you're covered. But remember, warranties have limitations too. Things like normal wear and tear might not be included, and there could be specific timelines for reporting issues.

Now, the duration of the warranty contract is essential as well. Some warranties might last a year, while others could extend to ten years or more for structural components. It's not just about how long it lasts, but also what's covered at different stages.

How long will my home take to complete?

Typically, the construction of a new home might take anywhere from a few months to over a year. This depends on a lot of things like the complexity of the design process, the size of the new house, and even the time of year when construction starts. Your builder will have all these factors in mind when giving you an estimate.

But here's where things can get a bit tricky. While your builder can control a lot of aspects, some things are just out of their hands. Weather is a big one. Heavy rains or snow might slow things down. Then there are unexpected issues, like a delay in materials arriving or discovering unexpected site conditions like rocky soil that needs to be excavated.

What's important here is communication. Your builder should keep you informed if things are going off track and why. You'll also want to have a bit of a buffer in your moving plans. Maybe don't schedule the movers for the exact day the builder says the house will be ready, just in case.

If you're wondering about the timeline for building a home in Saskatoon, click here to learn more!

How do you handle disagreements or issues during construction?

Let's face it, no adventure is complete without a few surprises, right? Sometimes, you might bump into disagreements or issues during construction. But hey, that's where the builder's true colours shine through.

Imagine sitting down with your builder after noticing something doesn't look quite right with the kitchen layout. A good builder will lean in, listen to what's bugging you, and engage in a real heart-to-heart conversation. They won't just brush you off or bury you in jargon. They'll break it down, help you understand what happened, and figure out a way to make it right.

Now, there might be times when fixing something means tweaking the plan or even spending a bit more. If that's the case, your builder won't just give you a handshake and a promise. They'll put it all down in writing, so you both know exactly what's what.

And what if things get really sticky and you just can't see eye to eye? Well, that's where having a solid plan for disagreements comes into play. Whether it's calling in a neutral third party to mediate or having a step-by-step process to follow, knowing there's a path to resolution can take a load off your mind.

Bottom line? It's all about trust, communication, and having a builder who's in it with you, ready to roll up their sleeves and tackle whatever comes your way. That's the kind of partnership that turns bumps in the road into a home that's truly yours.

How do you compare with other builders? Why are you the best fit for me?

Finding the right builder is kind of like dating. You're looking for that perfect match who understands you, communicates well, and makes you feel comfortable. So when you ask a builder, 'How do you compare with other builders? Why are you the best fit for me?' you're inviting them to share what makes them special, what they bring to the table, and why you two might be a great match.

Imagine sitting down with a builder over coffee. They might start telling you about their innovative designs, their commitment to sustainability, or their amazing track record of completing projects on time. They might mention their fantastic team or share stories of past clients who became lifelong friends. Maybe they even bring out photos of homes they've built that align with your style.

But just like in dating, you shouldn't take everything at face value. Ask them to elaborate. If they say they're great at communication, ask them how they keep clients in the loop during the building process. If they boast about quality, ask about the materials they use or the inspections they perform. Just like you would ask probing questions on a date to get to know someone better, you want to dig deeper to understand what this builder is truly all about.

What materials do you use?

You wouldn't paint a masterpiece with watered-down colours, would you? That's why asking your builder about the materials they use in home build is more than just a practical question to ask. It's about finding out if they have the same passion for quality that you do.

Chat with your builder about the brands they trust. Are they using top-of-the-line tiles or energy-efficient windows? What kind of wood are they using for the floors? And hey, don't just take their word for it. Ask for samples, visit other homes they've built, or even talk to previous clients.

Remember, your home is going to be your safe haven for years, maybe even generations. It's worth taking the time to understand what it's made of. With the right materials, you won't just end up with a house; you'll have a home that stands the test of time, looks stunning, and feels just right. So go ahead, ask away, and make sure your builder's choices align with your vision

Can I get references or testimonials from previous clients?

Imagine you're at a dinner party, and someone raves about this fantastic new restaurant. You'd be more inclined to try it, wouldn't you? Well, talking to previous clients of a builder is kind of like that. You get to hear from real people who've actually lived the experience. Was the builder easy to work with? Did they keep to the timeline? Were there any hidden surprises?

Most builders will have a collection of testimonials or be able to put you in touch with past clients. Don't be shy to ask for this; it's a standard part of the process! You can also look for online reviews or social media comments.

Now, remember, every project is unique, and people's preferences vary. So take the time to ask questions that matter to you. Maybe you're curious about the costs or how the builder handled changes to the plan or how they communicated during the build. Whatever it is, go ahead and ask.


In conclusion, building a home is a monumental task, but with the right builder by your side, it can be a dream come true. The key is to ask the right questions, ensuring transparency throughout the process. After all, it's not just about building homes; it's about building dreams.

When ready, contact reputable custom home builders like KW Homes, and embark on the journey of turning your dream home into reality!

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