You know that moment at the end of an important meeting when you’re asked, “Do you have any questions?” and your brain draws an inescapable, panic-inducing blank? I absolutely have questions, you think to yourself. Probably several! But now you’ve put me on the spot and I can’t remember a single one.
It happens to the best of us. When you first meet with a builder, a lot of important information is exchanged, which can make it hard to remember the burning questions you had right on the tip of your tongue as you drove to the meeting. But fear not: We’ve gathered some of the most asked (and most important) questions to have at the ready when you start your relationship with a Cape Cod builder, so you can leave that first meeting feeling confident and enthusiastic:
“Could you provide some references?”
While a helpful word-of-mouth recommendation can get you on the phone with a builder of your choice, you want to make sure they have plenty of positive feedback from clients to back up their reputation. Referrals from homeowners they’ve worked with in the past, subcontractors with whom they collaborate, or other professionals in the industry will set your mind at ease.
“Are you insured and licensed?”
When it comes to Cape Cod, there’s no guarantee that every homebuilding professional is, in fact, licensed and insured. Make sure the pro you’re thinking of engaging is by taking a look at the necessary licenses and proof of insurance for yourself. You don’t want to wake up in a cold sweat mid-project wondering if you’re covered in the event of a very specific and wildly unlikely potential mishap. Raccoons probably won’t stage a coup and attack the site of your new custom addition, but you never know.
“Could I see an itemized proposal?”
Before you move forward with your project, your builder can and should provide you with an itemized proposal with estimated costs for the work you’re considering. This document is incredibly important to have on hand through every stage of the process, both for builder and client. It is as sacred as Belichick’s playbook.
“What’s your history with meeting budgets?”
One of the reasons that itemized proposal is so important? Your project’s budget. For many homeowners, if a builder they’re considering tends to finish projects over budget, it could be a deal breaker. Whether budgets have been met on projects past can speak volumes about a builder, so be sure to get that info.
“When can you start this project?”
Even if your potential builder can’t give you a firm start date, it’s a good idea to ask about the general timeline you can expect with your proposed project. If business is booming but you need your basement refinished ASAP, for example, you may need to look elsewhere.
“How long will this project take to complete?”
While your kitchen is being remodeled, how long will you be eating takeout? Will your new mudroom be ready by Halloween? Will you have passed away peacefully in your sleep before you ever set foot in the converted apartment above your garage? These are important questions.
“Do you have an online presence? Can I take a look at your website?”
You probably took at least a brief look at your builder’s website before setting up a consultation, but you should also ask if their online presence extends elsewhere. Their social media pages, including profiles on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn, can provide greater insight about their work and how satisfied their clients are. Don’t be afraid to do some Google-hunting for customer reviews, either.
Do you have a project in mind for your Cape Cod home that you’d like to get off the ground? The expert team at C.J. Riley is at the ready with answers to these key questions (and any others you remember on your ride home).