When you’re on the hunt for the right home builder, you want to make sure you do your research.

Your new home is going to be an incredible long-term and expensive investment, so the very last thing you need is an untrustworthy builder, who can end up costing you more of your precious time and money.

Here are six ways to spot an unreliable home builder, before you sign any paperwork and commit to the project:

Bad Deal

1. The builder promised you a deal on materials.

A home builder might try to sweet talk you, saying they can give you a better price because they’ve got “extra” materials. If the builder told you they buy inventory in bulk for added savings, watch out. Builders rarely stock large inventories of materials, as what they need can vary greatly from project to project.

Even if they’re telling the truth and do have leftovers from previous jobs, the materials might not be the quality you expect or ideal for your specific aesthetic. Plus, this occurrence of over-ordering does little to support their ability to accurately estimate, a red-flag that they may potentially waste your money ordering excessive stock for your build.

Other home builders will simply skimp on cheaper materials to cut costs, which can end up costing you more money down the road to repair or replace.

2. Their cost is much lower than other estimates.

It’s often wise to get quotes from a handful of home builders, to see who can offer you the best deal on your investment. However, be cautious of the builder who offers a significantly lower price tag than their competitors.

There’s an average going-rate for construction labor and building materials, and those who give you a price thousands of dollars below the market baseline likely have a “deal” that’s too good to be true.

These contractors often get away with this low up-front price by tacking on costs of materials and other charges along the way, oftentimes adding up to more than a genuine, everything-included quote may have cost.


3. They have a reputation for missing construction deadlines or failing to stay within budget.

When looking for a home builder, always, always, always look up reviews and ask for references. A contractor might say they are known for delivering on time and on budget, but you can’t trust just their word alone.

If upon researching the company, you find they have reputation for finishing the build late, look for a common theme. Sure, a build can be delayed by unforeseeable circumstances from time to time, but more likely than not, the mistake is often a reflection of their poor estimating ability.

A responsible home builder will update you on building progress intermittently throughout each construction stage, catching bottlenecks as they happen— so that any delays can be worked through quickly. Check the reviews for how this builder approached these kind of hiccups to keep the project moving along its original timeline.

4. The builder requires a lot of money upfront.

You can certainly expect a home builder to want some sort of security upfront. Afterall, they will need to order materials to get started, but it’s not common for you to have to fork up a huge sum upfront.

One of the most commonly reported issues they Better Business Bureau receives is about contractors taking home builder’s money without delivering on the work. Because of the risk, never prepay more than 10% of the total build cost.

Also, be cautious if your home builder asks for unusual demands, such as paying in cash only. While credit cards will leave a paper trail, a cash payment can easily go unaccounted for without a valid receipt— giving unreputable builders a crafty way of stealing from you.

Bad deals

5. Home features are discussed, but not documented.

A home builder might promise to include every detail you desire during your initial discussion, without actual follow-through.

If the builders promised to add extra touches or upgrades to your floor plan, make sure you get proof of these additions, clearly outlined in your contract agreement.

This will avoid any extra charges, which often occur when the builder claims the details weren’t budgeted into the initial quote. It’ll also help to ensure your project isn’t delayed if they forget to factor the additions into their original build time scope.

6. The Secretary of State doesn’t have a license on file.

You might assume that a building contractor is licensed, but it’s always safest to double check.

A home builder will need a construction license to break ground in your state, as well as local operating permits. Contact Florida’s Secretary of State office to see if the builder is legally allowed to build in Cape Coral, or the region you are settling down in.

If the office doesn’t have the company or contractor on file, you can cross that builder off your list.

Know What to Look for in a Cape Coral Home Builder

Now that you’re savvy on some ways to spot a bad home builder, you’re one step closer to finding a trustworthy crew to bring your vision to life.

Don’t stop there! Learn more about the mistakes that bad home builders make to narrow down your search even more.

Ready for a reliable Cape Coral home builder? Discover what makes us different and why people from all across the state trust us for their house construction.

Give us a call at 239-424-9995 and start building your dream home with SC Homes.

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*Pictures, photos, features, colors, and sizes are approximate and for illustration purposes only.