Eight Common Arguments Builders Have with Homeowners

… and How to Avoid Them

Define the expectations in writing before construction begins. Save yourself headaches and heartaches by discussing all eight of these issues with your builder and resolve them in advance.

builder and homebuilder delibrating

You also need to know the Top 12 Mistakes Made by Homeowners

1. Homeowner thinks: You never finished my punch-out, walk-through list.


At closing, the builder and homeowner assemble a walk-through list. You walk through the entire house together to determine if there are any areas or items that still need attention. It’s important to have this list in writing and signed by both the homeowner and the builder. If not, the list will never end. Your builder will become frustrated when items are continually added to the list; homeowners will be frustrated because they will feel as though the builder never completed the original list. Get the list in writing and agree that if any additional items arise beyond the initial walk-through, you will create a new, separate list that will be considered “warranty”.


2. Homeowner thinks: I didn’t think adding two more windows to my new home would be an extra cost. After all, I’m paying a lot of money for this home.


Changes need to be clearly communicated and put in writing to protect both parties and the relationship.


3. Homeowner thinks: This is a shoddy builder. I never would’ve hired him if I had known this.


Builder thinks: These homeowners have completely unrealistic expectations. I can never please them. Before signing a contract, both the builder and homeowner need to clearly outline their expectations. While this may take a little more time, the effort is well worth it. Pen and paper up front can solve a whole host of misunderstandings and “he said/she said” situations down the line.


4. Homeowner thinks: The builder didn’t communicate changes clearly and in a timely manner.


Builder thinks: The homeowner doesn’t have sufficient funds to make changes. Agree in writing regarding any changes that occur after the contract is signed. I also recommend homeowners pay for changes they want at the time of the change, not at the end of a job. This will keep all parties on good terms with each other and the homeowner from having any big financial surprises at the end.


5. Homeowner thinks: My builder is not taking my concerns seriously; they are falling on deaf ears.


Have regularly scheduled meetings with your builder to update the schedule, changes, homeowner concerns, and items that the builder needs in order to complete the home. That way, you don’t have to feel like you are nagging the builder and he doesn’t have to feel like construction is being halted every time he turns around.


6. The homeowner says he spoke to the subcontractor, and the subcontractor said he could do something for the owner without the builder’s knowledge.


All communication must be communicated through the superintendent or interior designer who is running the job. This will avoid “he said/she said” misunderstandings.


7. The homeowner is speaking to everyone but the builder on matters related to the home or its construction.


Open and honest communication with the superintendent or interior designer is vital, not just with anyone who will listen. Let the builder do what you hired him to do.


8.The homeowner is continually second-guessing the builder and the decisions he is making.


Take time at the start of the project to interview and gain a high level of trust with the builder and his abilities. Also, speak to previous homeowners about their homebuilding experience with this builder.


-Sean Sullivan


Building A Quality Custom Home

Want to know more? This book by Sean Sullivan is full of helpful information in easy-to-read chapters like this blog post.

It is a step-by-step guide to the “must-know” issues of building your dream home. Discover the custom-home construction secrets that could save you headaches, heartaches, and thousands (if not tens of thousands) of dollars.

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