Establish a Building Budget

That you can live with! It's better for this budget to conservative as you will no doubt want to make changes as you design your new home. Usually these changes are increases in square footage or additions to finishes that result in higher costs. So, a more conservative budget serves as a safety margin.

Site Costs

Site costs can be familiar with these costs most builders can give "ballpark" figures that will be close to real costs. These costs should include the following: waste disposal system, driveway, power to the site, rough grade, home excavation, perimeter drain, well, water line, backfill and well pump.

Choose a Builder

Ask the builder to do the following:

  1. Visit the site and provide you with site suggestions and estimated sites costs. Property corners should be clearly marked.
  2. Sit down with you and discuss your budget. To make this a meaningful discussion has pictures of for finishes - both interior and exterior. Try to sketch out a rough floor plan that shows your requirements for living space. Finally, make a list of what you must have in your new home and what you would like to have in your new home and what you would like to have but could give up. At this point your builder should be able to tell you if the home you would like to build falls within your budget parameters.
  3. How these questions are answered should help you decide which builder is best suited to build your new home.

Ask the Builder You Have Selected For:

  • Liability Insurance showing the dollar amount the policy covers as well as the items covered.
  • Certificate that shows the builder is a "Registered Contractor" in the State of Montana. This insures, among other things, that employees are covered for workers compensation which protects the owner from liability in the event of an employee injury.

Ask the Builder for References

The best reference would be the last two homes built by the builder rather than allowing the builders references to be selective which seldom provides a clear picture of the builder's ability. Ask to visit a home that is similar to the home, homes that show your preference you are going to build.

If the Builder Currently Has Homes Under Construction Ask to Visit the Site

When doing so meet the builder's employees, inspect the quality of construction and the equipment being used in construction. Notice if the building site is safe and clean. All these items will give you an accurate pictures as to whether this is the builder you would like to build your new home.

Establish a Payment Schedule

That both you and the builder are comfortable with. Whatever the source of funds for the project, the schedule should be based upon performance and material purchases. Payment requests should be accompanied by an itemized invoice as well as a "Conditional and Final Waiver and Release of Lien."