9 Questions to Ask a Pittsburgh Home Builder

Building a home from the ground up can be challenging, especially in Pittsburgh. There are many factors to consider; from the quality of the home, the design, the location, and the type of structure that best suits you. This is why it is critical to choose a Pittsburgh home builder who is knowledgeable and experienced. A Pittsburgh home builder with an eye for the best materials and layouts will bring your dream home to life.

In order to get the best out of your builder, you need to ask the right questions during the planning and building process. Having this information at your fingertips ensures you know what’s happening every step of the way during your project, and also ensures an end product that’s better than you ever could have imagined.

Questions to Ask When Choosing a Pittsburgh Home Builder

1. Do you have any home models I can review?

Costa models

Before selecting a home builder in Pittsburgh, make sure you can review several models. This will not only give you a sense for the quality of work, but also may inspire some ideas for your own home.

You can check out a large selection of Costa Homebuilders’ models that we’ve built on our website for 1 story, 1.5 story and 2 story homes. We have example photos of many of the interiors we’ve built as custom projects for our clients as well as photos of our custom exteriors. From our specialty Timber Frame homes to our Luxury Estate homes, you can see the luxurious homes we help our clients dream up and build every day.

2. What experience do you have building within the city?

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Building a home in Pittsburgh requires knowledge of all the different municipalities. Each one is different, and Pittsburgh home builders need to understand each municipality. You need a local builder who is familiar with the area, the different neighborhoods and weather conditions. They should be able to use their experience to help you understand the factors you need to consider when building in a given area.

At Costa, we can help you make the most of not only your home, but the lot that it sits on. Our experts can help you select from features such as pools, outdoor kitchens, fireplaces and more to truly customize your property to your liking.

3. Can I create my own custom design or bring my own plans?

Ask the builder if they enable customers to submit design ideas and if they are able to bring those ideas to life. Professional builders will often have model homes available for customers to review, while leaving the process flexible for customers to customize as they wish.

At Costa, we have many model homes you can review, but will also be there with you every step of the way should you decide to customize one of our plans or build a custom house. We can help you customize your home from the color of the exterior brick to the the tile you use in your master bath.

4. Are you licensed and insured in Pittsburgh?

This is probably the most important question that you can ask any Pittsburgh home builder. All builders that are licensed by the state of Pennsylvania are required to demonstrate a minimum level of expertise and professionalism in their work.

Licenses are also issued subject to having the proper bonding requirements. A bond is an assurance that is issued by the builder to guarantee that they carry out the job to the expectations that have been agreed upon in the contract. This means that if the builder carries out a poor job or other negligent activities, you can be compensated for any damages that you incur.

An insured builder also provides a level of protection to you and your property in the event of an accident. If any injuries or damages are caused during the home building process, the builder’s insurance policy can compensate you. Because Costa Homebuilders want you to have a stress-free experience when building a home with us, we are fully licensed and insured. We’re happy to provide documentation if needed.

Questions to Ask During the Home Building Process

Once you have selected a builder for your new home in Pittsburgh, it is now time to prepare for the home building process. Here are several questions you should ask your builder during the home building process…

5. What happens during the final walkthrough?

One way that Pittsburgh home builders ensure the quality of their structures is by performing a final walkthrough once construction is complete. This is where you’ll be able to address any last questions you have regarding about your new home. You’ll be able to go through your entire home with a dedicated Costa Homebuilders team member and ask away!

Ask your Pittsburgh home builder what to expect during the final walkthrough. This will allow you to prepare your list of questions and feel one hundred percent comfortable.

6. What kind of warranties do you offer?

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When building a home in Pittsburgh, it is important to have a proper warranty. A quality builder should have a structural warranty on the property that lasts for several years (between 10-12 years).

In addition, ask about other warranties, such as a homeowner’s warranty that may be available. The warranty should act exclusively, in addition to any insurance that the builder may have during construction of the home.

7. How will I keep track of material and labor costs?

It’s not unusual for plans for change during the home building process. Your preferences and desires for your home might change, which in turn will change the required labor and materials.

Always ask your home builder how they keep track of expenses and how often they issue invoices to customers. Some ask for a set down payment at the beginning and demand the remaining balance upon completion, while others charge regularly as they incur costs along the way. Make sure you understand the builder’s cost structure so you can keep track of the expenses that you will incur, as well as the builder’s markup.

At Costa Home Builders, we are with you every step of the way making you aware of changes, and constantly working to make sure you are getting what you want at the budget that you’ve set. We track every change on change orders so you have clear records.

8. What is the quickest way to contact you?

Working with a builder in a city such as Pittsburgh can be challenging at times. Demand for homes may be high, and the builder may be trying to juggle multiple projects at once. However, communication is key towards building a quality home that will suit your needs. Therefore, be upfront with the builder in determining how you will communicate concerns along the way.

Is there a specific customer service professional who you will be working with? How can you contact the project manager if necessary? Make sure you have all the contact information of important personnel, and ask them the most convenient way of getting in touch with them.

9. What costs are included in the quoted price?

A quote for a custom home can be very ambiguous. This is because there are so many different factors that are involved in the process. To prepare yourself financially, ask the builder for a complete breakdown of all the expenses that you will be responsible for and what is included in your budget.

By asking your Pittsburgh home builders these 10 questions, you will be able to select the best builder available to suit the needs of your new project. You will ensure that the building process proceeds more smoothly, saving you a lot of time, money and unnecessary stress.

At Costa Homebuilders, our goal is to make your home building experience a memory that you will always look back on and cherish, from the comfort of your one-of-a-kind home. Want to know more about how we approach your project? Ask us anything!

You Can Build a Home Any Time of Year!

If you’re planning on building a home, one of the first decisions you must make is when to begin construction. Other builders might have you believe that there are certain times of year when it’s best to build. But the truth is, there’s really no specific time of year that’s best for building.

With a qualified builder, you should have no trouble having your home built no matter what time of year! Whether it’s summer, fall, winter or spring – you can build your home any time of year.  Continue reading