How to compare new construction builders

4 Replies

Ive been looking at new constructions by KB Homes, Pulte, Trumark etc. How we compare them before buying a new construction. looking at homes in Bay Area.  Any resources to read about them. 

@Sam Abe , I'd base my shopping on the following things:

  • - How satisfied are people who have lived in their homes 3-5 years (door knock their old build communities, find a FB group, etc)?
  • - How often are they named in lawsuits (check court records)
  • - What do they bake into their builds that the average consumer won't ask or care about, simply because they are build-nerds (in terms of energy efficiency, structural integrity, etc).

Well, since you can't rip the walls to look at framing, wiring, and plumbing, look at what you can see:

1) Level of trim, appliances

2) Finish carpentry or gaps in joints

3) The flatness of floors and squareness of rooms.  For flat, you may want a large level.  For square, electronic tape measure and diagonals across corners should be equal

4) The stickiness of doors, windows, and sliders.

5) Eyeball the roof for flatness.  Also if you have a guy that knows, look for edges like joints and chimneys for potential for moisture invasion

6) Crawl space and moisture and barriers.  Maybe no LV or PHX, but you do NOT want a chance for moisture.

In my area you can look up building permits online. You can see the various inspections and whether they passed or failed the first time. I'd look at that too... eventually they may get a C.O. issued - but are they struggling to meet the basic IRC criteria? 

@Sam Abe