There are several places on the internet to where you can find ratings ore reviews on home builders. There are two major consumer organizations, HADD and HOBB that following the building industry, lobby for consumer friendly legislation, and alert consumers, potential new home buyers to problems within the industry. If you haven’t already been to these sites I would stronly suggest you do so. The link for HADD (Home Owners Against Deficit Dwellings) is www.hadd.org.
There is also a newer website called Rate Your Builder, that allows you to do exactly that. You will find this site at www.rateyourbuilder.com
There are a significant number of major builders in the U.S. These builders, called tract or production builders, are responsible for approximately 70% of all new homes built each year. The largest of these is Toll Brothers. Below is a patial listing of a few others.
Capital Pacific Homes
Richmond American Homes
John Laing Homes
Why is the rating of a buider of such an interest? The reasons are obvious– it is a way for consumers to evaluate the quality of builders. When you read review after review of problems by a particular builder, chances are you are NOT going to buy a home from that builder.
If you have every done an internet search on house building problems or problems with builders you will find a large number of such compaints. Both HADD and HOBB, mentioned above have such listings on their websites. In addition, a number of consumers have setup websites about their particular house building problems, as a means of warning other consumers. Here are just a few examples of the problems that have been encountered:
Your large, stable, reputable home builder going out of business while your new home is being built.
Imagine the horror of moving your couch to vacuum and finding toxic mold growing on the walls of your 6-month-old house.
Your kitchen floor slowly starts to heaving because your home builder ignored a natural spring and built your house on top of it.
You find out your 10-year new home warranty is worthless.
You local code inspector ignores blatant code violations in your house because your new home builder was giving him materials to finish the room addition on his own house.
What can you do as consumer to protect yourself. Again the resources found and HADD and HOBB referenced above are a great place to start. Beyond that however, you need to do your homework and educate yourself. Buy or find a good Builder’s Questionnaire or Interview checklist and use it. Talk to people that have recently had homes built by builder’s you are considering – their input is very importatnt. Check with the local BBB office to see if there are any complaints on file.