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August 18, 2018

How to Find the Best New Home Builders in Lake County

Lake County new home builders can build the home of your dreams from the ground up. If you're in need of a good company to offer new home construction, the information below can help you find the best companies in Lake County, including those serving Lake County and your area. Licensed new home builders have a Illinois contractors' license that allows them to perform many types of home building services, and some may have other certifications and licenses that give them additional expertise.

The Prime Buyer's Report can help you find a new home building company in Lake County IL that's met our TOP 10 criteria.

The TOP 10 New Home Builders in Lake County IL

How to Find the Best New Home Builders in Lake County

What Services Do New Home Builders Provide?
Contractors that specialize in new home construction can provide services including the following:

• Custom home design

• New home construction

• Lot selection assistance

• Sustainable/green building

• Material and appliance selection assistance

Some New Home Builders in Lake County are Better than Others
There are many new home builders in Lake County. So how do you choose?

In order to help you narrow it down, The Prime Buyer's Report has identified and researched some of the best new home construction companies in Lake County and the rest of Lake County. All certified companies have been vetted for necessary license, insurance (including liability and workers' compensation insurance), customer satisfaction, and more.

Why Hire a Prime Buyer's—Top 10 Company
Every company says it's a good one, even those that aren't. And it can be hard to know which online reviews and recommendations are legitimate and honest.

Company listings bearing the Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 seal and lit symbols on their dashboards have been thoroughly checked and certified. Companies without the seal and lit symbols have not yet passed certification. No assurances can be made about the performance of these companies.

Need a new home builder but don't know where to start? Don't fret. The following articles will show you how to find skilled, licensed, insured, trustworthy new home construction companies near you.

How to Choose the Best New Home Contractors in Lake County

Step 1: Describe the Work
The process of building a new home can seem overwhelming at first. Where do you start? Once you have a short list of good local home builders in Lake County that includes only companies that are licensed and insured and that provide new home construction services in Waukegan, North Chicago, Highland Park, Zion, Lake Forest, Park City, Buffalo Grove, Mundelein, Gurnee, Round Lake Beach, Libertyville, Vernon Hills, Grayslake, Deerfield, Lake Zurich, Lindenhurst, Beach Park, Wauconda, Fox Lake, Antioch, Island Lake, Long Grove, Winthrop Harbor, Lincolnshire, Lake Bluff, Round Lake Park, Hawthorn Woods, Lake Villa, Round Lake, Ganges Lake and Ingleside and your area, you'll want to start by making some phone calls to learn what you can about the companies you have to choose among.

Use this first contact as an opportunity to explain your project and hear what the company representatives have to say. You'll want to be consistent in how you describe the new home construction job to the contractors you speak with, so you'll want to have a written list of wants, needs, and ideas New Home Builders for new construction custom homes new homesincluding budget, size, location, and special features. Of course these will change as you learn more and refine your process, but it will give you a starting point.

Step 2: Answer Questions and Take Notes
While discussing the new home you're planning to build, be sure that you are able to completely and honestly answer any questions the local home construction contractors have. They may ask you about your budget, square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, lot size, lot location, garage size, and other details. If you know details about what you want, be sure to have them written down so you can provide the same information to each company you speak with.

The companies you talk with may also give you suggestions or information about your job or new home building in general. If this is the case, take notes of ideas you want to remember and keep all of your information in one location so you have easy access to it throughout the planning process.

Step 3: Ask Questions and Get Answers
Interview questions can give you the details you need to choose the best new home construction firm for you. Again, you'll want to give all of the contractors you talk with the same opportunities to answer the same questions, so having a preset list of questions is in your best interest.

Some information you might want to ask about is included here:

• How long have the Lake County new home building companies been in business?

• Do the new home contractors I'm considering have contractor's licenses to work in Illinois?

• Do the custom home contractors specialize in the type of home you want? Can they provide a walk-through in a home or model they have completed in Lake County or your area?

• Will the new home contractors provide written estimates?

• Will the construction company provide you with a list of references?

• How do the residential new home contractors in Lake County IL price building construction?

• What will the new home construction companies' timing be for bidding and completing the home construction?

• Are the new home builders willing and able to work within my budget?

• Does the Lake County new home construction company have workers' compensation and liability insurance that covers all of their employees?

• Will each of the Lake County general contractors provide written contracts?New home construction custom home building contractor

• What type of warranty does each of the new home builders provide? What are the terms? Will they give you a written warranty?

• Will the new house contractors be responsible for getting all building permits?

• Do the new home construction firms hire subcontractors or do their employees perform the work?

• How do the local home builders handle change orders?

• How many new homes are the Lake County custom home builders currently constructing? Will that number of jobs allow them to give your job the time and emphasis it deserves?

• How and when do the Lake County IL new home contractors clean up the construction site?

• Will the company work with architects and planners or do they offer in-house design services?

• Can the new home builders in Lake County help you choose your lot if you don't already have a site selected?

• Can you visit the jobsite while the work is in progress?

• Have the Lake County new home builders you're considering ever owned a company under a different name? (Some builders change their company name to escape financial problems, bankruptcies, or problems with past clients.)

• What is the Lake County new home contractors' policy about fixing, repairing, or modifying items after the project is complete? Is there a time limit these repairs or modifications need to be made before they charge for the work?

Step 4: Make a Preliminary Decision on the Best New Home Construction Companies in Lake County
Interviews are your best starting point. Once you've talked with several Lake County IL companies, you should have found a few that you could feel comfortable working with. Try to limit your choices to three to five good companies. To do this, look at the notes and information you have compiled and decide which few you want to bid on your project. Too many bids will make your decision harder; too few bids can prevent you from making the wisest choice.

Invite the companies on your short list to supply you with a bid for the entire job. Ask for an itemized bid based on the information you have provided so far. While you might not know all of the details, such as finish materials or appliances, you can get early bids that help you decide which company can best meet your budget, timeline, and other criteria.

Step 5: Do More Research on Local New Home Building Contractors
With bids in hand, you're ready to start looking at your options in earnest. That means comparing bids, verifying insurance and license information, looking at warranty details, talking with references, visiting current and recent new homes built by the Lake County new home builders you're considering, and asking final questions that you may need to have answered before you make a decision.

This is your chance to learn all of the information you need. Don't be in a hurry or rush through this important final step. Building a new home is a huge undertaking, and your choice of new home contractor can make or break the job and impact your happiness during the construction process and long after the job is complete.

Step 6: Make the Final Decision on the Best New Home Construction Company for You
Once you have all of the information you need and you've been able to compare all of the candidates on an even footing, it's time to choose the Lake County new home builder that is best for your job. How should you move forward? Ask your company representative to provide a contract, set a date for the work to begin, and get ready to start on your new home.

See more information in the After You Hire section below.

After You Hire A Custom Home Builder

Step 1: Sign a Detailed Written Contract
Contract requirements for new home construction vary depending on your state and city jurisdiction. Surprisingly, some locations don't require construction companies to provide written agreements. For your own protection, though, you'll want to secure one from your Lake County new home builder.

Every written contract should include the basics of the job to protect you and your contractor from misunderstandings. Ask for a written contract and make sure the one you get includes the following information before you sign it or move forward with the construction.

• The new home contractor's name, address, phone number, and license number

• The estimated start and completion date for the project

• A payment schedule for all work and materials, including contractor and subcontractor feesNew home contractors and new home builders for custom home construction

• The contractor's promise to obtain all required permits

• Details outlining how change orders are handled

• A detailed, line-item list of all materials including color, model, size, and brand. If materials are not yet known and will be chosen later, the contract should detail who is responsible for choosing the items and the budget or allowance for said item

• Written warranty information for all materials and workmanship, including names and contact information for the honoring party (contractor or manufacturer), the length of the warranty, whether it is prorated, and any limitations or obligations for you and the guarantor

• All responsibilities of the new home contractor, such as site clean-up, refuse hauling, landscape clean up, spill and stain clean up, and more

• Written confirmation of all promises made during conversations or calls

• A written statement guaranteeing your right to cancel the contract within three business days if you signed it at a location other than the seller's permanent place of business (see information about the FTC's Cooling-Off Rule)

Step 2: Set Up a Payment Schedule
Once the work schedule has been determined, you'll want to set up a payment schedule. Most new home contractors in Lake County will ask for a down payment. Most states have a limit for how much contractors can charge, usually no more than 10 percent of the total job fee. This down payment may also include materials fees, particularly for specialty orders. Some contractors collect payments that are tied to progress, such as payments contingent upon the completion of specific steps of the work. Then they collect the final payment after the job is done.

If you're agreeing to a down payment, contingency payments or installments tied to work, and a final payment, be sure that you've clearly outlined the amount to be paid at each step and have defined work completion steps. If the new home builder doesn't finish the steps as outlined, you should withhold payments until the work is done as promised.

Additionally, you don't need to make the final payment until you are happy with the work and it has been completed to your expectations and to the specifications of your original contract.

Many Lake County homebuilders arrange for financing, since the cost of a new home can be more than most people have in cash or liquid assets. However, even if you can pay cash, you shouldn't. Instead, paying by check or credit card gives you proof of the transaction and some recourse if there's a disagreement about payment.

Step 3: Working with the Contractor
It's key to only hire and work with new home builders that are licensed and insured. Hiring unlicensed contractors, those who hire undocumented labor or day laborers, or companies that aren't fully insured (with both liability and workers compensation insurance covering all of their workers and everyone who will be on your property) can leave you at risk for lawsuits and other damaged in the case of an accident or problem.

Once you've hired a good new home builder, it's your job to help maintain clear and positive communication with their company. If you have questions or concerns, don't jump to conclusions. Instead, call or schedule a meeting with your contractor and ask your questions or get clarification on the issue that's upsetting or concerning you. Don't wait until you are angry or until the job has moved past the concern. Take care of problems right away.

Additionally, it's important that you return phone calls, attend scheduled meetings, and otherwise are available to your Lake County new home builder. If your contractor has questions or calls you, return their calls and answer their questions right away. This can help keep the job on schedule and can prevent expensive delays or changes. By keeping an open line of communication, you'll find that the job will likely go more smoothly and you'll form a good working relationship built on trust and honesty.

Step 4: Keep Records
For your protection and in case you need to refer back to them for any reason, it's important to keep all records related to your new home construction project. That includes copies of the contract, copies and written details of any change orders placed by you or your new home contractor after the original bid has been offered, any written correspondence between you and your Lake County new home builder, notes from any verbal conversations or phone calls with your contractor pertaining to your job, and a record of all payments you've made. You may also want to keep a log of phone calls, conversations, product or material deliveries, and milestones, and you may want to take regular photographs to document the work that's been done.

So how long should you keep those records? That depends on the guarantees or warranties provided by your new home contractor and the statues of limitations in Illinois. Most experts recommend keeping records for at least one year longer than the longest warranty or statue of limitations, meaning you should plan to keep your records for approximately 11 years or depending on the warranty coverage you've been given.

Step 5: Final Payment
Before making the final payment to your new home builder, request a walk-though with the contractor and take along your original contract. Have them show you specific items that are listed in the contract so you can verify that each step has been completed as promised. Then ask for written warranties (if they haven't already been provided) and ask for clarification about your responsibilities and rights if you need to redeem the warranty. While doing the walk-through, make sure that the job site has been cleaned and all extra and unwanted materials, equipment, tools, trash, and other items have been removed from the home and the property.

At this time, you'll also want to ask for proof that all subcontractors and suppliers have been paid. If the Lake County new home builder hasn't paid their debts, subcontractors and materials suppliers can put a lien on your home, sticking you with the outstanding bills. To avoid this, ask the contractor and every subcontractor and materials supplier for the job to give you a lien waver or lean release stating that all invoices have been paid and there are no liens against your new home.

Signs of a Problem with Local New Home Builders

Signs a Custom Home Construction Company May Not Be Reputable
The signs of a reputable, honest contractor can be easy to spot if you know what to look for and what to look out for.

Avoid contractors who do the following:

• Canvas the neighborhood, knocking on doors and offering new home construction services

• Use high-pressure tactics such as asking for an immediate decision or offering discounts for contracts signed immediately or during the first meeting

• Offer discounts to clients who refer them to others or find them new customers

• Offer discounts on materials that are left over from previous jobs

• Expect you to get building permits (this can be a sign the contractor is unlicensed and unable to get permits themselves)

• Won't give you a license number, gives you an inactive or wrong license number, or won't give you proof of insurance

• Only accepts cash payments or gives a discount for cash payments

• Expects full payment or payment larger than the legally allowed down payment before the work begins

• Pressures you to borrow money from them or another lender they recommend

• Offers discounts in exchange for using your house as a demonstration or sample home

• Won't give you a written bid or contract, firm start date and expected end date, or who won't provide other documentation other contractors routinely provide

• Pressures you to sign a blank, incomplete, or vague contract or one you don't agree with or don't have enough time to read and understand. They may promise to make changes or adjustments later if you sign it now

Watch Out for New Home Construction Scams
After a disaster, during peak building times, or in areas with a fast-growing housing market, some new home builders or people posing as new home construction services may gin up scams that make them money and leave homeowners with crushing debt and crushed dreams.

These scams can be easy to see through if you know what to look for. Others are well crafted and can be hard to recognize.

Insisting on hiring a licensed, insured, bonded contractor that has a listed license number with no claims against it and a long list of customer references can help protect you. It's also smart to verify the contractor's financial health by ensuring that there are no liens against their company and that their subcontractors and suppliers don't put liens against their customers' homes.

It's also vital to get good, legal contracts that are detailed and clear. You should also watch out for finance scams when it comes to building a new home in Lake County. Run all financial decisions by a financial adviser or trusted lender. Even if you pay for an hour or two of their services, it can be a smart decision to have a third party review documents and loan papers.

Don't take out loans, including home equity loans, that you can afford to pay back. Additionally, don't take out huge home equity or other loans expecting the market to rise enough to pay off the balance. Don't borrow money from lenders the builder pressures you to use, including in-house financing that they promise deals on. You always want to compare loan terms by shopping around with other qualified lenders. Never sign blank or incomplete paperwork or paperwork that you're pressured or rushed to sign. Completely understand all associated fees, interest rates, points and other details associated with the loan and repayment terms.

Never sign over your property deed to your contractor, lender, or another party. If you're asked to do so, that's a clear sign that you may be a victim of a scam.

If you feel you've been scammed or were targeted by unscrupulous or criminal companies, call your local Illinois attorney general or consumer protection office and report the problem.

Why Not Hire the Cheapest Home Construction Company?
Everyone wants a deal. However, there is a difference between a fair and value-based purchase and a too-low price that makes quality unlikely.

Your new home should be a source of pride and excitement. But cheap home builders can leave you holding debt or saddled with responsibilities for product or property liens and unhappy with the final product.

During the bidding phase, it's important to ask for line-item bids and then compare what each company is offering. You may find that the cheapest bids include less product, lower grades of product and materials, or gaps in appliances or materials. In addition, fair bids may include additional services such as clean up, extended warranties, choice of materials or appliances and fixtures, and other perks that will leave you happier with the end result.

The old adage that you get what you pay for is often true with new home construction in Lake County IL, including Lake County and surrounding areas. Hiring a contractor with a rock-bottom price point may look like a deal, but the overall value of the home could be much less than that offered by an honest and fair contractor who provides built-in value.

How to Handle a Problem with a Company You've Hired

Once you've hired a company, particularly if you've vetted them and hired a true professional with all of the necessary credentials and experience to build you a new home, it's not uncommon to have moments of tension or minor misunderstandings. As with all professional relationships, talking about the problem in person as soon as it comes up is the best way to handle issues and keep them from becoming major roadblocks to completing your new home building project.

Part of the reason for signing a detailed and complete bid and contract is so that you have written details and promises about the job at hand. If you're concerned about the work, materials, or process, look at your contract and see if you can find an answer to the issue. Your contract is a legal document, and you and your Lake County new home builder are legally obligated to adhere to the agreement you signed. If your contractor isn't holding up their end of the contract, bring the specific clause or wording to their attention and ask them to fix the issue so that it meets the specifics agreed upon in the original contract.

Withholding scheduled payments is also an option if the conflict isn't resolved. If you've agreed upon payment installments based on the work provided, you don't have to make payments until the benchmarks are met. In this case and when reporting other problems to local agencies, you'll want to have written and/or photographic documentation of your concerns and your efforts to resolve the problem. Keep a log of communication, complaints, responses, and other details.

If you are concerned about the quality of the work or you feel that the contractor is being dishonest or not following the law, contact the Illinois attorney general or consumer protection office and report the problem. You may also find some recourse with the Illinois contractor licensing board.

Resources for Clients of New Home Construction Companies

Associations, Agencies, and Other Resources
ABC Associated Builders and Contractors (http://www.abc.org)
ASA American Subcontractors Association (http://www.assaonline.com)
BBB Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.com)
NARI National Association of the Remodeling Industry (http://www.nari.org)
NAHB National Association of Home Builders (https://www.nahb.org)
DCA California Department of Consumer Affairs (www.dca.ca.gov)

Media Resources for New Home Contractors in Lake County IL

Builder Magazine
CONTRACTOR Magazine
Custom Home Builder
Dwell
Fine Homebuilding
Home
Homebuilding & Renovating Magazine
Home & Design
HOUSE Magazine
Luxury Home
Modern Home Builder
Professional Builder Magazine
Residential Contractor
Residential Construction Magazine

The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the TOP 10 New Home Builders in Lake County IL within the following zip codes:

60074-2, 60096, 60073, 60089, 60088, 60087, 60085, 60084, 60083, 60079, 60099, 60035, 60047, 60031, 60046, 60030, 60045, 60069, 60020, 60044, 60064, 60015, 60042, 60061, 60010-3, 60041, 60060, 60002, 60040, 60051-2, 60037 and 60048

The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the TOP 10 New Home Construction Firms in Lake County IL within the following cities:

Waukegan, North Chicago, Highland Park, Zion, Lake Forest, Park City, Buffalo Grove, Mundelein, Gurnee, Round Lake Beach, Libertyville, Vernon Hills, Grayslake, Deerfield, Lake Zurich, Lindenhurst, Beach Park, Wauconda, Fox Lake, Antioch, Island Lake, Long Grove, Winthrop Harbor, Lincolnshire, Lake Bluff, Round Lake Park, Hawthorn Woods, Lake Villa, Round Lake, Ganges Lake and Ingleside

Frequently Asked Questions for Custom Home Builders

Q: What sets apart new home construction companies rated Prime Buyer's Report-TOP 10?
A: New home construction companies in Lake County and throughout Illinois that have been named as Prime Buyer's Report TOP 10 companies and display the Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10® seal are those that have passed what the staff of The Prime Buyer's Report has determined to be the top 10 criteria for evaluating the quality and trustworthiness of a local business. Having passed these top 10 criteria, they are designated in The Prime Buyer's Report as a TOP 10 business. They may also display the Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 symbol in their own communications to consumers as assurance that their claims and quality have been verified by an independent third party.

Q: Is building a new home the right move for our family? Won't it take a lot longer than buying an existing home?
A: That choice is up to you. However, many families find that building a new home customized to their needs and wants is an ideal way to start in a new place. Existing homes may be easier and less expensive, and desired neighborhoods and locations may not have empty lots available. However, fitting an existing home to your needs can be hard and cost-intensive. Remodeling and redesigning can take as much time as building a new home. Pros for building a custom home include knowing that the home is completely up to date to all building safety codes, being able to choose energy-efficient materials and appliances, modern features and finishes, a floor plan that is exactly as you want it, and a long period of time before upgrades and repairs are needed.

 

Q: Can I select the new materials and appliances for my new home?
A: That's one of the best parts of building a new home. Lake County new home builders in Waukegan, North Chicago, Highland Park, Zion, Lake Forest, Park City, Buffalo Grove, Mundelein, Gurnee, Round Lake Beach, Libertyville, Vernon Hills, Grayslake, Deerfield, Lake Zurich, Lindenhurst, Beach Park, Wauconda, Fox Lake, Antioch, Island Lake, Long Grove, Winthrop Harbor, Lincolnshire, Lake Bluff, Round Lake Park, Hawthorn Woods, Lake Villa, Round Lake, Ganges Lake and Ingleside should be willing to work with you to choose and install the materials and appliances that fit your style and family. Colors, flooring, window and door styles, from the largest to tiniest details can be customized to your needs.

 

Q: Can my contractor help me choose the lot for my new home?
A: Whether you have a lot chosen or not, good new home building contractors in Lake County IL can help you. If you need to select a location for your new home, the contractors should be willing to walk the possible lots with you discussing the location and pros and cons, including drainage, soil, grading or other issues. They should also be willing to talk with you about the best way to position your home on the lot depending on the lot features, direction of lighting, orientation of roads and access points, and more.

 

Q: Will building a new home be cheaper than buying an existing home?
A: That depends on a lot of factors. You have a lot more freedom and flexibility when building a new home, but that can either keep costs down or cause them to skyrocket depending on your aesthetics and desires. With existing homes, you know the purchase price upfront. While there may be some flexibility in offers, depending on the housing market in your area of Lake County, you could end up having to bid more than the list price. And then, once you've purchased the home, you may want to make changes to it before moving in. With a new home, you control the costs from design to materials. You're also in charge of the end product, so you may end up happier with your custom-built home than with a used home purchase.

Glossary of Custom Home Building Terms

Blueprint
A floor plan drawing used to design and build a new home. Blueprints are necessary for getting accurate price estimates and requesting building permits.

Build on Your Own Lot (BOYL)
A new home built on land owned or purchased by the buyers. BOYL homes are in contrast to spec homes built and sold along with the land they're on.

Builder Warranty
Builders warranties protect new home buyers from structural defects and problems with materials. Most warranties for new construction include one-year warranties on materials and 10-year warranties on structural defects and failure.

Builder's Risk Insurance
Insurance that protects the construction company while a house is being built. It is possible to extend coverage to protect the client if it is discussed and added during the contract phase.

Building Codes
States, counties, and cities set up building codes dictating homes can be modified or built. New homes must meet the most recent building codes. Existing homes are not required to meet current codes, however most jurisdictions specify that homes should be brought up-to-date to current codes before they are sold.

Building Insurance
Insurance covering buildings during construction. Building insurance guards against fire, damage, theft, and other loss of the building and components while it is being constructed.

Certificate of Occupancy (CO)
A certificate issued after a home has passed all required inspections. A home is not legally allowed to be occupied until a CO is issued.

Change Order
Written documents that modify the original plans for the details, features, floor plan, appliances, or finishes in a given home. Change orders are agreed upon by the client and the builder, and they may change the overall cost of the job and the timeline, depending on the type of change and date of change.

Conditions, Covenants, and Restrictions (CC & R)
Planned communities often have CC&R contracts that define how properties can be used and kept up. These documents tell what standards must be adhered to, and all residents in the homeowners' association area or planned community must abide by them. These may include home size and style, exterior colors, landscaping, upkeep and maintenance, and more.

Construction Loan
Mortgage funds used to buy land and build custom homes. These loans may cover both the land and the home building or they may cover just the land purchase or the construction costs, depending on the needs of the loan recipient.

Contractor
A company that provides residential and/or commercial building services. Contractors should be licensed with the state and hold applicable liability and workers' compensation insurance. Contractors include general contractors who can do all aspects of construction work and contractors with specific emphases, such as plumbing contractors and electrical contractors.

Custom Home
A custom home is one built to the buyers' specifications from plan through finish.

Floor Plan
A drawing or computer designed diagram of the arrangement of rooms within a new home. Floor plans are drawn to scale and include the location of rooms, room size, and placement of walls, stairs, fixtures, major appliances and other details.

Infill Lot
A small plot or area of land included within the area of a developed community that is sold to or allowed for building one home or a small number of homes. Infill lots may be created by demolishing an existing home or structure on that lot. The lot then may be subdivided or sold as a complete parcel. Infill lots are one of the few ways to build a new home in an established community.

Manufacturer's Specifications
Written instructions for installation and care given by the product manufacturer. Warranty coverage may depend on the specifications given by a manufacturer, so installation and care instructions should be heeded so as not to invalidate the warranty coverage.

Manufacturer's Warranties
Manufacturer's warranties cover materials, appliances, and other added goods in a new home. These warranties may include 10-, 20-, 30- or lifetime warranties on major home components like roofing, siding, major appliances, and other items.

Payment Schedule
A schedule for payments that is agreed upon before a new home construction begins. Most payment schedules include the timing of the initial deposit, payments during construction (often tied to specific progress or deadlines), and ending with a final payment after the home is completed and the final inspections are completed and the certificate of occupancy is released.

Penalty Clause
A penalty clause may be included in a building contract that specifies a reduction in payments if the contractor misses deadlines or doesn't deliver the work as promised either in time, scope, quality, or details.

Permit
Authorization from a state or city government that allow a new home to be built or modified. Permits often state the work that is to be completed and details that the job must adhere to, including codes and other requirements. Permits are often required for major renovations, remodels, additions, and new construction.

Plot Plan
A plan drawn up and/or provided by a land surveyor that shows the location of a home on a lot, along with property lines, setbacks, descriptions, easements, and more. Plot plans are important for new construction because of lot line, property line, required setback details, and other factors that dictate the blueprints and building decisions.

Production Builder
Builders that design and build more than one home from an original floor plan. Production builders offer a set of predesigned floor plans to clients and then allow the home buyers to make changes to the floor plans to customize the homes to their liking. These are not custom home designs, however, since only certain changes and adjustments are allowed.

Property Survey
Property surveys determine the boundaries of a plot or parcel of land. This property survey and details about required setbacks and other legal factors determine where a home can be located, along with the location of outbuildings, driveways, garages, landscaping, and more.

Rural Development Loans
Some rural properties in designated rural areas may qualify for rural development loans, low-interest-rate loans with full financing terms offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Depending on income restrictions, zoning, and other factors, these loans may help individuals and families purchase property and build new homes in rural areas.

Semi-Custom Homes
Homes built by production builders can be comprehensively modified to fit the clients' tastes. Semi-custom homes differ from other production homes because large changes, including interior, exterior, and structural changes, can be made to modify the original house plan.

Walk-Through
When a new home is completed, the buyers and the contractor schedule a walk-through to stand as the final inspection of the home. During this walk-through, the homeowners look for areas of concern or other issues that need to be repaired, redone, or addressed before the home is considered completed and the final payment is made.