5 Signs that Your Homebuilder Doesn’t Cut Corners

Homebuilder Doesn't Cut Corners

Buying a home is a big decision, not to mention a time commitment! You probably spend a lot of your free time browsing listings, walking through open houses, and researching communities online. With so many home builders out there, it can be difficult to differentiate the truly superb from the lackluster. But knowing the difference between a builder that’s looking out for your best interests and one that’s only looking at its bottom line is essential. Finding a builder that puts time and effort into constructing a top-quality home will save you time, money, and stress down the line.

Here are five things to look for that signal that your home builder doesn’t cut corners.

1. They Offer a Warranty

A builder that provides a long warranty for their homes believes in their work. Specifically, look for an insurance-backed structural warranty that provides clear instructions for homeowners and the builder. Though there are a variety of warranties out there, generally, the longer the warranty, the better the protection for you. For example, the 2-10 Home Buyer’s Warranty provides a 10-year warranty on all new homes for structural load-bearing components, including roof framing systems, beams and girders, and footing and foundation systems. In order to be accepted into the 2-10 program, a builder must pass a rigorous screening process that ensures they are creating a high-quality product. 

A warranty is not the same thing as home insurance. While home insurance will give you financial protection in the case of unforeseen damage to your home, a warranty covers your major appliances and systems as they age. Plus, a warranty offered by the builder comes at no added cost to you, the buyer. And a 2-10 warranty is transferable to the next homeowner, an added value if you put your home on the market.

2. The Finishing Touches Are There

An excellent builder won’t just give you four walls and a roof and call it a day. In addition to a safe structure, there are a few important high-quality features you should look for. Great builders know that these details will not only improve your quality of life, but they can also save you money down the road on improvements and repairs.

Things like quartz kitchen counters and stainless steel appliances will give a home both function and flair, but keep your eye out for smaller touches, like built-in shelving and cabinets in places that you’ll need them (like the laundry room), or hand-textured walls. Not all builders provide these elements for their homes, so comparing and weighing your options is key.

Quality starts from the bones of your house, so keep an eye out for a builder that uses high-grade materials in all construction. Builder-grade materials, despite what the name might indicate, are actually the lowest standard offered for building materials. Builder-grade windows tend to be draftier, and builder-grade vinyl siding tends to crack and fade easier during storms or extreme weather. Fiber cement siding, by contrast, resists damage from weather and pests. Ask your home builder about the specific materials they use to get a good sense of the level of quality. 

3. The Homes Are Energy Efficient

One of the most important features to look for in a new home is energy efficiency—both for the sake of the environment and your wallet. Having an energy-efficient home and efficient appliances goes a long way to reduce climate pollution through carbon dioxide emissions. 

On a personal level, though, a home built to be energy efficient can save a tremendous amount on your utility bill. While a standard home might have 20-30% duct leakage from its heating and cooling system, an energy-efficient home that meets the OG&E Positive Energy Program standards will only have 5% leakage. Look for a builder that doesn’t just meet local and state requirements, but puts in the extra time and effort to hold their homes to the more rigorous third-party energy standards available. 

4. They’re Busy, But Responsive

Sounds counterintuitive, right? A builder with all the time in the world to get right to work with you has to be a good thing. Not so fast. A good builder with a strong reputation in your area will have a number of customers, and possibly a waitlist for properties. If there are a lot of vacancies in your builder’s community or a high turnover rate in homes, that’s probably not a good sign.


Still, you should be able to easily reach your builder by phone or online inquiry and expect a prompt reply. Check out your builder’s social media pages to see if they are recently updated and responsive to comments. A builder that keeps open lines of communication with their customers is likely a company that stands behind their work.

5. They’re Honest

A great builder will give it to you straight. No one wants uncertainty or surprises in the home purchasing process, especially not financial ones. If unexpected costs or issues seem to arise every time you communicate, then it might be time to consider other options. Look for a builder who values transparency throughout the buying process.


Want to learn more about a builder that doesn’t skimp on the details? Contact TimberCraft to learn more about our process and let us help you find the home of your dreams.

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