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6 Important Questions to Ask a New Home Builder

Wednesday April 4, 2018

Buying a new home is not a decision that most people take lightly. Frequently, that new home purchase is a side effect of a big transformation in your life. From relocating for work or family reasons, to downsizing or upsizing for retirement, or even pursuing a lifelong dream, your new home purchase is normally part of a larger transition. Those transitions can easily feel overwhelming if you’re uncertain about the future, and that feeling can cause confusion about even the most straightforward decisions. While we can’t give you answers to some of life’s hardest questions, we can help you be more prepared for the home-buying process. To help you prepare, here are 6 important questions to ask a new home builder.

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1. What is the HERS score of the home and is it tested and certified by a third party?
The HERS score is a standardized rating scale of new homes that measures the energy efficiency of that home. When working with HERS scores it’s important to keep in mind that the lower the score the better. The reason this is an important consideration is that your new home’s HERS score will affect not only your monthly utility bills, but also your environmental footprint. When you ask a builder about HERS scores, make sure the information you’re receiving is certified by a third party and that the HERS score you’ve been provided applies to the exact home you’re looking at. Homebuilders will often certify only a portion of the new homes they build.

Dorn Design Center (4).jpg2. Do you have a design center?

Homebuilders that offer design centers are offering you the opportunity to explore the upgrades, flooring, cabinetry, and fixtures of your new home before you decide what to install. Your design center visit is also your chance to consider customizing your home to meet your unique needs.

 3. How many years have you been in business?

With new home construction, experience frequently speaks for itself. An experienced builder is more likely to know the idiosyncrasies of the area in which they’re building, which makes it less likely that you’ll encounter delays or complications during the construction process.


construction team final 4.What sort of warranty do you offer?

Most homebuilders offer a warranty on the craftsmanship of a new home, but it’s important to understand exactly what that covers and for how long. It also pays to understand the claim process and any commitments the builder makes to their homebuyers. At Dorn Homes, we offer pre-scheduled walkthroughs as well as a limited 

builder’s warranty to protect you from structural damages. When you’re discussing warranty with a homebuilder, make sure you ask about whether that warranty is transferable if you anticipate moving within the life of the warranty.



5. What standard features are included in the advertised price?

It’s important to remember when touring model homes, that many homebuilders upgrade these models above and beyond what is typically available in the standard homes. Dorn Homes prides itself on building your new home with many upgraded features already included. One way you can differentiate between the model home and the standard homes is by utilizing a “Features Checklist,” which is available in the Sales Center.



6. What type of green energy features do you offer?
As the price of renewable energy continues to drop, homebuyers are increasingly interested in generating their own clean energy. Whether that means using solar to provide energy during peak times or using whole home battery systems to achieve energy independence, it’s important to understand what options are available to you. At Dorn Homes, all of our homes come pre-wired for solar energy collection as well as dedicated electrical vehicle charging in your garage. If you’re interested in solar for your new home explore Dorn Homes’ Eco Evolve. 



 While there are a lot of important considerations for any large purchase, a new home is unique. The decisions you make when planning, designing, and buying your new home can affect you for years to come. For more information about any of these questions, or to schedule an appointment to explore our models, reach out to an Online Home Advisor today!