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Building your own home is a goal that many people have. By the time you’re able to afford building your own home, you’ve probably lived in a handful of other properties. This gives you a great idea of what you definitely don’t want in your home, and also what things you absolutely do want. One of the first things you’ll need to do, after purchasing the land to build your house on, is to hire a builder for your home. The entire process is exciting, and can be overwhelming. Because of how overwhelming this project is, there may be a lot of things you should ask your builder, but fail to mention. No matter the specifications for your project, there are five questions you should ask.

Clarify your budget

Make sure you’re clear on what your budget is, and that they’ll be able to complete the entire project without exceeding your budget.

Can you choose any/all of the subcontractors?

Your builder probably has a team of subcontractors that they use. Ask if you can see a list of them and research them individually so you can ensure they’ll do what you want them to. If you have a specific subcontractor that you want to hire, you’ll have to make sure your builder is comfortable with this before you sign any contracts.

What warranty do they offer? What is and is not covered?

You don’t want to wait to ask this until something goes wrong. Make sure that the specifics of your warranty are very clearly spelled out in your contract, and that you and the builder agree on them.

What’s their policy on change orders?

You’re probably going to change your mind on a few things during the home building process. That’s normal. Every builder will handle these change orders their own way. Change orders often come with updated pricing, so make sure you discuss their protocol for change orders first.

Ask to see all invoices immediately

You don’t want the cost of your project to sneak up on you. Some builders charge a flat fee, some charge a percentage of the overall cost, and some simply charge you a markup of the products used to build your home. Find out what their fee structure is, so that way when you see the invoices, you can guarantee that you’re being charged fairly.