Last September, Evan W lost his home near Portland, Oregon, to wildfire, and now he faces a problem he never expected to have: How does someone go about deciding what kind of house to build, and who should build it?
“We’re planning to rebuild on the existing site,” Evan writes in this recent Q&A Spotlight. “I had never expected to build a new house, only to gradually improve the 60-year-old home we had. That’s all changed now.”
Evan is certain he wants a high-performance home, but whether that means Passive House or Pretty Good House is up in the air. Neither he nor his partner is a building professional, so they are a little concerned about how they can ensure high-quality building practices, and where they might start looking for a builder.
“If you were shopping for building professionals for your own house, what questions would you ask to identify the right firms for your project?” Evan asks. “What questions do you wish your customers would ask you when they’re shopping for building professionals? Sorry to ask such naive questions but this has thrown me completely beyond my comfort zone.”
Evans questions, of course, are not naive, but well founded and no doubt shared by many others daunted by the prospect of building a new home.
So, how does he proceed? That’s the topic for this Q&A Spotlight.
Take your time finding a builder
Whatever you do, William Hullsiek tells Evans, don’t rush the decision on who will build the house. “Make sure you trust their judgment, as they will be spending your money,” he says. “You do not want to regret your decision.”
He suggests that Evan walk through several houses a prospective builder has done, and ask a lot…