You’ve finally decided to build that dream house and have invited us into your living room or have cornered us in our sales center. Now what?

As a professional homebuilder, we are prepared to answer any questions you have as you make a purchasing decision, arguably one of the most important financial choices in your life.

But while we encourage and welcome this dialogue, we often find that home buyers aren’t typically prepared for that opportunity. In many cases, the questions we get are limited to how much does a new house cost (or cost per square foot), what are the carpet or cabinet choices, and whether we can cut a deal.

While those are valid questions, we think they only scratch the surface of what home buyers need to know to help ensure a satisfying experience with our company or any professional builder. So here are the top five questions we think home buyers should ask when they are on the cusp of building a new home with us…and why they matter:

1. Who will run the job?

We will assign a site superintendent skilled in new home construction to be your main point of contact from ground breaking through the final walkthrough. It is important to know who that is, and how to contact him or her, to get the most accurate and up-to-date information and answer questions about your new house. We believe this gives you the best of both worlds; a dedicated supervisor as your day-to-day go to person along with availability from our entire staff in support of you and your new home.

2. Will workers be there all day, every day?

Understanding how we work and the pacing of a typical new home construction process is critical to having a positive experience. In fact, sometimes (if not often), there are very few people on the job site, but that doesn’t mean things aren’t progressing. There maybe an inspection scheduled or a delivery on the way that will trigger crews and subcontractors to return and continue their work…perhaps even later that day, if not the next morning. We keep a tight schedule and our business depends on being efficient, but there are occasional lulls in the process that we’ll point out when we go over the building schedule with you.

3. How often can I stop by the jobsite?

Your site superintendent will set up a regular schedule for you to visit the site, ask any questions, and discuss the project and its progress, usually at key points in the process. Unscheduled visitscan affect the schedule and pace of work…and be dangerous depending on the work going on.

4. Can you supply references?

We are happy to provide you with a list of people who have recently purchased homes from us, and we encourage you to call them and ask about their experience and level of satisfaction as you make your own purchasing decision. Any professional builder should have references at the ready, including financial partners, trade contractors, materials suppliers, and others we work with that can provide perspective on our professionalism and track record of performance.

5. How do you handle changes?

Most people don’t ask this question because they can’t envision making a change to a decision during construction, but it happens all the time. We work diligently with you to create a detailed list of specifications for your house before we break ground, but we also have change order policies and procedures in place — which we share with you up front and in the sales contract — to account for changes after building begins.

Armed with the answers to this handful of questions, we think you’ll be more confident in your homebuying decisions and more likely to be satisfied with the end result.