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Interviewing Your Builder - Part 1

Before choosing a builder, begin by asking these important questions.

Are you a licensed builder in the State of Michigan?
When choosing a builder, the first and most important question to ask is about licensing. Why does this matter? First, it matters because the State of Michigan requires residential builders to have a license before they can build, maintain, or alter buildings in Michigan. More importantly, it matters because licensed builders have completed rigorous course work prior to passing a two-part examination and obtaining a license. They are also required to earn continuing education credits to renew their licenses.

Our Answer
Jack Vander Meulen and Aaron Vander Meulen both are licensed builders for the State of Michigan.

How long have you been in business in this market?
Hiring a custom home builder is similar to hiring employees for your business. You should know what’s on their résumé, including their work history, skills, and years of experience. What projects has this builder completed? What’s the experience and skill set of the employees who will work on your home?
In addition, it’s important for your builder to understand the city, township, or village where you are located. In Michigan, most local government units have specific ordinances and permitting requirements. Your builder needs to understand these as well as Michigan and national building codes in order to complete your home. You may even want to ask about relationships with local building inspectors and officials – having good relationships can ease the process considerably.

Our Answer
Vander Meulen Builders has been building exceptional homes in West Michigan since 1923. We understand the ins and outs of local codes and permitting processes in every community along the lakeshore, which allows us to move your project forward as quickly as possible.
Jack Vander Meulen, our president, has been with Vander Meulen Builders for over 40 years. Jim Vander Meulen, our vice-president, is a registered architect with more than 15 years at Vander Meulen Builders. Our full-time crew members all have at least 10 years of experience, and many have more than 20 years of experience.
Stay tuned … our next post will address timelines, budgets, and change orders – three critical areas for any custom project!
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