If you really want to find your dream home—why not just build it? The fact is that home buyers rarely find that perfect fit on the existing market. They shop around and eventually settle on a house that fits enough of their wants to be acceptable. The advantage of building a custom home is that there’s no need to settle. You have the opportunity to plan every aspect of your home from the positioning on the lot to the materials in the roof.
There are, however, some drawbacks to building a custom home. Building a house from scratch requires a lot of time, effort, and cost. Before you can even start the building process, you have to plan out every single aspect of the project along with the budget.
One of the most helpful steps you can make towards that process is to choose a quality custom home builder with the expertise to help with planning, budgeting, and acquiring financing your project.
Choosing a Custom Home Builder
The success of a custom-building project relies heavily on the contractor you select to build it. Choosing the right custom home builder is, therefore, of the utmost importance, but how do you go about selecting the right home builder?
A builder’s reputation will give you a clear indication of what you can expect while working with them. Paying customers are usually honest in their review of a building professional and the products and services that they provided.
Before signing a contract with a builder, do some online research to find reviews from previous clients. You can also contact key persons at your bank and preferred building supplier to find out if they worked with the builder and to learn more about their reputation and professionalism.
A builder’s reputation does not only depend on the quality of work they typically deliver, but also how willing they are to meet their clients’ requirements in terms of timely completion and going the extra mile to solve specific problems.
If there is no information on consumer websites or social media, it may be an indication that the builder has not been in business long enough to build up a review base.
If a builder is new to the industry, they may not have the necessary skills to solve problems, stay within your budget, or complete the project within a reasonable time, especially when it comes to extensive building projects.
You may find an inexperienced builder to be a better option as they may be willing to work for less money. Over the long-run, however, an established building company will be the affordable option as the chances of structural defects and recurring costs are significantly lower.
In addition to experience, your builder should also have credentials that are up to date. A building team that regularly undergoes training will understand and employ the latest building practices that reduce input costs and save time.
Do They Use Subcontractors? Who Are They?
A builder is not the only person that works on your custom home. A builder will typically appoint subcontractors that specialize in certain areas, for example, roofing, plumbing, carpentry, and floorwork.
You may choose a reputable and experienced builder, but if he hires one of his subcontractor buddies, all your effort in vetting the builder will be for nothing, especially if the subcontractor delivers work that is sub-par.
Ask your builder for a list of the subcontractors and their credentials. A professional builder will typically furnish you with the subcontractors’ reviews, certifications, and references so you can ensure that you are dealing with professionals.
Arrange meetings with the subcontractors to learn more about their services, to see their license, and to tell them your requirements.
In many cases, builders are loyal to their preferred subcontractors and not their clients. Spend some time and go to the trouble to ensure that the subcontractors who will be working on your property have the necessary skills, experience, and professionalism.
What is The Turnaround Time?
The time of completion is critical, especially if you intend on living in the house. If your builder has a lot of projects going on at the same time as yours, their staff may neglect your project and leave you hanging for weeks, if not months.
To ensure a reasonable turnaround time, state the date of completion in the contract with a legal consequence if the builder fails to complete the project before this date. A luxury home builder that is willing to agree to a date of completion is, in all likelihood, a professional and will take steps to ensure that they get the work done in time.
Failing to agree upon the turnaround time beforehand will give the builder the opportunity to prolong the project while they work at other sites. Open-Ended project duration can result in a lot of frustration and costs on your part.
The quality of the building materials and workmanship is a crucial consideration that you should take into account before selecting a builder. To get an idea of the quality you can expect, visit homes that the contractor built in the past and take an in-depth look at the building quality.
Try to talk to the owners of these custom-built homes and ask them about the builder’s performance, specifically regarding completion time and cost efficiency.
Talk to the builder as well as ask them about the value you can expect from their services. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. If the turnaround times, costs, and value sounds unreasonably good, chances are that they are trying to secure you as a client without paying heed to their promises.
It may be tempting to take a builder’s word about the quality of their subcontractors, their delivery time, and costs. Many people have, however, learn the hard way that by not doing some research and not having a written agreement, you are launching yourself into a world of trouble.
Many professional home builders offer high-quality solutions for new construction homes. By taking the considerations above into account, you will be able to find a professional to build the home you’ve always dreamed of.