How to Help the Custom Home Building Process Go Smoothly
In our previous blog post, we gave an overview of what to expect from the custom home building process. Now, we’d like to provide some practical tips for things you can do to help your home building process go as smoothly as possible.
While most of the work and responsibility of building your home belongs to the builder, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to help. From pre-planning to finish, there are plenty of opportunities for you to help the process along and make sure your dream home is exactly as you envisioned. Here’s our advice on how you can help your building process be as smooth and successful as possible.
Choose Your Custom Home Builder Carefully
This is one of the most important choices you will make throughout the entire building process. You should choose your builder carefully, since you’re going to be working with them closely for 6 months to a year as you plan and complete your home. Don’t just choose the first builder you meet with; consult with several and compare them to find the best fit for your project. It’s vital that you have complete trust in your builder.
Here’s a helpful checklist to follow as you compare homebuilders:
- Reviews. Find as many customer reviews as possible for each builder. Search not just the builder’s website (these will be handpicked as positive examples), but also neutral sites like Google, BBB, Home Advisor, and Facebook. You can also ask builders for references from their clients.
- Samples of Work. Ask each builder you consult with for examples of their construction work. They should be willing to provide pictures, video, and blueprint plans to prove the quality of their work.
- Design Services. Choose a custom home builder who offers design services in-house. This means they can handle your project from start to finish. In-house design services also ensure that you can create a truly custom home, with a completely personalized design.
- Warranty. Ask each builder if they offer a warranty on their work. A warranty is a sign of a builder who takes pride and ownership of their work. Check out the Picklo Homes Warranty as an example of a homebuilding warranty you should look for.
- Communication. As you consult with homebuilders early on, make sure they listen to you carefully and understand and appreciate your vision. You should also get a feel for how easy they are to get in touch with—if you find yourself on hold for long periods of time or getting a busy signal or unanswered emails often, those are signs this builder may be too busy to give you, and your home, full priority.
- Connection. In instances such as this, there’s a lot to be said for how well you connect with a business and those running it. How does the homebuilder make you feel? If in your initial consultations you feel ignored, condescended to, or made to feel like an annoyance, those are sure signs that this is the wrong builder for you.
Plan for Delays
You’ve been waiting your entire life to build your own custom designed dream home. It’s hard to wait any longer for that move-in date, especially if the project ends up taking longer than expected. However, you can help offset the downsides of delays by being prepared for them ahead of time.
While your custom builder will give you an estimated finish date from the beginning of the project, it’s important to keep in mind that there may be circumstances beyond anyone’s control that can push back the date of completion. Weather, worker availability, supply issues, and other extenuating circumstances can all contribute to possible delays on the finishing date of your custom home.
From the very beginning of your custom building project, you should view your estimated finish date as a ballpark timeline, rather than a set finishing date. This will help ensure that you have backup living arrangements, such as a flexible rent lease, an extendable close date on a property you’re selling, or a family member to live with.
Having a flexible mindset will also help with the psychological expectations for the finishing date of your new home. It’s hard to wait any longer when you’re so close to finally moving into your dream home, but having the mindset that your home may be finished later rather than sooner will help avoid frustration and make the process seem to go more quickly. It may be that your home does get finished on time, or even earlier—and then it will be a pleasant surprise!
Plan for Unexpected Costs
Much like with the scheduling of your custom home build, expecting the unexpected when it comes to unforeseen occurrences can help you roll with the punches and be ready for anything.
Surprises are a normal part of any home renovation or home build. Early on, set aside a cushion in your budget that is specifically allotted to unexpected costs that may arise. That way, when they do occur, it’s just another natural step in the building process, rather than a major snag. If taking out a loan for your custom build, make sure to consult closely with your custom builder and with your mortgage broker to make sure there is enough cushion built into your loan to cover unexpected costs.
Ideally, you won’t end up needing any or all of your extra budget cushion, and your custom build will come in under budget. That will leave you with the flexibility to add additional custom features that you may decide you want towards the end of your project, or to purchase some new furnishings or decorations to fill your beautiful new home.
Stay Informed and Involved
While your builder should certainly have your building project in top priority, the truth is that even custom homebuilders likely have multiple projects going on at once. The reality is that it’s always possible for things to be overlooked or slip through the cracks. Since you have a vested interest in your custom home building project, you should take an active role in supervising and monitoring your home’s progress. You’ll be able to spot problems early on and inform your builder if something is wrong. This can save time, money, and headaches down the road, if the issues can be addressed before construction continues further.
Keep copies of all the paperwork throughout the building process, such as design plans and surveys—you should use these to make sure the home is being finished exactly as planned. Monitor the construction site regularly, both to drive by and to do occasional walk-throughs to check progress. Perhaps you’ll spot problems, or areas that you’ve changed your mind about and would like to alter the plans before a project is complete. Or, perhaps everything is fine, which will provide you with invaluable peace of mind.
Don’t worry about “bothering” your builder. A quality, trustworthy builder should always be open and available to communicate with you, and welcome any concerns or feedback you have to give. You should feel like a “team” with your builder, working together to make sure your building project is completed as perfectly as possible.
If you’re looking for a quality, trustworthy custom homebuilder in the Houston area, Picklo Homes would be happy to meet with you to discuss your dream home project. Call us today at (281) 252-4447 to schedule your consultation.