08 Nov Designing your custom home and selecting the right builder
If you are in the market for a custom home, the first step is to study the top builders in your area. Visit their websites to see images of their work. If they have speculative homes on the market, attend the open houses to see the quality of their work in person. Once you have narrowed in on who you might like to use, the next step is to schedule an initial meeting. Below we break down questions to consider when selecting which builder to work with.
We always encourage potential clients to meet with us directly and ask us these questions. We find that the more clients are informed about the custom home process, the smoother our partnership will be.
- Start with the Basics: Discuss the general process and timeline. Find out the typical length of construction and how much involvement you would have in the process. It is also important to ask the builder’s involvement in the process. Does he/she visit the site daily? Is there a site manager that would specifically be assigned to your project?
- Inquire about relationships: Most of the time, the best builders have a network of subcontractors and third party vendors. Having this type of network is critical for getting the best bids on projects, which will ultimately drive down the cost of construction. Find out how many subcontractors the builder typically bids jobs out to. You’ll also want to know how productive the builders are and whether their management is such that the employees are in a constant state of motivation and are also being time-tracked appropriately to get the job done on time and to a high standard – here is an HR tool that could help productivity improve. It is also important to inquire about the builder’s relationships with local architects. Does he/she use several different architects? Do they have recommendations for who they would suggest based on different styles of architecture and layout.
- Ask for references: It is always important to ask your builder if they will provide 2-3 references that you can contact. Speak with these people directly to discuss their experience and how satisfied they are with their home. If you do not want to contact a past client, speak to a local real estate who might know of the builder’s reputation.
- Discuss Customization: How much level of customization does the builder offer? Some clients like to be more involved than others. If you are someone who only wants to be involved in certain decisions, discuss whether they have a team that can guide you with custom options. How does the builder keep a timeline of selections to ensure the project is on schedule?
- Financing: Talk to your builder about options for financing the construction of the project. Find out the timeline of necessary payments and budgets for the project. How does your builder ensure that the project does not go over budget?
- Home Warranty Plan: Discuss your builder’s home warranty plan. Find out how long the warranty lasts and what types of issues the builder will look to repair after the warranty has expired.
By: Chelsea Georgio