How to Choose A Custom Home Builder
When you embark on a construction project it’s always crucial to pick your builder carefully. This is especially true, though, if you’re building a custom home from scratch.
A competent contractor is your greatest ally. They’ll be able to walk you through the process, point out pitfalls, and give you advice on anything from floor plans to soundproofing. Their experience can save you countless headaches.
The market for builders is crowded, though – there are countless offers to choose from.
So how do you go about picking the perfect custom home builder for your project?
Keep reading to find out.
Ask for Recommendations.
The first step you should take is to ask for recommendations from family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances.
If someone you trust can pass you the details of a builder they’ve had a great experience with, it’s already a massive plus point.
Local Facebook groups and homeowner’s associations are also excellent places to turn to for advice.
Finally, you could also ring up a few local real estate agents’ offices and ask if they can point you in the right direction.
Check Directories and Reviews.
As a next step, you should start to scour online directories of builders, rankings, and listings.
These days, any firm of builders worth their money has a solid online presence, even local ones. Through their websites, you can check out reference projects, the way they work, and get an average price range for your project.
Also be sure to check out online reviews, even if someone you know recommended a builder warmly. If a contractor left clients dissatisfied in the past, chances are they will have taken to the internet to vent.
Quiz Candidates about their Experience and Qualifications.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of candidates to a handful of builders, you can start contacting them one by one.
Ask in-depth questions about their qualifications and experiences. The National Association of Home Builders, for example, has a comprehensive list of everything you should ask potential builders.
At this point, you should make sure that the builder you’re talking to has experience with the type of home you want with regard to location, style, and price range.
Talking to a potential builder over the phone or in-person also gives you a sense of how communicative, friendly, and responsive they are.
Review Reference Projects.
Next, look at reference projects. A few recently completed ones are usually listed on a builders’ website. If not, ask the builder directly.
At the very least, you should then stop by the properties and see if they appeal to you. If possible, introduce yourself to the owners and tell them you’re considering buying a home from the builder who built theirs.
Usually, people will be happy to share the experiences they’ve had with a particular firm – and any problems they may have encountered.
Carefully Compare Quotes.
Finally, you should ask for quotes from a few different candidates and carefully compare them.
It’ll give you a good idea of how transparent and specific each builder is. Be aware, though, that quotes can be written in different ways. Prices, for example, can be given per square foot or per unit. Some builders automatically factor in buffers for unforeseen expenses, others don’t.
It will take some effort – and lots of time spent on your computer and on the phone – to pinpoint the right builder for your project. In the end, it will be worth it. And you’ll be able to embark on your construction project with a reliable and competent ally.