Before Hiring a Custom Home Builder, Consider These Things First.
Congratulations, you have made the decision to not only purchase a home for you
and your family, but actually have a home built to your specifications.
In other words, a custom home!
Your home purchase is likely to be one of the largest financial investments you
and your family will make during your working lifetime. Likely this is your dream
home; the home you want to remain in for a considerably long time. A place
where you plan for your family’s life to happen. A place where memories will be
made. Choose your builder well, and you will likely observe the building of a
house that becomes a home even before you have lain the first carpet or wood
floor. Choose unwisely, or don’t ask the right questions before hand, and you
may end up with a build failing to live up to the expectations you had in mind.
Often, when choosing your builder, communication in the first instance is key.
Consider these things when choosing your custom home builder.
Research for Quality, then Research Again.
A house should be a place to come home to. A place to relax and retreat from the
world. The only thing you need to be looking at when chilling out at the end of a
busy day is that big screen T.V and a comfy sofa. Failing that, a hot bath and a
room spacious enough for a big cozy bed. The very last thing you and your family
want to be staring at are nicks in the dry wall and a shower basin leaking through
the dining room ceiling!
Your first priority should focus on a quality build. This is not a relative statement.
As in, my idea of quality might be different than another person’s and that is okay.
In building terms, while we may all want different things in a home, quality is
consistent. A leaking roof or inadequately plumbed bathroom results in flooding,
and is not desirable by anyone.
Quality cannot cut corners. In other words, your custom home is constructed by
qualified professionals who know what they are doing!
Take a Walk
Ask to view current home sites or projects. Take a walk through if possible.
Remember, you are looking for quality. Not the style of the home. Rather, does
the overall appearance of the home suggest quality, and attention to detail?
When you talk to the builder, are they passionate about the homes they build?
Are they keen to educate you as much as possible about the process? Do they
mention other builds they have worked on, or when asked, are they evasive?
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
A great way to see other builds is to view pictures of both interior and exterior of
the homes. Ask to see your prospective builder’s portfolio.
Get on the Web!
Chances are, you found your prospective builder via Google search engine. Take
another look at their website, checking for testimonials provided within the last
eighteen months to two years maximum. Ideally, the more recent, the better.
Beyond the website, check out reviews that may have been left on Yelp! and
other similar review sites. After actual word of mouth recommendations, the on
line community can be a tremendous help when it comes to tracking down
Look at their Facebook page. Most businesses now have at least one social media
hub from which they post recent business happenings and so on, that might be of
interest to customers old and new. Ideally Facebook postings should be current
and reflect the useful information prospective clients, like you, are searching for.
The more current the social media account, the more likely your prospective
builder is working hard at staying engaged with the home buying community.
Your builder should be using quality products throughout the build. From
foundation, framing, to roof cover. Conduct thorough interviews, asking
questions about materials used. A good builder will take the time to listen and to
answer your questions honestly. The reputation of their work rests upon future
word of mouth references.
Ask for a time line. Based upon the idea you have for the project, ask how soon
the project can be started. Bearing in mind, the specifics of a design, location of
the build, and so on, ask for a general ball park. Is the builder so backed up with
projects, that yours cannot be started for six months? This might be a good thing
as it can show the builder is popular. However, if you are hoping to have moved
in by Christmas and it is already June, some expectations might need to be
Who will be working on the home build? Assuming your home builder brings in
contractors for certain aspects of the build ; do the contractors turn around and
sub contract? For example, a painter sub contracting for an assistant, or an
electrician subcontracting for an electrician’s help. This may be perfectly legal
and fine, but how is the quality of workmanship monitored? Does your
prospective builder work with a preferred and well qualified, read, licensed and
bonded list of contractors?
Ultimately, you decide what is acceptable to you, but the key is; you feel free and
able to ask the questions.
Choosing A Site
Aside from the house plans themselves, choosing a site in which to build your
home must be one of the most exciting aspects of your home build. But you need
to get it right. Not just the elevation of your home, but the actual location and
size of the build lot.
Does your builder assist with finding a site? Assuming you do not have a site
already purchased, a builder worth their salt would prefer to be involved in the
selection of the build site. Involvement from an early stage will enable them to
advise on drain-field site, in addition to location of well and septic should there
need to be one. Additionally, this would be the perfect time to discuss the
proposed elevation of the site. Will the home be fronting the passing road, or
elevated away from the road?
Plans and Custom Features
A good builder, i.e one for whom this is a full time craft, not something they are
doing as a side gig over their existing job, will possess an excellent working
knowledge of the quality fixtures and fittings you want in your custom build
home. Custom builders understand why you want to custom build. You want the
type of finishing touch, overall style and attention to detail not available in more
What are your Plans?
In looking through your prospective builder’s portfolio, check to see if some of the
homes reflect the type and style of home you are looking for. If you have a
specific style of home in mind, is the builder willing to help you achieve as close
to that design as possible, considering variables such as budget and location, or
after speaking to the builder, do you feel as though your ideas were brushed aside
in favor of one style of house that was repeatedly pushed on to you.
Ask if your builder provides a home warranty service, or some other insurance to
cover you if, say within twelve months, the roof leaks. Ask about important after
market customer service. Even in the best situations, things can go wrong, in
which case you will need to contact your builder to resolve the problem.
Lots to Think About
When it comes to building a home, there are many things to take into
consideration. Likely you have more questions than we have talked about here,
which is where your next step comes in.
Contact Perry’s Custom Homes as part of your next move. We’ll be happy to
answer questions and help you take the next steps toward your dream custom