Home Improvement

Picking The Best Home Builder To Build Your Future

Things to Consider When Hiring a Custom Home Builder

Building a custom home is a lifetime dream for many owners.  Choosing the right builder is essential to making that dream come true. Hiring a custom builder is an important decision and should be a thorough and careful selection process. Most likely, you will be working with a builder for upwards of 12-14 months, and like any relationship, there must be honest, sincere communication.  Hiring a custom builder can help you get significant value out of building your home.  They can become an advocate that can be a resource helping you navigate this experience.

WHAT IS THE HOME BUILDER’S RESPONSIBILITY?

First and foremost, the best home builders advocate for the homeowners and collaborate as a vital member of the design team. On behalf of the homeowner, the builder works with the design team to help their clients establish a realistic budget for the custom home project. The architect and builder can share best practices and collaborate in customizing the design of your home.

The builder monitors the cost, scope, and execution of the building project during the design and construction process. Great builders are transparent, communicate well, and are always available to their clients to ensure the projects stay on budget and on-time.

Builder Responsibilities:

The builder contracts with the homeowner for a construction home, track all cost, submit pay request for approval to the designer and bank. Additionally, they provide any lien release waivers for completed work and prepare estimates and collect money for any approved change orders.

The builder will manage all subcontractors during the design process to accommodate the architect’s team and homeowner.

Your builder will act as a liaison between the design team, building inspectors, and governing jurisdictions.

The building contractor will manage and obtain all approvals, inspections, and the certificate of occupancy on behalf of the homeowner.

The builder will order, check, and receive all building materials and manage all aspects of the building, and installation.

Upon completion of the construction, the architect may review the project with the builder to check for any deficiencies. If any problems, the builder will work with subcontractors to resolve these issues. Then the city will conduct a final inspection and issue the certificate of occupancy. Afterward, the builder will deliver the home to the owners.

The builder will correct all discrepancies noted on the homeowner’s punch lists. Additionally, the builder will educate the homeowner on the operation and maintenance of their new custom home.

WHEN SHOULD YOU HIRE A CUSTOM HOME BUILDER?

Hire a builder sooner than later in the custom home designing process, so they can guide through the project and help control costs. Negotiate upfront with the builder how they are compensated and trust their experience in negotiating bids from subcontractors and suppliers.

 

Best House Design Ideas

If you’re going to the expense of a significant home improvement or house building project, then you are going to want to consider incorporating some clever house design ideas to create a sense of wow factor. But which home design ideas offer the biggest reward?

At the design stage, think about whether you are looking for house design ideas to add architectural interest, to transform how you live in and interact with your home, or a combination of the two.

Mirrors: A Big House Design Idea for Small Spaces

If you’re working with a small footprint, ideas to help the space feel bigger are always welcome. One idea that’s definitely worth incorporating was showcased in Samantha Parr’s beautifully built oak frame home: it’s just 100m² but clever use of mirrors makes this space seem bigger

The first floor of Samantha’s home is open plan and has exposed rafters. One gable is glazed with views out, the other gable wall cleverly features mirrors above the kitchen units — giving the impression that the house actually expands beyond this gable end. But in fact the mirrors are reflecting the interior and views out. A convincing technique!

Incorporate Statement Fretwork into Your Home Design

To keep materials consistent throughout their energy efficient home, and to herald the nearby Black Country and its local artisans, these homeowners chose to include a touch of industrial style with seven fretwork panels made from mild steel that adorn the staircase from top to bottom, and the striking pergola entrance porch.

 

Building a new family home? Here are things you need to consider when choosing your builder

A trade background

A good choice is a builder who has had experience working in a core trade such as carpentry, plumbing or electrical. They’ll know exactly what happens on a site and importantly can sympathise with the different points of view on a building site (builder vs trades vs customer). They’ll put the right team together who will get you the right results.

Confident and knowledgeable

The right builder will be able to answer your questions instantly and with confidence. Their body language should support what they’re telling you — do they maintain eye contact or do they look away uninterested? If you’re talking to a salesperson in a large building company, the salespeople should still have the knowledge and training to be able to answer everything you need to know during your meetings with them.

Receptive to your needs

A builder who’s passionate about building your home will genuinely listen to your needs to make sure they understand what’s important to you in your home.

They’ll come up with ideas for your home

A builder who enjoys and is good at building homes will put in the effort to give you ideas that will help you get the home you want. You won’t be getting a quick ‘no’ to your suggestions (a sign there’s not enough money in it for them) then find them pushing for other things because they just have bigger margins.

The rule of five references

The builder should be happy to give you references. They should be both from clients they’ve previously built for and clients they’re currently building for. To get a good feel for their projects, speak to at least five of their clients to get their thoughts on how the build went. Also, ask if you can visit homes they’ve built to see first hand the quality and finishes they achieve

 

Incredible DIY Home Projects

If you’re looking to become a DIYer or if you’ve been a DIYer for years we’ve got an assortment of incredible DIY projects you can try. Check them out.

Use Firewood For a Project

If you have a stack of firewood, grab a couple pieces and a saw and make one of these simple firewood projects. Whether you make coasters, a stool or a shelf, you can create something in just a couple hours.

Cedar Potting Bench

This super-simple potting bench will make your gardening projects much more enjoyable—and it’ll help you stay organized

Build a Wooden Bench for Less

Need outdoor seating in a hurry? This simple bench, based on author and ecologist Aldo Leopold’s classic design, can be constructed in a couple of hours, even if you are a novice woodworker. All it takes is two boards and 18 screws, for a cost of less than $25.

Arbor and Benches

Build this simple seating/planter/arbor project to create a quiet, private space in your yard or on a deck. It provides shade and comfort as well as a welcome screen from neighbors. You can install it on an existing patio or build it on your deck

 

Things to Consider When Choosing a Builder

It is important that you choose the right contractor when building your dream home.  Choosing a builder/contractor affects every aspect of the project. Whether you are building on your land or a lot the builder/contractor owns, there are many contractors in the marketplace and to have a well-built home and enjoy the building process you need to hire the right one.  Whether you have purchased vacant land for sale yourself, or plan to build on a lot owned by the contractor, location is everything.  You need to love where you are building! That’s first and foremost.  You’ll never love your new home if you don’t love its location!

Experience: Make sure the contractor you want to choose has experience. Look at the years that the contractor has been in the construction industry. It is important that you align the skills of the contractor with the home you want to be built. New contractors might not have the experience and skills to provide the quality service that you want. An experienced building contractor will have the skills and the facilities to build your home.

Reputation: The contractor’s reputation is a valuable asset. Look at the reputation of the contractor. A contractor gets a good reputation from consistently providing quality services. Look at online reviews of the contractor and try to interact with the contractor’s previous customers. Know more about what they think of the contractor. Word of mouth is also a good way to know about the contractor’s reputation. Talk to people that have worked with contractor, used the contractor and worked alongside the contractor e.g. building inspectors

Past work: Look at past works of the contractor. Most contractors put the pictures and details of previous houses they have constructed on their website. Before you choose a contractor visit completed projects and make sure they are up to par with your expectations, visit jobs in progress and see the construction taking place, look for ideas that you have not thought of and get an impression of the contractor’s work, professionalism and culture. If you like what you see, then you can choose that contractor.

Time: Make sure the contractor you want to build your home in the land for sale that you bought is time conscious. Time is important. Make it clear that you do not negotiate your deadline, you do not want excuses and you will not tolerate delay. Make sure the contractor provides you with a start date and a completion date. Research the policies and guarantees of the contractor. Know if other customers have complained about delays and missed deadlines.

Top Home Remodelling Projects For A High ROI

Fix Up or Buy New: What’s Your Best Housing Option?

This is a question with no one-size-fits-all answer, although most families can make the decision with a bit less drama than is normal in a popular TV series that profiles families debating whether to make over or sell their homes.

The most important issue is location. Is staying in your current neighborhood important to you, and, if so, does the kind of home you want exist in that neighborhood? If not, can you legally create that ideal home on your budget?

The second major question is budget: Is it more economical to renovate your current house or buy another one? The answer to this question will depend upon your home, your budget and your needs. In cities where homes are less expensive, it is often cheaper to buy than to build. In cities and neighborhoods that are in high demand, it may be cheaper to build an addition or renovate outdated spaces.

Here are 5 questions to ask yourself when deciding whether to renovate your existing house or find a new home.

Can you renovate within the current footprint? Renovating within the home’s existing footprint generally costs 50 percent less, says Cannon Christian, president of Renovation Realty in San Diego, which handles renovations for homeowners who are selling their homes. Be careful about garage conversions because they are considered an improvement in some neighborhoods but a detriment in others, he warns. And, there are times an addition is cheaper than modifying existing space, Wilson says, since existing space contains old problems that need to be corrected.

Do you want to live through a renovation? Renovations cause dust, noise and disruption for weeks or even months, and they always take longer than the initial contractor’s estimate. If you’re redoing your kitchen, for example, you may be without a sink or stove for several months.

Can you legally do the renovations you want? Every municipality has building rules, including ones regulating how much of the lot you can cover, whether you can add a second story and how close structures can be to the property line. Permits are required for major renovations, and renovations also can trigger a requirement that existing elements, like outdated electrical panels, be brought up to current building standards.

Does the renovation make sense for your home’s value? Putting a $100,000 kitchen into a $150,000 home never makes sense, but updating a 1970s kitchen with new cabinets and countertops probably does. Never make renovations that are disproportionate to the value of your home.

How does your home compare with others in your neighborhood? If an addition will make your home much larger than others in the neighborhood, it may add less value.

 

Remodeling

While your current home may seem drab at times, remodeling the space allows you create new spaces, update its function to meet your needs and create an ideal home, depending on your budget. However, it comes with a lot of disadvantages that may or may not be worth the investment.

Advantages

  1. Costs less: The cost to remodel your home is less than buying a new home because it’s on a room-by-room basis. You don’t have to remodel everything in your home, which means your budget can flow with what you need to do. Moreover, there are ways to save money on your renovations so that you get a great end product without spending a fortune.
  2. Personal touch: Renovating allows you to change your existing home to meet your personal expectations and desires, as compared to buying a new home that may have a few features you want but not at all. Why spend hundreds of thousands on a new house and update it when you can keep your old home and update it a little at a time?

Disadvantages

  1. Not for major overhauls: If your home needs a complete do-over, then a remodel isn’t for you. It’s not worth the investment to spend thousands of dollars to change every single room in your home when you could buy a new house with all of the updates. It’s better to renovate a few rooms in your house rather than all of them. It’s also not worth it to remodel your house if you’re trying to downsize.
  2. Financing issues: Remodeling requires a homeowner loan, family loan, payments to contractor or vendor loans. You must have home equity, so if you haven’t lived in your home for a long time, it could be hard to get approved.
  3. Construction: Remodeling means your home will be in shambles for days to weeks as the room is updated. You can choose to stay in a hotel — which means spending a few extra dollars — or stay in your home. It’s a bit stressful and loud — and it requires patience, which not every homeowner has.

 

$7,000

For many people, the kitchen — often a relatively large space — is their first thought. It’s a room that’s used frequently and that might have a public function, as well. Unfortunately, $7,000 doesn’t go far when it comes to replacing old appliances with shiny new ones. But if you’re willing to do some of the work yourself, it’s still possible to have a considerable effect.

“You can redo the kitchen counters and paint the cabinets to refresh the look. It’s not a full remodel, but gives you a fresh space.

You’d have to paint your own cabinets — “If you hire someone, it’s almost as much [money] as getting new cabinets, Although it’s tedious, it’s not particularly hard work. The bulk of the money can be spent on countertops, which, depending on the size of the kitchen, could be low-budget Ikea butcher block, granite or somewhere in between. And if there’s money left over, you can add a simple peel-and-stick tile backsplash or a cute light fixture to gussy things up.

The same amount could be used to upgrade a small bathroom, taking it down to the studs and adding new tile, redoing the shower and upgrading the fixtures. At that price range, the renovation wouldn’t be fancy, but it could include several new elements.

But $7,000 can also be used strategically for a more subtle but impactful result. If your house has hardwood floors that are old, scratched or otherwise not at their best, you could hire someone to refinish them. Once the furniture goes back in, every room would look a little fresher.

Or, you could use the funds for a twofold improvement that similarly brightens up the house. First, paint the home’s interior. Then hire a designer to help improve the lighting, particularly in more public spaces such as the living and dining rooms, where good lighting can enhance the space. “In over 20 years of working with clients, I have yet to walk into a home that was properly lit.  “Most of us are mostly home at night, when there’s very little light. That’s why lighting is so impactful.”

 

Reasons Why Renovating Is Better Than Buying a New Home

You can enjoy the updates. When you prepare your home for sale, your real estate agent may recommend updates — from minor fixes to a major overhaul — that will help increase your home’s value. But rather than making updates just before putting your house on the market in hopes of boosting your return on investment, consider renovating now to improve your own quality of life at home.

You’re emotionally attached. How can you possibly sell the house you raised your kids in when the lines showing their heights at different ages are still in the kitchen doorway and you can still picture them taking their first steps across the living room floor? Sometimes the memories are too good to leave, at least for now. In this case, it may be better to remodel a couple rooms than reluctantly sell your home.

You skip the cost of moving. Moving is expensive when you factor in the cost to make updates, place your house on the market, pay closing costs and then fund a move. The cost of moving even a short distance can climb quickly — north of $10,000 — if you’re hiring full-service movers, and it can still reach above $1,000 for just a moving van rental. Especially if you’re expecting a modest net profit on your house, the additional cost to relocate may not be worth it.

 

You’re making the property safer.

Whether you recently purchased your fixer-upper or you’ve lived there a couple decades, it may be time to overhaul some dated systems and ensure your home is keeping you safe and healthy. Consider having professionals check for old electrical wiring, dated heating systems and moist areas that may invite mold

Renovations build more equity.

If you’ve only been in your house a few years and you have a mortgage, your equity in the house may be minimal. As a result, you wouldn’t net much profit from the sale of your house. Instead, you have the opportunity to strategically improve your home with projects that can grow its value. A new roof, a master suite addition or a kitchen renovation can all be key changes that will make your house more desirable down the line. But be careful not to overimprove. A swimming pool in a neighborhood where no other houses have one doesn’t add much value, for example.

Must Know How To Do Home Builder At Your Home

Find a Builder: Where to Start Your Search

Find a Builder Working Locally

Finding a builder locally can have huge benefits when it comes to your build. Time on site, their knowledge of local planning, builders’ merchants and other local trades are all invaluable nuggets of knowledge that you’ll welcome on site.

Find a Builder Other Tradesmen Recommend

If you’ve used an electrician before or a local plumber and liked their work, why not contact them and ask if they know of any good builders they’d recommend. Most tradesmen get used to seeing the same familiar names around the sites they are working on and often have preferences for who they like to work with — and who they see as a good source of work.

Find a Local Builder Through a Friend

It’s a cliche we hear mentioned whenever we’re on the look out for a trades person but asking friends and family if they’d recommend anyone is always a good place to start. A lot of trades rely on word of mouth and if you can find a builder through someone you trust and whose work you can go and visit, then you can make a decision about whether they’ll do a good job.

Always Talk to Previous Customers

Once you’ve found a builder you like, don’t be afraid to ask them for a list of previous customers; they should be happy to provide details if they’re confident they’ve done a successful job. This will give you an ideal opportunity to really find out what they’re like and see examples of their work first-hand.

Find a Builder Online

A good place to starting looking online to find a builder is on sites like the Federation of Master Builders. They have a search tool where you can find specific trades in your area and look at their references. All FMB members are vetted and independently inspected, and are checked to ensure that they have the correct insurances in place.

 

How to Find a Good Builder for Your House

Start in the Right Place

The National Association of Home Builders recommends that consumers contact the local association of home builders association to obtain a list of member builders. The association offers a list of local home builders groups on their website, or you can check the Parade of Homes website to search for a builder. If you are in contact with a local real estate agent, ask her for a list of reputable dealers. Finally, ask neighbors whose homes have been built in the last four or five years about their builder and if they are happy with the job he did.

Gather Quotes

Although it is important to hire a builder who is qualified, the last thing you want to do is pay more than is necessary. Gather quotes from the list of builders you’ve collected. Make sure you understand what is included in each quote. Does the builder include cleanup of the job site and finish work, such as landscaping in the overall cost? Also, similar materials should be listed for both quotes, including any included appliances, kitchen cabinets, flooring and windows.

Consider the Builder’s Specialty

You wouldn’t hire a heating and cooling specialist to install your plumbing or a plumber to replace your roof, so don’t hire a commercial builder to create a 1400-square-foot ranch home. Ask the builder about other projects he’s worked on that are similar to yours. Find out if he has pictures and if you can speak to those homeowners about his work.

Research Your Top Three Builders

Narrow down the choices to three builders you might like to use. Do your homework on these builders. The National Association of Home Builders suggests contacting other people the builder has completed homes for and asking questions like if the project was completed on time and on budget and if there were any major issues. Also, visit the Better Business Bureau website to see if any complaints have been filed against the builder and if they were resolved.

Experience

If a builder has completed 30 houses similar to yours, he is more likely to anticipate and resolve the common issues that arise with building a new home than a builder who has only one other home under his belt. Find out how many houses your builder has completed and the sizes of those projects.

 

How to Find a Good Home Builder

Home Builders for Hire

Home builders provide turnkey services. An in-house crew of professionals works with the client on every aspect of the project, from design and development to construction and installation. The only exceptions are jobs like plumbing, electrical, or HVAC work. In these instances, a builder will sub-contract a licensed pro.

Hiring a General Contractor

General contractors (GCs) hire and manage the pros who construct your home. They are also in charge of acquiring permits and materials. Most clients use their own architect to design a floor plan and hire a GC to implement it. Clients typically sign a contract that includes a fee of up to 20% of the project cost in exchange for the contractor’s services.

Project Managers or Construction Management Companies

Project managers and construction management companies charge a fee to oversee the construction process. Independent project managers are typically local and can provide on-site services. However, management companies may be national corporations with limited personnel in your area.

Architects, Draftsman, & Structural Engineers

Architects, draftsman, and structural engineers turn a client’s ideas into an actual blueprint. While the work they do is similar, each of these professionals play a separate role in the construction design process

Custom Home Builders

Custom home builders typically construct a one-of-a-kind house to a client’s specifications on his or her own land. They handle every aspect of the process, from site preparation and land development to building and landscaping

 

How to find a reliable builder

Ask around for builder recommendations

Personal recommendation is always the best way of finding a builder. It’s a major undertaking, and you want to make sure you have complete peace of mind from the start that the right builders are doing the job for you.

Look at boards at building sites

Keep an eye out for boards on building sites in your area, but always do your own research too. Check online for reviews and get feedback from people who have used the builders before.

Search online for highly-rated builders

These websites hold the details of thousands of builders and building companies. Builders’ ratings on these sites are based on the feedback from clients, so the better the job done by the builder, the higher the rating.

Choose a reliable builder from trading associations

If a builder is a member of a recognised trading association, this is another way of sifting out the good guys from the cowboys. It’s not obligatory for builders to join a trading body, such as the Federation of Master Builders, the National Federation of Builders, or the Guild of Builders and Contractors. But you’ll be giving yourself a level of consumer protection by choosing builders and building firms who are members, plus those who meet Government-endorsed trading standards with the ‘TrustMark’ seal of approval.

And one final big no-no to remember when choosing a reliable builder

If anyone knocks on your door and claims to have spotted structural defects on such as your roof or guttering that may need repairing – just never take their word for it. Always seek professional advice from a reliable builder before giving any work the go-ahead.

 

Tips for Finding a Home Builder You Can Trust

Do they ask about your family’s needs? Not every builder is willing to customize and modify floor plans to meet your specific needs. Frequently, you may be expected to fit into a “cookie-cutter” mold of a buyer and not all buyers have the same needs. If you have specific desires, you need to be clear what you are looking for and see if they builder will be able to cater to your needs.

Do they offer references? Depending on the type of project you are looking to start, you may want to ask for references from customers that the builder has done similar work for. If the builder cannot provide references, you will want to reconsider this builder.

Do they have a good reputation? This can be determined not only by speaking with references as mentioned above, but all ensuring their licensing is in good standing with the NC Licensing Board for General Contractors and potentially even the Better Business Bureau. You can also ask around the area and speak with your realtor regarding the reputation of the builder you are considering.

Do they provide details in writing and review them with you? One of the most essential parts of a build for a buyer should be to get all details in writing up front. You need to know specifically what you are getting and what features are included in your home. They should be clear on the process of the build with you as well. It is best prior to starting any construction that you have a face to face meeting with the builder and ensure you are on the same page with everything. Even in writing, things can get lost in translation. There is no substitute for a face to face meeting when starting your new home.

Do they listen to your concerns? It is essential that your builder take the time to listen to questions and concerns you may have. If your builder is too busy to communicate with you, be it via email or some other way, regarding your concerns initially, you can be sure they will be too busy to communicate with you along the way. That is not the type of build you want. Be sure your builder listens to you.

Trick To Find Good Home Builder

Questions You Must Ask Before Choosing a Home Builder

Choosing the right builder is a key step on the journey that leads to your dream home. Asking the builders the questions below will help you choose the right builder to create your new home and give you confidence in your choices. Because building your house will be one of the biggest investments you make, it’s only natural that you want to find the right one for your project.

Questions to Ask Your New Home Builder

  1. How many years have you been in business? How many homes have you built?
  2. Are you licensed (where required) and insured?
  3. How do you compare yourself to other builders? What are the most important benefits of the homes you build?
  4. What type of new home warranty do you offer?
  5. Can you give me references from prior home buyers? Do you build model homes I can tour? If not, can you help me make an appointment to see a home you built for another customer?
  6. What are the major energy-saving features of homes you build?
  7. Do you build only from home plans you supply? Or can I provide my own set of plans?
  8. What standard features do your homes include? What options and upgrades can I select?
  9. Who will oversee the construction of my home? Who should I contact with any questions I may have?
  10. How and when can I make changes or upgrades before and during construction?
  11. How and when will the final price for my home be determined?
  12. How often (and when) will I have access to the home during the building process?
  13. How long will it take to build me new home?
  14. Does the community have a homeowners association (HOA) and/or an Architectural Review Committee? If so, may I get a copy of their rules and the amount of any fees?
  15. What’s your inspection process at key points of construction, at final walk-through, and to address any matters that need to be corrected or finalized?

 

Is The Lot Cost Included?

When you’re exploring new construction options, you’ll see that each plan comes with a base cost. This is the cost of the structure itself, as well as base interior and exterior features (we’ll get into those in a little bit). What may not be included is the cost of the land, so be sure to ask if the lot cost is figured into the base.

If the lot cost is included, ask if there are premium costs for certain lots. It’s possible that the base cost does include the lot, but the remaining lots in the development all have added costs for certain features that you can’t opt out of, such as look-out windows in the basement or wider yards. If the lot cost is not included, ask what it is (and whether there are additional premium costs) and factor those into the base price for the house.

 

What was your toughest demand from a client and how did you handle it?

The answer to this question will tell you several things about a builder you are considering. Are they client-focused or merely building homes that they can sell as quickly as possible? Are the owners and managers of the builder attuned to new ideas that you might bring to the project? Are they friendly? The partnership between you and your custom builder must be just that – a partnership.

What is your procedure for handling obstacles and delays?

It has been noted that “the best laid plans often go astray.” In the course of building a home, delays and obstacles are going to happen. The most important consideration is HOW the builder deals with these challenges and how they communicate with their clients. Ask about this. It might give you great insights into the quality of builder you are considering.

 

What type of residential building work do you specialise in?

Some builders choose to focus on a particular type of build, such as renovations or single storey homes. Selecting a builder that has experience in building projects similar to yours may give you greater confidence that the build will run smoothly.

Which locations do you mainly build in and can you give me a firm start & completion date for my project?

You need to know that your builder is not going to be hampered by distance or location in delivering your dream home within a reasonable timeframe. If your project is a long way out of your builder’s normal area, there may be a risk that your project will be put on hold if your builder becomes busy with other work in more convenient locations.

A builder should be able to provide you with reasonably firm start and completion dates and if they cannot then it could indicate that your project is destined for delays.  That said, in some circumstances delays are unavoidable so it is critical that there are clear lines of communication between you and your builder to avoid any unnecessary build-up of frustration.

 

Five Questions to Ask Yourself When Selecting a Custom Home Builder

Do you like the builder?

Building a custom home is a huge investment in time and resources, and there is only one chance to get it right. It’s your home. It’s your money. Make sure the custom builder you are working with appreciates that and works to make you happy. If you get bad feelings at the start, take your project elsewhere.

Do you like the builder’s work?

All the personality in the world doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t like the builder’s work. You are allowed to be meticulous. Make sure to vet their portfolio. Look at it from every angle, and ask all of the questions you can. Good work stands up to scrutiny, and a good custom home builder will welcome your questions and concerns and put you at ease. Which brings us to our next question:

Are they accessible?

Before and during the process, you are going to have questions and concerns. You want a builder you can talk to directly. Remember, custom builders are busy people, thanks to a recovering housing market, but they should be responsive and make themselves available to their clients. If your calls go unanswered and unreturned, that’s a bad sign.

Do they have good relationships with subcontractors?

A home is only as good as the subcontractors doing the actual handiwork. You should be able to ask who the subcontractors are, how long they have worked with the builder, and how experienced they are in their field. A good custom builder will retain good, reliable, experienced subcontractors.

Do they have a good reputation?

There are multiple websites and consumer advocacy groups that will allow you to thoroughly vet your potential custom home builder before signing on. Though custom home builders are not as thoroughly reviewed as, say, restaurants, there are still a number of places to find reviews and testimonials about builders.