Things to Consider When Choosing a Custom Home Builder
The decision to build your own custom home is a tremendous one—and it usually happens just once in a lifetime. That means you need to make the right choices the first time around, including the home builder you hire.
How do you select the right company for your custom home? There are several things you should think about, ranging from legal considerations to your personal preferences. Here are some tips to help you make this tough but critical decision.
Only work with licensed and certified contractors
When putting together your initial list of custom home builders, make sure that every company has the proper licenses and certifications for home construction in your area.
Without the right credentials, there’s a good chance that the company won’t build your home to code. There are specific city and county building codes that must be followed when constructing a home. If they’re not, you will not only have a safety risk on your hands, but the project may be shut down by authorities before it’s complete.
In addition, unlicensed and uncertified contractors are often not reliable. They may cut a lot of corners to save money during the build, or may even shut down the company without finishing your home construction.
Ask for references—and contact them
With your list of licensed, certified custom home builders in hand, start asking the company for references they’ve worked with in the past.
Make sure to contact the references and ask about their interactions with the company. If you talk to people who have had poor experiences with some companies, you can strike them from your list.
If you’re still unsure about a company, you can check with the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been lodged against them.
Seek out experience
It’s important that your custom home builders know what they’re doing. Look for established companies who have worked on several successful projects from start to finish. A good home construction company will have plenty of examples of their work.
You should also check out the firm’s previous work to make sure they are capable of the kinds of homes you like. Ask to view their style of homes, or ask for the addresses of homes they’ve built so you can look at them. If a contractor doesn’t want to give you this information, you probably don’t want to work with them.
Ask a lot of questions
A great custom home builder should be happy to answer any questions about their credentials, process, timeline, capabilities, and fees. When talking to prospective home building companies, it’s a good idea to prepare a list of questions, such as:
What types of homes do you consider your specialty?
How long, on average, should I expect the building process to take?
What if I change my mind about some aspect of the home during the construction?
Will you give me an accurate estimate?
What are my financing options?
Do you charge additional fees for any part of your services?
With these tips, you’ll be able to choose a custom home builder you feel confident working with—and before you know it, you’ll be enjoying your dream home.