If after doing a bit of saving and also getting approved for a loan, you are in the position where you can have a home custom built, congrats! Although moving into a house is already a milestone, there is something that is truly special about being able to design one to your liking from the ground up.
However, being that there are a lot of people who have nightmare stories about working with contractors who went over budget and/or did not complete their projects on time, it’s important that you know how to find a quality builder for your house. So, if you would like a few tips on how to find this kind of professional without a lot of stress or strain, here are five that will lead you to just the right person.
Think about your specific needs. Before you can sit down with a builder to come up with a plan, it’s a good idea to have an initial plan of your own. Within it, you should include things like what kind of house you’d like, the type of materials you’d prefer to use and the price range that you’re hoping to stay within. These are going to be the types of questions that the builder is going to ask you. It’s best to be as prepared as possible beforehand.
Interview several builders. Whether you decide to go on referral (which is preferable) or you find a few prospective builders in the Yellow Pages or online, make sure that you interview no less than 3-5 different firms. That way, you can get a feel for each one’s level of professionalism, how much they are planning to charge you, and also what kind of rapport you have with them. Remember, you are going to work with your builder for the next several months. You both need to be good at communicating with one another.
Inquire about their level of expertise. During the interviewing process, it’s going to be the builder’s focus to try and get the job. At the same time, it’s going to be important that you hire the one who is the most qualified. That’s why you should ask about their licenses and certifications, how much experience they have, if they offer warranties, if they will be responsible for obtaining permits and if they are a member of the National Association of Home Builders. Although being a member should not be a “make it or break it” issue, it’s always a bonus if they are.
Tour some of their homes. Say that you asked a professional who works at Varco Pruden Buildings about something else that you should keep in mind when selecting a builder for your custom home. One thing that they might tell you is that it’s a good idea to ask to tour some of the prospective builder’s model houses or homes they have built for other homeowners in the past. A reputable builder is going to be able to show you at least a couple of different homes upon request.
Ask for references. Finally, once you’ve found a builder that you think you’d like to work with, before offering them a contract, ask for a few references. That will provide you with insight as it specifically relates to their strengths and weaknesses, along with if you will be satisfied with their overall handiwork.