Choosing a home builder may be one of the most significant decisions you will make in your entire life. Your home is more than just a place to hang your hat at night; your home is where your heart is. Our passionate team is built upon family and we’re excited to help you take the next step in building a home for yours. We’ve provided a few guidelines and tips to selecting the RIGHT home builder for you.
1. Tour model homes
You can tell a lot about a company based on their portfolio of work. Even though today’s tools like Houzz and Pinterest provide a lot of great ideas and inspiration, there is nothing that can substitute seeing past work for yourself. Walk through as many model homes as you can to help determine the size, style, quality, floor plan and other characteristics you like. Taking notes can be helpful when walking through models and narrowing down your home builder, keeping your thoughts and preferences organized.
2. Look for signs of quality
Look for signs of quality construction and attention to detail when you visit model homes. Things like well-mitred corners in the baseboard, smoothness of the drywall finish and level installation of hardware are good things to watch for. Also, consider the building products that a company uses. Are they brands with well-earned reputations for quality? These signs of quality show that product quality and workmanship are important to the builder.
3. Look at the quality of the team behind the builder
It’s really great when you find a builder or sales person that you like, but knowing the rest of the team is important as well. These are the people who will be carrying out the construction of your new home. Here are some questions to ask: Did you have a chance to meet the other members of the team – estimators, field project managers, decorators and office personnel? Did they show sincere interest in your needs, listen carefully and provide good answers to your questions? Were they courteous, prompt and professional in your interactions with them in the model home, sales center or builder’s office?
4. Find out who else is involved
Building a home is a large project that requires a team of people with very specialized skill sets. While your builder will serve as the general contractor/company that manages the entire project, it is very common to have a team of subcontractors who carry out the work. The quality of work and of your new home is dependent on these subcontractors. It’s a good idea to ask a builder how they view their relationships, how they go about selecting subcontractors, and how long they have been working with those subcontractors.Working with a home builder that has strong relationships will ensure a quality home build.
5. Define your needs and budget
Typically, home builders fall into three categories. Production Builders, who’s typical build is under $400,000, Mid-range/Semi-Custom Builders who usually fit in the $300,000- $700,000 market, to High End Custom Home Builders, who start in the $600,000 range and are capable of constructing a multi-million dollar home. If you can determine the size, type, and a price range of the home you’re building, these needs and budget will help identify the home builder thats a fit for you.
6. Realize that experience counts
Every home building company, including the most experienced and well-regarded, once built their first home. Through years of experience, the best organizations have perfected the home building process. Time and strong project management skills allow them to make it happen more efficiently and seamlessly. When choosing a home builder, keep in mind how long they have been in the business. Your home will reflect their years of workmanship.
7. Ask, “Is there a design fit?”
A builder whose entire portfolio consists of contemporary homes may not be the best fit for that highly traditional home you seek — and vice-versa. While many builders have expertise in a variety of design styles and architectural details, in general, look for a builder whose work includes at several examples of the style of home you want. It will help in the design process, as well as in sourcing, selecting and installing the materials you will use.
8. Look for industry involvement
Not every builder chooses to join their local Home Builders Association. However, membership does tend to show that a builder is committed long-term to the excellence, quality standards and to running a responsible business. It’s also a sign of commitment to new home community developers, building product suppliers and trade contractors who will be a part of your your project.
9. Find out if they can put you in touch with the right people
It’s to your benefit to choose a company that will go above and beyond to get you the service you require, even if it’s not through them. True customer service involves reaching out to other resources for a client, even if you don’t receive personal gain. Did the builder connect you with a realtor to help in the sale of your current home? Do they have a lender partner that can help you secure a mortgage? Do they work in partnership with other builders or developers when there is a challenge finding a lot to build on? Rather than force services, find a company that leaves a lasting impression.
10. Insist on excellent communication
Communication is the most important element in any relationship. Without communication, you have a disconnect that can cause conflict and assumptions about what’s expected. In every relationship, both parties need to respect each others needs. It’s important that your home is the right fit for you. The biggest misconception people tend to have when building a home, is that it’s just a business transaction. In reality, you’ll interact with your home builder on a daily basis and spend a lot of time together. Make sure that your home builder of choice is as invested in your project as you are.
Your family is built upon a certain foundation. We respect that. At the end of the day, your home, and the people you choose to build it, should reflect that same premise. With these tips, you’ll be prepared to select the RIGHT home builder. Familiarize yourself with the builder you’re thinking about hiring and ask questions. Ask them about their building process. Remember, this is your home and you deserve to live out your dream.