Many homeowners-to-be are so eager to start construction that they completely neglect the process of choosing a good builder. However, you should be very careful when shopping for your builder. To an untrained and inexperienced eye, all builders and building companies might look the same. However, the truth is that they differ greatly in quality, speed, and communication. A bad company will make the whole project super frustrating and underwhelming, while a great builder can make the whole experience fun, exciting and rewarding. So, if you want to make sure you’re making the right choice, here’s what to keep your eye on when choosing a builder for your future home.
Listen to the good word of mouth
Word of mouth is very important in building community and good builders always have a good reputation amongst clients. You must know at least one person who had their home built and ask them about their experiences with different companies. You also probably know (or have a way to reach) a real estate agent. Ask them for advice, especially if they specialize in an area you’re planning to build in. However, if you’re new to the city and have no contacts jet, just know that great builders often get featured in magazines or articles, so you might want to consider these sources, too.
Look for accreditation
Experienced and legit home builders usually tend to be a part of few associations that provide additional education and give credentials. So, check for national and local associations for good information on builders. People there usually know about the area and available builders who operate in them. Also, finding a company with special accreditation or awards is also a good sign of expertise and quality.
One thing that’s very important, especially when building a custom home, is good communication with the builder. After talking to them and asking questions, you can get a good sense of how they conduct their work and whether they will respect your wishes and needs. There are great lists of questions online you can print out and bring to your interview, but make sure to really listen to their answers. Are they willing to be transparent and communicate? This is very important, because if they’re not cooperative now, they will not be cooperative when you hire them.
Take a look at the homes
Don’t be lazy to go out and look at the houses built by the company you’re interested in. For instance, all serious and experienced custom building companies have a good portfolio of projects and might be willing to give you contacts of happy customers. Some companies such as Millbrook Homes even have display homes that you can visit and get a better insight into what they can design and build for you. Visiting these display homes is also a great source of ideas you can then easily convey to your custom builder (just write down the house and the element, and they will know what you want).
Ask about materials
Building a home is a huge expense, so you really want it to last for generations. After all, it’s not some temporary residence, but a place where your kids will grow up! So, make sure your builder uses only the best materials, especially in the foundation and framing. Get information from your builder candidates about materials and building techniques they use, so that you know that you’ll end up with a sturdy and quality home.
Be careful with promises
Once you book your builder, it’s late to realize they overpromise and underdeliver. So, make sure to be realistic and avoid builders with crazy fast timetables and crazy cheap final numbers. You know from the experience that not everything always goes according to plan and your building might even be postponed due to weather, holidays and unpredicted issues. So, if you get a suspiciously short timeline, be ready to ask questions. Cutting corners to get things done faster and cheaper is never a good idea.
Listen to your gut
Even though you might have zero building experience, you’ve been long enough on this Earth to know when something looks too good to be true. A good builder will never even think to lie or keep you in the dark and risk ruining their hard-earned reputation. So, as soon as you start being suspicious about the potential builder’s honesty, it’s time to second-guess your choice. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when making such a big investment.
Building your home comes with many choices, but choosing a good builder might be the most important one. A good building company will be your partner and work with you to ensure you get a quality final product, so choose slowly and carefully.