Choosing a Custom Home Builder

by Carmen Corbin on March 26, 2012

So you’ve decided to build a custom home.  You’ve dreamed of the perfect setting, the perfect layout, and the perfect design – and now you’re ready to move ahead.  What could be one of the most exciting ventures in your adult life will greatly depend on your choice of a home building contractor, so we’re presenting a quick overview to help you make the best decision.

In this post we’ll be focusing on home building on a private lot or piece of property, not in a multi-home, planned development.

Finding Home Builders

Finding a home builder can be as easy as getting a good referral from a friend or neighbor.  You trust the person’s judgment, and have probably already seen an example of the company’s workmanship.  Other sources for general contractors include local or regional home builders associations, online lists or websites and the good old Yellow Pages.  As you begin your search, you can narrow down the list by eliminating builders who do not build the type of home you desire.  For example, a construction company that only builds large, luxury homes will probably not be interested in building a 2,000-square-foot basic ranch home.  On the other hand, building an entire house might be too much for a handyman or a basic home improvement contractor.

Builder Qualifications and Experience

After you have a “short list” of potential home builders, set up a time to meet with each one personally to discuss your project.  Prepare your questions in advance, and watch how the contractor responds.  They should be receptive and informative, not evasive or uninterested.  Be sure to discuss important issues like past experience, similar projects, insurance coverage, licensing, timelines and payment schedules.   They should also have a portfolio of past projects, which may even give you some new ideas for your own home.  Ask for references from past clients as well.

A Final Note

When comparing quotes from construction companies, remember that selecting the contractor with the lowest price may result in the lowest quality.  Take all things into consideration before making your decision, and be patient and methodical – building a home is a big investment, and the process will go much smoother if you take the time to research and plan accordingly from the beginning.

For more information on building a custom home, call or visit your local home builder.

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