One of the most exciting times in life can be deciding to own a home. You’ll finally have your own space, a place to make unique to your wants and needs, and the privacy and contentment that a home brings. For some people, this means visiting home after home to find what they want. For others, however, building a home means being able to design everything that you’ve dreamed of in a home to fit their needs perfectly.
One of the few drawbacks of deciding to build your home is not knowing how to translate the picture of your perfect home in your head, to paper. But, with the right builder who can communicate well and is highly experienced, you will have the help you need to take that vision and turn it into reality. The key then, is simply finding the right builder for you. To help you do this, it is imperative that you keep the following five things in mind.
Choose your type of builder
Before you even begin looking at builders, you will first want to identify what type of builder you want to go with. Decide whether you want to go with a specialty builder or general home builder. The basic difference between the two is that a general builder will probably have stock homes and plans that they typically build. You’ll be able to customise of course, but the general shape of the house will be set. This will be a faster build, because your builder and crew will most likely have the supplies they need to hit the ground running.
A custom or specialty builder will start from the ground up with you. You will have more decision making power and can customise almost any aspect of your home. The other main difference is that, as is probably obvious, the specialty or custom home builder will need a much higher budget than a general one, and can take longer.
Large or Small Business
Once you’ve decided on general versus custom, you might want to further narrow your options by deciding on a small or large building business. If you go with a small business owner you may end up having a lot of the work outsourced. This can sometimes take more time, but can also possibly be cheaper. Small businesses may also be easier to work with as you will be one of a few clients.
Larger business’s best quality is that they will be quicker at building and getting you into your new home. The more contractors on the team, the quicker and more efficient your home will be built. Again though, you will probably see a higher cost by going with a large business contract.
Be specific with what you are looking for in a home. The more specific you are, the better quote you’ll get on prices, and the better equipped you’ll be to choose your type of builder. Have a set of drawings ready to go before you even start interviewing builders. If you’re looking to build a home, a good building company will have a full checklist to go through with you to make sure your home is meeting all your needs and staying within budget. Going with a company like this can also benefit you long term, as they also specialise in home renovations and already know your home inside and out.
Interview, interview, interview
When you’re interviewing and meeting with multiple builders, it can be easy to lose track of which builders stood out. The best way to keep track of this is to make a list of questions to bring with to each builder. Keep the list of questions the same for each builder, so you can easily compare.
The questions you need to ask should be detailed and specific for what you’re looking for in a home. The more specific you can be with your house plans, the more specific of questions you can ask your builders, which will help you in the long run. Use something like this list of questions to get you started. Make sure that you ask about the good as well as the bad, including questions such as, tell me about the last time that something went wrong in a build, and how did you resolve it? This can help reveal what to expect when or if something goes wrong in your own build.
Licensure and warranties
Every builder you look at and interview should be licensed, but you should absolutely double check before you sign on with them. Make sure their license fits the requirements for your area. Warranties should also be required of your builder. When interviewing, have this as one of your required questions on your list. Ask things like, what is the term of the warranty, what is included, and can you have a written copy to review at home. This will help you compare warranties to help you find the best one.
See the work
One of the best ways to help choose a builder is to look at what they’ve built. You probably wouldn’t consider buying a car without a test drive first, let alone buy a house without a tour, so why would you choose a builder without seeing their work? Make sure that you obtain a list of references from your potential builder, and actually reach out to every reference.. Along with asking detailed questions about the entire process, ask if they’ll allow you to tour their home. This will give you the best insight into the quality of work. Even if you are not given the okay to tour their homes, you will hopefully be given honest opinions and perhaps even a little advice for your own home.
While this might seem like a lot of work before you even choose your builder, you will be extremely happy that you followed these tips in the long run. Your home is something you will live in for an extended amount of time, perhaps even the rest of your lifetime, so doing your homework is worth every moment of your time. Do the work, and you will have the home that you have always wanted.
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