Many first-time home buyers or experienced homeowners decide that buying a lot and building their home is the best option for them. Custom building allows for you to design and personalize a space all your own, in a specific budget and timeframe. On the other hand, there is also a lot more work and ongoing decisions that the home construction process requires, with a main one being who is going to build it! Here’s a guide to help you find the best contractor for you.
Make a List
The first step when looking for any professional in your area is to look up your options! With one simple online search you can find tons of potential builders with their websites and contact information. But the internet isn’t always most reliable source, so it may be best to find some potential builders through fellow professionals. Your local real estate agent is a great resource for anything home related, including builders. Another option is contacting your local home builder’s association and asking for a list of members. Lastly, ask friends and family! They might have used a builder or know of someone else who has used one and had a great experience.
Research, Research, Research
Your home is nothing to make a quick decision on. Once you make your list of potential builders in your area, it’s time to do some research and ask a lot of questions. Just as a real estate agent would present you with a listing presentation in an interview type setting, your home builder should be willing to do the same with you. This is a great way to see their previous work, discuss what styles they specialize in and ask any and all questions. Before you leave, ask for the addresses of some builds nearby so that you can drive by and see the work for yourself. If you drive by and happen to see the homeowners outside, it may be a good idea to stop and introduce yourself and ask them about their experience. Most homeowners will be very open and honest about their process, good or bad.
Some Questions to Ask the Homeowner
- Were you happy with the outcome of your home?
- Was your contractor responsive and accessible?
- Would you use this company again?
- Did they deal with problems or obstacles quickly and efficiently?
Value and Quality
Of course you will want to be mindful of your budget when shopping for home builders, but also look carefully at the quality in the details. Little things like the trim, cabinets and paint job will show you a lot about the time and attention to detail the contractor and his or her team takes on each project. This might be difficult to see only in pictures, so look to see if the company is going to be featured in a city home tour or walkthrough soon. A builder that takes the extra effort on these smaller features may be worth a higher price tag. But of course, if a builder is out of your budget, it’s best to move on to your next option. There’s nothing worse than stretching your budget right from the start and causing stress throughout the entire home project.
Building your dream home is an exciting time and you will have the opportunity to create a place all your own from the property lot to the color of the front door. As long as you take the time to research, ask your local home experts and take a thorough look at example homes, you can’t go wrong with your perfect builder.