So, you are getting a custom home built for yourself and your family? That’s awesome! Finally, you get to have the dream home to live in like you have always wanted. This is a very important step in your life and is going to influence your future finances significantly.
That is why you need to carefully consider each and every aspect of the entire building process. Not just that, you should also stay intimately involved with it the entire way. By doing that, you can ensure that the project heads in the direction you want it to go and there are no post-construction regrets on anyone’s part.
Why is Custom Home Building Different from Other Types of Residential Constructions?
Building a custom home is not like building any standard residence. It is a special project which requires special skills. This is not something that every other builder can handle and before you employ someone’s services to start on this undertaking, you should get all the details crystal clear.
The vetting process for the perfect builder for your home should begin right from the point when you go to meet the first candidate. You need to do your level best to understand their experience, creativity, licensure and whether they will be able to give you your dream home at a reasonable price. We understand that gauging all of this can be hard at first. That is why we have come up with a list of things you can ask your would-be builder to ensure they can give you the residence you desire:
1. License and Insurance
This is the first thing you should ask your potential builder. Do not assume that because they have a license to build in some other area, they will have the permission to build in yours. Clarify this point right at the beginning. Also, ask them if they are insured. Most will be but you also need to find out what aspects of the building process are covered by the insurance.
You should also ask about the insurance of the subcontractors the builder will use to construct your home. Once you have established that the builder is legally permitted to undertake construction in your area and has the correct insurance to accommodate any eventualities, you can proceed to the next question.
2. Duration of Working Experience
This is a very important factor to consider when selecting the right builder for your custom home. Most builders have a specific area that they focus their services in and if you can find one who has ample experience in building, then region then there are several benefits you can enjoy.
First, they will know what the popular trends and customization features are popular in the market. Second, they will know what kind of soil is prevalent in the region and will make the construction plan accordingly. Third, they will know if the area is prone to any natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, cyclones etc. and will make amends in your basic plan to prepare for these. Once you find a well-experienced builder, you can move the planning to the next phase.
3. Previous Work
Ask the builder if they can show you a custom home they have previously constructed. Most good custom home builders will be able to do that. When they take you to the home, check the quality of work, finishing and any specialties that they might have worked on for this custom home that you may want for your own. You can also talk to the owners of the home and ask them how their experience was. This is sure to give you a clearer understanding of how your builder works. After you have fully satisfied yourself with the portfolio and reputation of the builder, it is time to talk budget.
4. Cost of Construction
The cost of building a custom home will naturally different with every project. Also, you have to consider that you will want to change something or the other while the project is underway. So, it is best to leave some space open for impromptu customizations and decide on a reasonably flexible budget.
Now, ask the custom builder if they can accommodate all your requirements within that budget. Don’t go for the lowest quote in thinking you’ll save a few extra bucks because you will end up losing a lot more than you would expect. At the same time, don’t go for the priciest one either. Thinking that you will get the best of everything if you just spend enough is misguided. Pick one that falls just right in between your margins.
Most trustworthy and reputable custom builders will give you at least 1 year’s warranty but can give you as many as 10 years as well, at least structurally. Also, ask them what is covered under the warranty. Get this answer in writing from them on the contract to ensure future safety. If you keep this in mind, then even if there is a problem with the house later on, you will not have to spend a dime to fix it.
6. Method of Working
This is regarding how often the primary custom builder is involved with the project. Ideally, they should come and oversee some of the work every day. But, you should know that most custom builder, especially the good ones, will not be able to give your project that much time as they probably have projects going on elsewhere. So, you should negotiate with them and decide upon a fixed routine to follow for the entire duration of the build. Something like 4-5 visits per week is good.
Also, make sure that they give you regular, preferably weekly updates and that they would be available on phone or through mail if you even need to reach them.
A custom home is a dream or many and realizing it can be one of the biggest ambitions of your life. If you follow the steps we have listed here, then you can be assured that you will get a reasonably good residence to live in and with enough time and care, it will last you for decades to come without needing any renovation.
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