Now that you’ve decided to build your own custom home rather than buy a fixer upper or a prefabricated clone, it’s time to hire your home builder. However, with so many different contractors, and such disparity in the quality of their products, it can seem impossible to choose the best possible contractor for the best possible price in such a huge field of candidates. Luckily there are a few common practices and strategies when selecting a quality home builder that will pay off in the final product.
First of all, run a basic check on the prospective contractor’s reputation. In this age of electronic communication, checking a business’ reputation is easier than it has ever been. Most reputable contractors have a listing on at least one of several business listings sites. Such sites include testimonials, photo galleries, and promotional material of listed companies. Some of the most well known lists are:
- Angie’s List
- Google Places
- Merchant Circle
Don’t place too much stock in the testimonials as the voice always has a clear bias, however, too many negative reviews can be indicative of something. And especially look for photo galleries of completed jobs with high resolutions pictures, or any reviews from a commercial source. These will be most relevant concerning professionalism and attention to detail.
Next, come prepared to your first meeting with the contractor. This is essential for opening the channels of creative discussion and getting a gauge of a builder’s service capabilities. Keep your mind open to the contractor’s suggestions, but make sure that they listen to your voice in kind. A popular thing custom home buyers are bringing to contractor interviews is a folder of “creative ideas” that you would like to incorporate into your home. Such ideas could be pictures or clippings from catalogs or magazines, or pictures of something at a friend’s house that you like. Pretty much anything to get a creative dialogue open between the contractor and yourself will do. This dialogue will eventually help in sorting the wheat from the chaff in terms of a quality home builder.
After you make sure that creatively and professionally you and the contractor are a match, it’s time to get into the real nuts and bolts of the project. Having your budget outlined will save a lot of headache and heartache when inevitably weighing cost with product. Work out how the acquisition of permits will be handled, and inquire about how the home builder will service the new home after it has been built. Some contractors will include detailed packets about warranty information on the services and materials employed, and comprehensive information regarding maintenance. These packets are not always given, but make sure that the contractor readily will supply the required information regardless.
Chances are that your custom home is going to be one of the most expensive and permanent investments of your life. Make sure you hire a quality home builder for the best job possible, creation of a home that is both cost effect, and aesthetically beautiful.