How to get the best home building experience with your custom builder

1. Know your builder – It is very important to get to know your builder. Treat your first meeting like an interview. Learn about them, their background, business and experience. Next year you are going to work very closely with this person, it is important to carefully choose and understand his role in this process.

  • Some good personality traits to look for in a builder are: good listener, good communicator, honest and practical experience. Make sure you are really talking to the builder, not just the salesperson!
  • Think about services because that person is ultimately doing you a service. What are your expectations for service during this process? Ask questions that tell you how they provide good customer service.
  • Do they show a genuine interest in you, your family, and your values? This is NOT about them, it should be about you!
  • Does the builder tell you in advance how the process works? For example, let’s say the good, the bad, and the ugly! Are they realistic?

2. Get involved! – This is your house, and you prefer to build rather than buy a ready-made house. Depending on how individual your home is, there may be hundreds of options to make. Have realistic expectations of how long it will take to do this. In addition, all partners must be involved from start to finish. This can be difficult because the process is long and everyone is busy. From finding a site to choosing finishes or approving a budget, everyone will be happy in the end if they stay in the know from the start.

3. Know and understand your budget. – Make sure your builder details exceed your budget and that you understand what goes into each category or allowance. Ask for photos of what is included and if you don’t like it, tell him. And then ask the price for what you like. Try to get rid of surprises and have a realistic number from the start.

4. Have discipline. – The happiest clients are those who are as limited as possible by their initial budget. This can be the most difficult because it pits our emotional side against our logical / realistic side! Try to keep your emotions in check. We know the $ 6,000 dining room chandler is perfect, and it’s the last home you’ll ever build, but be realistic. How high is it on the priority list? Can it be improved in the future? How important will it really be in 10 years? We say: have a lot of discipline or big contingencies !!

5. Communication – Open communication with your team is important. This includes you, your partner, your builder, your designer, and everyone involved in the process. Find out ahead of time how to best communicate with your builder and stick with it. Remember that many builders do multiple jobs or spend most of their time in the field. Try to write down and save non-urgent, important things and convey them all together. In fact, you should talk to your builder 1-2 times a week throughout the entire process.

6. Always keep an eye on the ball. – Stephen Covey said, “Start by thinking about the end,” and it is “the ability to imagine in your mind that which you cannot see with your own eyes.” This is a great job of taking stock of the home building process. Remember what your goal is: to have a beautiful, unique, new home that you have designed and helped build! It’s great to see the house come together in a place where just a few weeks before there was only earth and trees.

7. Enjoy the process and the result! – Perhaps this is the only time you build a house to order. We hope that by following these tips you will have fun and cherish memories for a lifetime.

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