Once you’ve picked out the perfect house plan and lot, it’s then time to decide who will make your dream home a reality. Depending on where you’ve decided to build your home, you may have the ability to choose your own builder, or may be tied to a particular stock of builders who build in a particular community. It is important to ensure that your builder is right for you, and that he or she understands your current and future plans, and can incorporate them in the construction efficiently and effectively. Below are some things to consider when choosing your builder, and starting those introductory conversations:
Review your quote extensively. Ensure that the quote you receive from the builder incorporates everything you had discussed, and that your allowances are sufficient for what you would like to see. Your flooring allowance has to cover the product, install and any additional materials required, so if you want hardwood and tile, for example, you will need to make sure that the allowance will be sufficient to cover it.
Cheaper is not always better. Affordability is always key, and building a home has to make sense for your pocketbook, but once more review your quote to ensure that everything is covered, and that necessities and elements you are expecting to see aren’t considered extras outside of the quoted amount. A quote that comes in more expensive than others, may be providing you with benefits that are not apparent in the other ones. Energy efficiency, upgraded finishes and a higher ‘brand standard’ comes at a price, and you should always allow a builder to present his or her ‘value proposition’ so that you can do a fair comparison and understand any additional value you may be getting in a quote that comes back a little higher.
History and qualifications are important. Whether the builder is a new builder or a seasoned veteran of 30 years, you have to feel comfortable that they provide a good quality product and have the experience and know how to do it right. Ask for previous client references or do a quick internet check on the builder and his affiliates is a good start, and will allow you to see customer reviews, other products he or she has built, etc. The internet is a great resource, but you often have to take what you find with a grain of salt. If you find something negative, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and make sure that you’re comfortable with all of the answers given before you make your final decision.
Trust your instincts. If something feels right, then it probably is. If something feels wrong, then it very well could be. The important thing is to make an informed decision before you embark on this new journey, but always remember that building a home is an exciting time, and your builder should do whatever he or she can to make it a positive experience for you.