Building a custom home is a significant investment, so choosing the right custom home builder for you is crucial to protecting your investment and enjoying the opportunity to build your dream.  For many, choosing a custom home builder can be an intimidating task.  After all, most people don’t know much about construction and often have no idea where to begin.  The process of selecting a custom home builder that is right for can be easier by following these 5 steps below:

  1. Define Your Needs
    While some custom home builders construct a broad range of homes, many custom builders specialize in specific styles, price ranges or type of homes.  Knowing your budget, design/style preferences, timelines and other items important to your project will help you identify builders that meet your needs.  As you begin to learn about building a custom home, you may uncover building elements that are important to you and add those items to your needs.  For example, construction using 2×6 exterior walls may never have crossed your mind.  However, as you learn about the added strength, quality and insulation efficiency 2×6 walls provide, this construction technique may become an important standard in choosing a custom home builder.
  2. Research Builders
    Once you have a good idea of your needs, style and preferences you can begin researcher for potential builders.  You can find potential custom home builders by searching the internet, speaking with realtors and loan officers, attend home building shows/conventions and of course talking with family and friends.  Experience building the type of home you want is very important.  You likely wouldn’t hire a home builder with experience focused on entry/mid level homes if your needs are more toward a higher-end home.  Review the custom home builder’s website and portfolio.  Speak with the home builders that peak your interest and ask about their experience building the type of home you want.
  3. View Examples of Builder’s Work
    Look at previous examples of a builder’s work.  Most builders will have examples of previous work in a portfolio on their website.  However, you should be able to get a list of addresses from the builders of the work they have done.  Be sure to get a sampling of homes over the last one to ten years.  Visit the homes in person and look for quality, durability and resale value.  Talk to the home owners, if possible, and ask how they like the home and working with the builder.  Nothing beats seeing a builder’s work in person!
  4. Review Warranties, Services, Payment Schedules, etc.
    If you have made it this far, you have probably narrowed down your list of potential home builders.  Now you’ll want to get into the nitty gritty details: warranties, services, contracts, change order processes and similar factors that identify how the builder operates.  This step in choosing a home builder often identifies significant differences between builders, so don’t overlook this step.  Taking the time now to understand how a builder operates will save you time, money and headaches down the road.
  5. Identify Builders Strengths & Weaknesses
    At this point, you should be able to fully assess how a builder’s experience, business methods, construction methods and quality match your custom home needs. Carefully evaluate the strengths and potential weaknesses of each builder as it relates to your home construction needs, financial resources and personality. If you’ve done the work involved in these steps, you should be in a much better position to choose a custom home builder that is right for you.