Have you ever dreamt of building your own custom home? Taking an active role in the design and planning of the structure can be an exciting experience, but there are still plenty of things to consider before hiring a builder and building your dream home. One of the most important parts of this process is choosing the right builder and establishing open lines of communication from the beginning. Here are seven tips for working with a builder to create your custom home.
1) Conduct research
If you’re planning to work with a builder on your custom home, it’s important to do some research first. A lot of builders are great at what they do—but not all of them will be right for you. Just as there are dozens of furniture designers, each with their own set of styles and expertise, there are countless different builders out there who specialise in different types of homes and styles.
Do your research and narrow down your options. Be realistic about what you want. If you need help picking out a design, talk to a professional interior designer or real estate agent for suggestions that fit your tastes and lifestyle.
2) Keep an open mind
Working with a builder on your custom home project can be an exhilarating experience, but it’s important to approach each interaction—especially when you have a specific vision in mind—with an open mind. If you have questions or concerns, address them head-on instead of keeping your thoughts and feelings bottled up.
Not only will you save yourself from potential frustration down the road, but also from budget overages. Ultimately, working together toward a shared goal of creating your dream home will require an open mind and strong communication skills from both parties involved.
3) Budget and timeline are critical
While building a custom home, it’s important to set a budget and timeline for project completion. By doing so, you can ensure that your builder adheres to your wishes and stays within your budget projections. It also allows you to work together as partners in creating a beautiful place to live rather than remaining an outside observer of your own house-building process
4) Just because it’s available doesn’t mean you should consider it
When you’re working with a builder for your custom home, you’ll want to take advantage of some special techniques that can save money while building a custom home. For example, wood flooring is always an option when it comes to building your new home, but engineered hardwood floors allow you to skip costly treatments like staining or sealants. However, keep in mind that just because something is available doesn’t mean it’s right for your situation—before picking any materials, be sure to consider how each material will help your vision become reality.
5) The closer the better, and make sure to check references.
Don’t select a builder based on one of those convenient advertisements at a mall or gas station. Instead, meet with three different builders who live within an hour of your home (if possible). That way, if anything goes wrong down the road, you’ll be able to quickly address any issues.
It may sound simple, but checking references should be a top priority before hiring anyone. While researching online might give you an idea of how much work someone has done in your area. Also, calling previous clients will give you a sense of whether they’re professional and honest.
6) Hire the right people
It’s easy to get bogged down in details and lose sight of your vision when building a custom home. The first thing you need to do is hire people who share your vision. Interview potential builders by asking about their process for discovering what would work best for a particular homeowner or family.
You want someone who doesn’t make cookie-cutter homes and will take time with you to create a home that reflects your lifestyle and needs. Don’t be afraid to shop around until you find someone who feels like a good fit; you may even consider asking friends for referrals from past clients.
7) Effective communication is essential
Communication with your builder is critical. Make sure you have a clear list of everything you want in your home and regularly check in on what’s happening. If something goes wrong, it is easier to correct small issues before they become major problems.
Regular communication will save you both time and money, as well as put your mind at ease. It will help when things go awry because you won’t feel like you were left in the dark by your team. And, yes, things will go wrong—that’s how we learn!
Finally, you should keep in mind that building a custom home is typically more expensive than buying a pre-fabricated home, but it doesn’t have to be. With these tips, you can work with your builder to create your custom home for less than you might think.