You chose your neighborhood. You chose your lot. And now it is time to choose your builder.
You might be wondering – ‘How do I even start?' Because there are SO many builders to choose from, right?
Most neighborhoods have a list of their ‘Preferred Builders'. This is a list of people who they know and trust. If you can start there. If that is not available to you, ask around – know anyone who has built a house? Did they like them? Why or why not?
One word of caution before I go any further…your friends may love a builder who might not be very good. My sister built a house and she is very happy with it. She thought her builder was great. And I am so happy for her – cause it's her house. But if that was my house I would be totally upset. His attention to detail was non-existent. He slapped it up and tried to hide his booboos. So, you need to weigh how important details are to you vs the budget. A builder who sees the boo boos and fixes them may cost more than one who ignores them.
Ok – back to this post.
Once you have a list of builders I would like to recommend that you interview at least 3. Take a look at the houses that they built already.
Here are a few things to look at:
Settling – is the crown molding tight against the ceiling or are there gaps?
Is there crown molding at all?
Level floors – is there a change in level between hardwoods and tile?
How much landscaping is there
Insulation – type and where.
And then ask questions:
What does he/she typically include?
Insulation – all foam, all batt, or a mix?
Frameless glass shower doors?
Type of window and door trim?
Cabinet type – wood, vinyl or…
Windows – casement (crank type) or double hung (sash in the middle and open up from the bottom)?
Landscaping – where and how much?
You can grab my FREE (no opt-in required) PDF – ‘Questions to Ask Your Builder' HERE.
When choosing a home builder it's important to how they are paid.
➡️ Is it cost plus? Meaning if materials cost $250,000 they add their percentage on top of that. Maybe 10 or 15%.
➡️ Do they pass discounts on to you or is it full price and they get the cut off the top?
➡️ Can they help you value engineer your build? Order ahead of time to avoid delays. Choose this tile vs that tile so save money.
➡️ Do they have someone who can help you with your selections so that your home looks the way you imagined (cause not all of us are Joanna Gaines, right)?
➡️ How do they handle ‘change orders'? Because there will be changes in the middle of the build. Are those changes written down? Do you have a clear understanding of the cost of that change?
And then just sit down and talk.
Does the builder answer your questions directly or defer them and skirt the answer?
Are they patient with you or do you feel rushed?
How do you communicate new ideas, or concerns about things that look weird or you aren't sure are correct?
Building a home can be one of the most exciting things that you ever do. It can also be the most daunting and stressful. Your builder can help keep the process smooth and stress free (ish).
When we were choosing a home builder –
We did the exact same thing. We had a list of preferred builders. We met 1 builder at his model home and he showed us around. He showed me what a typical trim package (around doors, windows and ceilings) looked like. He told me what he uses for insulation. What HVAC (heat and air) systems he uses. What appliances he typically includes.
We looked at settling. The house was 4 years old and there was not settling or repairs that were needed.
And we talked to him for about 2 hours. Asking questions and taking notes.
I told him that I am probably one of the most detailed people on the planet and that I am very picky. I don't think he really knows what that means. We shall see.
All of the above is important because when you receive a quote of $300,000 to build your house…what is typically included? Don't look at the lowest price and start there – because you may end up spending a lot more if your HVAC needs upgraded or you were given an allowance of $10,000 for appliances and they end up costing your $15,000).
The bottom line is this. Find someone you trust. Make sure his build fits your budget. Sign on the dotted line and enjoy the process!
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INCLUDED - My Party Planner! Put your party hat on and plan with confidence! Grab yours before they are gone!
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