Are you planning on building your own home? Choosing a home builder can be a stressful part of the process, but if you get the right one you’ll take a lot of the burden off yourself. Since two in every five people in the United States strongly prefer having a newly-built home over buying existing houses for sale, you know there are plenty of home builders to choose from. Of course, we’ve all heard horror stories about homes builds. The majority of home builders, however, are very capable and professional: and never get into the news or those urban legend stories! Here are the six best tips for choosing and working with your home builder, so you can be sure you get the home you want.
- Know your build. What size of a home do you want, and what do you need specifically? Do you need things to move at the speed of light? Do you need your home to be as eco-friendly as possible? Will you be ok with a general builder, or will you need some kind of specialist for some aspect of the home? If you know this kind of thing before you go looking for a builder, you’ll be in a better position to ask the right questions and get the builder best-suited to your needs and goals.
- A general contractor is almost always better than engaging multiple individuals. You certainly can get your home built by hiring a builder plus separate tradespeople, and it might even be a bit cheaper, but there are some downsides. The extra stress you make for yourself in finding, hiring, and overseeing each individual can easily erase the benefit of saving a few dollars. It also becomes a lot more difficult to keep each individual issue under control and within budget. Choosing a home builder who can provide general contractor services, however, gives you a better shot at getting a good outcome and coming in at budget.
- Don’t hire too soon, and be very specific. You’re not going to get an accurate quote when you’re choosing a home builder if you aren’t specific enough about what you want. No one can give you an accurate quote if you don’t at least have drawings to show them. Things will go even more smoothly if you make sure you’re specific about all the structural details that are dear to your heart and specify exactly what is and is not included in the price.
- Show a little trust in your home builder. A good home builder knows what he or she is doing. They’ve got experience in making homes come to life, and most of the time your builder’s ideas about what is and is not feasible, how many people are needed to do the work, what materials are the best to use, and how long it will take are going to be far more accurate than your ideas; or your Uncle Bob’s.
- Nail down who will do the finishing and the rough-in work. When you’re choosing a home builder, make sure you discuss who’ll bring the electrical, waste, and plumbing services up and into the home. Nail down who’ll be connecting all the pipes and finishing the cabinets and appliance installation. Sometimes the home builder does this, and sometimes the contractor who supplies the kitchen and bath appliances and materials will be responsible.
- Make sure you have a good contract. Your building contract is an agreement between you and your builder about who will do what and how things will be paid for. It should also cover some of the important unknowns, such as what happens if you change your mind along the way, or if the builder takes longer than you agreed upon. It should also include a basic schedule, and everything that’s included in the price.
Choosing a home builder can seem intimidating, but once you have the right one everything else will go smoothly. Take time to choose wisely and ask the right questions, then commit to working with your builder to see your dream home come to life.