For many people, building a custom home from the ground up is the ultimate dream come true. Instead of trying to find an existing home that you somewhat like but will still have to renovate to achieve your vision, building a custom home allows you to create the dream home you have always wanted. However, considering building a new home is likely one of the biggest investments you will ever make, it is important that you do not rush into this process. You will need to take some time to think about what you truly want in your dream home and the steps that you will need to take to make your dream a reality.
Before you start thinking about design options and potential layouts, however, the first thing that you should do is take some time to research custom home builders in your area. Finding the right home builder to meet your needs is arguably the most important part of building a custom home, as an experienced builder will help ensure that this process goes as smoothly as possible. To help you in making this important decision, here is a look at a few tips to help you find a custom home builder in Shorewood, Minnesota.
Look for Experience
As you begin researching custom home builders in your area, it is important that you take into consideration how long each company has been in business. The fact is that having a home built is probably the largest investment you will ever make, and you will want to ensure that the builder you entrust with your project has the knowledge and experience to make your dream home a reality. Considering how much you are investing in your home, you likely don’t want to work with a builder who has only been in the industry for a year or two. Try to find someone who has been in the business for a while and has an extensive portfolio of homes they have built. This will help to ensure that you end up with a knowledgeable builder who builds a quality home.
Talk to The Experts
As you begin researching builders in your area, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the number of options you have to choose from. How can you know who to trust based on an internet search? If you were choosing a plumber or an electrician, this is likely when you’d ask friends and family for recommendations; however, you may not know anyone who has had a custom home built. A great place to get recommendations for reputable home builders in your area would be by asking the opinion of the experts who work with builders on a regular basis. Lenders, real estate professionals, builders associations, and code inspectors likely have in-depth knowledge of local home builders and can provide you with a unique perspective on each builder. Ask them who they believe are the top 3 builders in your area, and you should see a pattern emerge that can help you create a list of potential builders to interview.
Check for Licensing and Insurance
Laws and regulations regarding contractor/builder licensing vary greatly from one state to the next. However, if your state requires builders to be licensed, you should make sure to ask builders that you are considering working with for proof of licensing. You should also make sure that any builder you are working with has proper insurance. Ask to see verification of their insurance and make sure that they have sufficient insurance to cover their company, their employees, and you in the event of loss or an accident during the construction process. If a worker were to become injured on your property during the construction process and your builder is not properly insured, you could find yourself liable. Any reputable builder will be more than happy to provide you will proof of their licensing and insurance, and if a builder does not want to provide you with this information, this is a big red flag indicating that you should look elsewhere.
Ask for References (and Follow Up)
Another red flag you can look out for when talking to prospective builders is if a builder does not have, or is unwilling to provide you with, a list of references, as this likely indicates that they either are not proud of their past work or they don’t have many satisfied clients. An experienced builder with an extensive portfolio should be more than willing to provide you with a long list of past customers who are willing to speak to the quality of their work. When trying to determine which builder to work with, it is critical that you not only ask for references but that you actually follow up and contact a few of the references on their list. Speaking to a builder’s former clients gives you a unique opportunity to find out what it would be like to work with a prospective builder.
Make sure to ask in-depth questions that help you get a sense of the builder’s customer service, the quality of their work, and how well the builder handled any delays or issues that arose during their project. You should also try to find out how well a builder communicated with their client throughout the build and whether or not the builder was difficult to get ahold of when needed, as you want to choose a builder who will be easy to work with, and who you can contact with concerns throughout the build. It is important that you follow through and talk to any references you are given by a builder, as reference interviews can be essential in helping you make your final decision.
The Cheapest Option isn’t Always The Best
When having a custom home built, it is likely that you will need to keep your project within a set budget, and it is understandable that you will want to find a good deal. However, as you start getting estimates from prospective builders, it is important that you do not automatically pick the cheapest option, as the cheapest estimate may not always be the best estimate. The fact is that if a builder gives you an estimate that is far below the competition, this could indicate a lack of experience, low-quality work, or the use of cheap building materials. It is important that you get all estimates in writing and that you look over them thoroughly, as a particularly low estimate could be purposefully misleading and does not include all of the materials and labor. Ultimately, while price is an important factor when choosing a builder, it should not be the deciding factor. In order to ensure that your dream home is built right, you want to ensure that you choose an experienced builder who uses the right materials and techniques to build you a quality home.
If you plan to have a custom home built, feel free to contact us to learn more about the things that you should consider when choosing a builder.