How to Find The Right Custom Home Builder?

Building a custom home is a serious undertaking. You have this one chance to turn your savings and plans into the home of your dreams. You can place it where you want, you can build it to be exactly how you’ve always wanted your forever-home to be. Build it for yourself, your children, future generations; whatever you’ve been dreaming of. There’s just one very important decision between you and your dream home: Choosing a builder. After all, you can’t just wave a magic wand and make your dream home materialize on your chosen lot, nor are you likely to be the one building it by hand. 

To make your dream a reality, you’re going to need an expert team who builds in your region, within your price-point, in the style you want, and who understands what you mean when you describe your dream home in detail. This is a very serious decision, one you can only make once. So it’s vital that you choose the right custom home builder after a long, careful process of decision-making. And today, we’re here to help you go through that process to choose the absolute best custom home builder to build your dream home beam by beam.

front of house

The Preliminaries:

The Neighborhood and Lot

Naturally, you need to choose the lot on which you will build before seeking a builder who is available in the area. Otherwise, how can you know if they are able to bring their team to your site every day for months? Be careful, some subdivisions have a builder assigned, some have home styles written in early HOA by-laws. Just be aware of these things before buying your lot.

The Style and Design

Next, decide the style you want your home to be. Most builders specialize in a specific style, so you’ll want to be able to quickly determine if a builder is right for you on exterior style and interior floor plan designs alone. Have this rock-solid in your mind before your search.

The Dream Home Details

Sit down with your partner(s) buying the home with you and hammer out the details. Make your need, want, deal-breaker lists so they’ll be ready when you start talking design elements with builders.

The Construction Mortgage

At the end of your preliminaries, visit the bank and get yourself pre-approved for a construction mortgage. This will make it easier to move forward, define your budget, and confirm for builders what your absolute budget really is.

home design

The Research:

Check Out Every Builder Who Builds in Your Region

Check out the builder’s association to find all the local builders in your region who are available to build on your lot. This is your initial list of builders to investigate as you enter the research phase of your decision-making.

Build a List of Builders Who Construct in Your Style

From all the builders who serve your region, investigate their websites and portfolios to identify those who build in your preferred style of home. Set aside any builders who clearly don’t build in your style. Likewise, check any quoted price-tags for built homes. If they don’t dip into your range, it’s safe to set those teams aside as well.

Prioritize Only Licensed and Insured Teams

Now check out how many of your same-style builders are licensed and insured. This is a guarantee in quality and a protection for both homeowners and builders should mishaps occur during the building process. It’s always best to work with licensed and insured builders, especially for a project this important.

Narrow Down by Experience and Reputation

Further narrow your selection by investigating the experience and reputation of your remaining list of builders. Look for builders with years of experience, dozens of homes in their portfolio, and a sterling reputation with homeowners and local subcontractors alike who have worked with them before. Look for a combination of unbiased sources as well as internet rating services like Google and Angie’s List.

The Individual Assessment

Meet the Teams & Ask Tons of Questions

With the finalists, it’s time to start figuring out how you personally feel about each team. So make arrangements to meet them in person. Ask to meet various managers and builders. Most importantly, ask every question you can think of. Write down questions ahead of time and refer to your notes, and take further notes on the answers. This process will tell you much of what you will need to make your final decision.

Visit the Model Homes & Homes Under Construction

Take time to investigate the previous work of each finalist builder team. Visit their model homes, most builders have at least one, and look into visiting both under-construction homes and completed. Look closely at the quality and get a wide set of unbiased information on how satisfactory each builder team’s work will be.

Talk to Past and Present Home-Builder Customers

Look into people who have had their homes custom-built by your considered builders in the past. Ask them in detail how satisfied they were, what made them happiest, and if there was anything they think could have been done better.

Make a Personal Assessment

Use your own best judgment as well to determine how you feel about the work you’ve seen, the styles you’ve seen, and what other custom homeowners have to say.

The Final Deciders

Ask for Quotes on Your Plan

Finally, you’re ready to enter the final stages. Ask each team you’re still considering to give you a rough quote on your dream home along with their personal notes on how it will be implemented, how long the project will take, and all those other important details when it comes down to the nitty-gritty of building your custom home. Get it all in writing so you can compare the quotes, notes, and estimates side-by-side. Remembering, of course, that no quote is set in stone until you’ve planned every detail and finishing detail.

Take Your Time Deciding

Deliberate. Compare and contrast. Ask your gut who you trust and would like to work with the most. Check with your budget on which plan best fits your finances. Double-check the models and styles to see which feels the most like your dream home in detail and features. Give it time, your home will take months to build and the decision can wait a few more weeks while you make sure you’re making the best possible decision.

Pick a Builder Who Suits Your Plans in Every Way

When you are truly certain that you have found the best custom builder to construct your home, reach out and begin working together in earnest on the final floor plan, the final design, and all those little details that your builder will guide you through one step at a time.

Choosing the right builder for your custom home is an incredibly important decision, one you certainly won’t make lightly. If you are building your custom home in Minnesota, then GreenWood would be honored to be considered, knowing that this very special project means the world to you. Please get in touch with us soon for demos, tours, and all the information you need to know whether we are the right custom home builder to make your Minnesota dream home into a reality.