Building a custom home can be a great way to get exactly the residence you need and envision. However, this process tends to be a little more complicated than just buying a house. You will need to work alongside a builder to turn your ideas into your dream home. Since you’ll spend so much time working with the builder, it is important to select a good one. To make the building process go as smoothly as possible, make sure your builder has these essential characteristics.
They’re Happy to Answer Questions
A home builder should never make you feel that you are a hassle or an inconvenience. The best home builders spend a lot of time working with their clients. They should be able to explain their process, answer your questions clearly and ensure you fully understand what is happening. This does more than just ensure you pick a home builder with great customer service. It’s also a sign that your builder really knows what they are doing. An experienced and trained builder should be able to easily discuss all the details of how a home is built.
They Give You a Clear Contract and Timeline
No matter how well you know the building team, you should never rely on informal agreements. Building a home is a serious investment, so you need an extensive contract. A good contract is important because it keeps unforeseen issues from causing problems later on. The contract should discuss things like who is responsible for paying electricity to the site and what happens if a sudden storm damages the home halfway through construction. Contracts are also a good chance to lay out your timeline. There should be clear goals for when certain milestones need to be done and when you should pay your final bill. Builders who offer this sort of detailed contract are ensuring that their customers are properly protected.
They Have an Impressive Reputation
With any home builder, you need to ask to look at past projects. The builder should be able to give you a portfolio with images of their work so you can get an idea of how well they perform it. Remember, though, that images might not tell the whole story. Look at online reviews or seek references from past customers to see how the builder’s previous projects have gone. Of course, even the best builder can end up with one or two disgruntled customers. However, the majority of their customers should be satisfied with their work. This positive reputation helps to ensure that you end up dealing with a builder who is competent and knowledgeable.
They Welcome Third-Party Inspections
If a builder gets offended or dismissive when you suggest bringing in other inspectors, be wary. Builders who only work with a set list of inspectors may be relying on those inspectors to ignore potential warning signs. A good builder will welcome the challenge of a detailed inspection. When they are comfortable with you bringing in third-party inspectors, it is a sign they are confident in their own work. Ideally, you should be able to have inspections at various stages in construction. This ensures everything from your plumbing to your HVAC is properly done.
They’re Transparent About Costs
If a home builder just charges you a single, large amount of money, be cautious. Builders who bundle all your expenses into one price often overcharge. When you are paying a lump sum, you cannot see what costs actually go into construction. Trustworthy builders typically provide itemized receipts that clearly list costs for things like materials and labor. If you want a reliable builder, you should also look for one who is willing to discuss the costs of materials with you. Instead of pushing you to pay for unnecessary, luxury materials, they should be willing to help you find budget alternatives. At the same time, a builder you can count on will be honest with you about when quality materials are necessary.
They Only Work With Licensed, Reputable Tradespeople
A builder is only as good as the employees they hire. Take some time to ask about the builder’s hiring process and see what sort of people they work with. Good builders should have a list of reputable electricians, plumbers, HVAC technicians and other specialists. They should perform due diligence in vetting any contractors and be willing to include you in the process. Picking a builder with good hiring practices ensures you don’t end up with subpar work in various parts of your new home.
They Make It Easy for You to Check Out Previously Built Homes
You can learn a lot about a home builder just by checking out their portfolio and looking at online reviews. However, the real test of their skills is their actual products. Looking at a home in person can let you see small details like misaligned trim, shoddy materials or poorly finished built-ins. Ideally, a home builder should have a model home you can visit. If that’s not possible, ask if they will give you the name of a neighborhood they have worked on or even arrange a tour with a previous client. A good builder will be proud of their work and eager for you to see what they can do.
They’re Open to Letting You Customize Your Home
Quality home builders are flexible. Instead of working from a rigid set of plans, they recognize that most of their customers want something unique. Make sure to ask potential builders about their upgrade options, so you can add on extra features as desired. If you know you will want something unusual in your home, make sure to ask the builder about it ahead of time. You should also ask whether the builder is willing to work with a set of plans you provide. Some builders will only work with their own floorplans. Of course, these builders can still do quality work, but it is nice to find a builder who is willing and able to adjust their plan to suit your vision.
They’re Happy to Make Changes If You Aren’t Satisfied
In the home-building process, it’s common for buyers to walk through the mostly completed home and realize they want to make some changes. Your contract should discuss how this situation is to be handled, but it’s also a good idea to go over it with the builder in advance. When you find the right home builder, they will prioritize customer satisfaction. You want to make sure your builder will address any corrections promptly instead of ignoring your needs.
With these tips, it is possible to find a high-quality builder for your new home. At Champion Air, we are happy to offer a wide variety of services to Phoenix, Scottsdale and nearby areas. In addition to our work with new construction, we also provide assistance to those with existing homes who need our help with installing, repairing and maintaining their heating and cooling systems. To learn more about our full range of services, give us a call today.