Custom Home Building: How to Find a Great Custom Home Builder

Thinking of building your dream home? If so, your options are virtually infinite: you can choose whatever you want in terms of floor plans, designs, features, colors and so much more. And while you have limitless choices to think about and consider, because it’s your dream home, you want to make sure whoever builds your custom home is capable of doing the best possible job.Without knowledge of the home construction industry, it can be difficult to know what to look for when trying to separate the good builders from the unscrupulous ones. Every custom home builder out there would love nothing more than to attain your business, but before you give it to them, you have to know what to screen before signing any contracts.Here are some things you may want to strongly think about before finalizing your decision:Fixed price contractsMany custom home building experts recommend prospective customers find a builder who offers the option of fixed price contracts. These contracts can help avoid unanticipated incidents or developments that might arise over the course of your home being constructed which may cause significant increases to the budget. The latter should be especially considered in your thought process, so you can rest easy change orders won’t cause financial issues for you.Warranty programsThe most important facet of any construction project is your home’s structural integrity. And because of the importance of this piece, you may discover there are materials you will want to have under warranty for a period of time, notably those involving plumbing, electricity, fixtures and so forth. Many experts recommend having these products covered for a period of between five years to a decade.Project guideSince most of us are not building contractors, we’re not familiar with what it takes to build a house from the ground up. When you are looking to hire someone to do the job, look not just for a builder, but someone who can be your guide through the entire process, providing you with advice and direction. Whoever the builder you pick, they should be able to give you recommendations and suggestions about components such as project location and orientation, and the general scope of work.One thing to always keep in mind is that when you hire a custom home building company, every aspect is all about you and what you want. From the design to final touches, you don’t have to give-and-take and there are often flexible financing options out there. This structure is your dream home, so everything about it should be to your liking!When searching for a builder, the above tips should be able to help you in finding one most suited to your needs. Since it will be where you and your family reside for many years, ensure every feature, no matter how small you may think it is, is of the best possible quality.

Starting Your Home Building Process on the Right Foot

Building your home can be a very fulfilling experience. While it can be a very complicated process, the rewards may be worth it when you have a plan and a clear idea of what you want when you decide to build your custom home in Austin. The home building process entails long and careful planning.FinancingFinancing is the biggest concern when you are ready to build your new home. You want to think about the money you spend on a monthly basis. Bills can pile up and not having a clear idea of how much money is coming in and being spent can put you in a real bind once you start the home building process. Go over your financing options and see if you can afford mortgage payments. Some home builders also offer other financing options that allow you to save money.Location, Location, LocationWhen you have your budget all worked out in your head, you want to start looking for locations or lots in Austin where you want to put down roots. Finding the perfect place to settle down requires some serious thinking. You want to consider the proximity of your home to your place of work and the accessibility of shopping areas and other areas that you frequently go to.Aside from these considerations, you also want to know if your lot is located near schools. Even though you do not have children, having your property close to a school will increase the market value of your home. Since your custom home is probably one of the biggest investments you will ever make, it is helpful if the value of that investment increases over time. The development of the surrounding areas of your home is also an important consideration for ensuring a good return on your investment.The Right Home Builder Choosing the right home builder is very important. There are various ways to find a home building company you want to work with. You can go online and look at the portfolios of different home building companies. Asking Realtors for their professional recommendations will help you decide on the home builders you want to work with.Look for years of experience, expertise and samples of their work so that you can better choose the most reputable company to build your dream home. When you commission a custom home builder in Austin, you want the company you hire to create a creative and fully functional floor plan. Different elements of your home must be thoroughly discussed with the home builder you choose to work with.Affordability is also another factor to consider. Find a home builder who can work with the budget that you give them. Custom home builders also allow you to modify floor plans to suit your taste and style. Find excitement in your home building process with seasoned home builders assisting you every step of the way.

The Business of Home Building – Managing Client Expectations

It is the final day. You have taken months to build the house and now it is finished. You, your staff and trade contractors have put many hours of skilled labor into creating this home. It is a good house and you are proud of it.In a few minutes the home buyers will arrive and you will walk them through the Final Inspection. They will find a few minor items and you will move on to closing tomorrow. Pay day. After months of work you finally get paid.The new homeowners show up, not just the husband and wife but a contingent of relatives, mothers, fathers, uncles and teenage sons. “I hope you do not mind we brought some help to inspect the house. We are new to this and feel more comfortable with help.” How can you object. Objection would imply that there is something wrong.Two hours later after feeling all the walls for faults in the paint, crawling on hands on knees across the wood floor looking floor scratches and jumping on the floor to see if there are any squeaks the new home buyers are exhausted from creating a sea of sticky notes all over the walls where they found faults in the paint and drafting a four page list of “defects” that makes them unhappy and suspicious of their builder. They should have bought this home in the first place. They tell themselves they will need to make sure they find all the warranty items during the warranty period. You not only have a bad walk trough but have created a difficult and unhappy customer for the length of the warranty period. You can also be assured that they will share their concern with their new neighbors.Avoiding this situation starts not a few days before closing but when the contract is signed. As a professional builder you need to set expectations, establish standards and document those standards. I have found the best way to establish standards is to include performance specifications along with your warranty in a detailed Homeowners Manual.Performance specs must be practical and easy to measure standards such as painted drywall is made to be viewed from six feet under normal light. This type of standard is easy to defend and prevents such actions as feeling walls or placing lights at right angle to walls to find defects. A few other examples are;
Wood floors are made to be viewed standing up. Scratches that cannot be seen standing are acceptable.
At zero degrees exterior temperature the heating system must maintain a temperature no less than 65 degrees in the home.A great resource for performance specs is the Residential Construction Performance Guidelines published by the National Association of Home Builders. It establishes a third party authority for industry standards. We always included these standards in our contract.Once you have established the standards make sure the Buyer, your employees and trades all have copies of the standards, understand them and follow them. Make the final meeting before closing a Homeowners Orientation which implies a learning experience and not a final inspection which implies the need to find fault.In future articles we will explore the Home Owners Manual and New Home Orientation and their functions in setting expectations and managing the construction process.