You are excited. You have made the decision to not just get a new home – but to build your new home from scratch. You get to choose every detail. You get to finally make a place all your own.
The most important decision at this stage is choosing the right builder for your new home. Choosing the wrong builder can result in possible compromises you aren’t willing to make and overall dissatisfaction with the process and the end product. So, what do you need to know? How can you ensure you find the right builder?
We’ve got you covered. Let’s take a look at the things you need to know and do to make sure your homebuilding process goes smoothly, without a hitch.
Make a List of Your Priorities
First and foremost, make a list of priorities. Decide what you want ahead of time. What are you willing to compromise? What aren’t you? Plan for the future. You’ll likely want to plan for 5-10 years down the road – Where will you be? Will you still love your choices? Make sure to keep this in mind. Research styles, counters, and the like. Have a clear idea in mind before meeting with a builder. This way you will be able to vocalize and show your expectations.
In addition to priorities, plan a budget. There’s nothing that makes people panic more than when their finances get turned upside down. Plan a budget AND stick to it. If any builder tries to make you up your budget, run. In no way should your builder be pressuring you to spend more than you want. There are always options. A good builder communicates these clearly to clients and helps them set realistic expectations.
Do Your Background Checks
We can’t stress this one enough. Do your research. Check reviews and their past work. What do previous clients have to say? If they don’t have previous clients, you might want to go with a more experienced builder. Another aspect to check out is their licenses and credentials. Are they qualified? What makes them qualified? Find out.
A prime example of a builder with a good reputation and experience? Just look at us! At Forever Homes, we have been building custom homes in London, Ontario since 1993. We have an experienced team of professionals who can help you design the perfect home in order to suit your needs.
Another great way to find a reliable builder is through friends. Do you know someone that has been through the process before? Who built their home? What did they think of them? Word of mouth is the most reliable referral. You get a customer’s honest and first-hand experience – no fluff.
Check Out Their Style
Make sure to browse the builder’s website. What do their homes look like? Where do they build? You want your style and needs to match what they offer. Most builders should have a gallery showing off their work. Plus, they often offer up house plan layouts and building locations. This way you can decide from the get-go if you are a good fit or not.
Meet With Them in Person
If you have to meet with multiple builders, that’s okay. It may take a few meetings to find one that you mesh well with. Don’t settle. Also, meeting with them in person can help you get a feel for the kind of person they are. Do they seem honest? Are they friendly? You will be communicating with them for months down the road, so these things are important!
At this meeting, you can also see what they think of your ideas. Are they willing to help? Do they offer solutions to possible problems? Are they willing to work within your budget? You can also use this as a chance to ask questions and see how they respond, which leads straight into our next point.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Your builder should make you feel comfortable. You shouldn’t feel awkward or any discomfort when asking questions – even ones that may seem obvious to them. They should be transparent. And also able to give you a general timeline and cost estimate. It’s a huge investment for you. It’s costing you money and time for this new home. Your builder should be able to work with you and should encourage questions.
Ask for References
If you are skeptical, ask for references. Who have they worked for in the past? Who can back up their reliability and experience? A good builder should have no problem in coming up with a list for you. If they do, they might not be a good fit. They may lack experience (meaning they have none). This could be a huge red flag and could amount to hassle in the future.
Go View Their Construction Sites
After looking up the neighbourhoods where they build, why not check them out in person? This could give you insight into the inner workings of their company. Is the worksite clean? Does it seem like projects are moving along at a reasonable pace? Do their employees seem professional? Find out if the builder shows up to the construction site to check in – This can be a huge indicator of how in the-know they are on each project.
Do a quick drive-through. Could you see yourself living here? Is it close to the things you need? If so and all checks out, they could be the right builder for you.
When shopping around, ask for estimates. Gather 2 or 4, then compare. What is included in each quote? What isn’t? Things to watch out for include checking if the clean-up of the job site is part of the price and if the materials are also part of it. Make sure you are clear on what each one includes and what it doesn’t include. One builder might seem like a great deal, but maybe they haven’t even included the materials in their estimate.
Consider The Builder’s Speciality
Make sure your builder does the type of build you want. This goes back to your research and style matching.
What you don’t want? A builder that has only done commercial property and it’s their first time doing residential. This is why you want to make sure they have done past projects that resonate with what you want. Again, check out that online photo gallery! Get proof that they have had success with this type of build in the past.
Thoroughly Review The Paperwork
Have you made your decision? You should be set to sign a contract. Make sure to read it over thoroughly before signing. And take your time signing it. If you want to get it checked over by a lawyer beforehand, go for it. You shouldn’t feel pressured to sign anything you are unsure about.
And Remember, This is Your Home!
While you should definitely let the builder you choose do the project management, it is still your home. Make sure you choose someone who is transparent, experienced, and qualified. Building your home is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, investment you will make in your life. You want to be confident in the builder that you choose. The right builder can make your dreams into reality.
For more information regarding the home building process, contact us at Forever Homes. Our experts would be more than happy to discuss your options or any questions you may have. Let us help you build your dream home.