When determining who will build your custom home, you’re best to make that decision before your design phase or very soon after. Bringing a builder on board early will ensure that your home’s design and your desired budget stay aligned throughout the process.
We know how important it is to find the right builder. Your dream home is one of life’s biggest investments, and you should consider each step thoroughly – especially when finding the perfect builder for you. To avoid being overwhelmed with the process, we have collated some questions to ask your potential custom builders, so you understand every aspect of how they work, and if the relationship will work for you.
1. How closely do you work with my architect and interior designer?
Your builder might recommend an architect and interior designer that they have worked with previously, or you may choose to look for an architect or interior designer externally. Regardless, you want to find a builder who will prioritise a collaborative partnership with your architect and interior designer, ensuring communication is key, and preventing any unnecessary tension, scheduling delays and extra costs.
2. Do you have experience building the style and quality of the home that I want?
Each style of home presents unique challenges, and you want to feel entirely confident that your builder has experience in building your style of home, and they’re not just ‘trying something new’. To ensure you feel confident in your decision, you can request a portfolio of related projects, and they should be able to talk you through their knowledge and lessons learned from similar homes they’ve built in the past.
3. Can you explain to me your estimating process? How can you ensure that all you budgets are accurate?
You want to find a builder who’s estimating process is detailed and thorough. Preliminary estimates will be based on historical costs of previous similar projects, as well as the current market pricing. The detailed budget estimate (after all the plans are finalised) will then be largely based on costs from vendors and subcontractors in the builder’s network (like your architect and interior designer). Be sure to vet these sub-contractors to ensure they provide high-quality work, filling you with confidence that there should be no holes in the budget.
4. How will questions and concerns be addressed during construction?
Hurdles are inevitable in construction, so you want to ensure that the builder’s communication style suits you, and that you trust the builder will value your opinions and concerns. If you feel confident that they have an effective communication style, you can be assured that they should give your architect and interior designers the same excellent communication, avoiding obstacles where possible.
5. If unforseen conditions or changes arise that result in extra costs, what does this process look like?
It isn’t uncommon for luxury custom home builds to face changes due to the complexity of the project. It is vital to know that there is a system in place for when these changes need to occur. For example, documenting the changes, presenting the costs and options to you, and seeking approval. You want to be in the loop every stage.
6. How long do you anticipate the construction of this project will take? What steps or actions do you take to ensure you stay on schedule?
Depending on the size and complexity of your home’s design, it may take up to 24 months to complete. Knowing all the above and knowing how organised your builder’s systems and processes are will ensure confidence that the project will be completed efficiently to a high-standard, and on time.
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