How to find a custom or luxury home builder? Building your dream home should be exciting, but it can become stressful considering the wide selection of home builders that makes it hard to choose. If you don’t know the first thing about selecting the best custom or luxury home contractor, let this guide help.
Custom Home Builder vs. General Contractor
A general contractor is different from a custom home builder. Hiring the right team will help you get the results you’re looking for in a home.
- General Contractor
A general contractor is a professional or company that manages construction jobs. These companies manage construction projects and find workers to complete each job. They could hire an architect to design your home and crew members if they don’t have a construction crew in-house. They also procure the materials and provide all the essentials to construct your home.
- Custom Home Builder
On the other hand, a custom home builder specializes in the construction of customized homes, luxury home and other similar buildings. They work closely with you from the design phase to landscaping and the other finishing touches. These companies manage every step, and they can also offer design guidance and customizations you may not have considered.
A custom luxury home builder does the following:
- Works with you to establish a working budget for your project.
- Prepares estimates and cost tracking for all processes involved.
- Handles payment requests for your bank or other financial institution.
- Ensures the subcontractors perform all jobs according to code and the builder’s quality standards.
- Ensures all floor plans and specs are followed correctly.
- Serves as a liaison between the construction team and the government offices with jurisdiction over the construction site.
- Manages the procurement of all building materials.
- Oversees the inspection, approval and obtaining of occupancy and other necessary certificates.
- Educates you on proper home maintenance after they turn over your new home.
- Maintains a relationship with you after your home is complete and assists with warranty claims.
How To Find a Custom or Luxury Home Builder?
Finding a custom home builder to make your dream home represents a huge investment, making home builder quality your number one priority.
When vetting residential construction firms, it is best practice to compare at least three companies and their quotes. The builder you choose will dictate the entire construction experience. Many contractors can erect a home, but only a few can provide an outstanding customer experience.
With that in mind, here are some factors you should consider when answering the question: “how to find a custom or luxury home builder?”
- Make sure that the residential construction company is a member of their local home builders association (or at least they’re in the process of getting their membership).
- Check if a firm has general liability insurance.
- Visit the company’s website and review its portfolio to ensure a track record of building quality construction projects.
- Find out if the construction firm has a safety program in place. This includes insurance, bonds and other coverage since you don’t want any workplace accidents, construction delays or potential lawsuits.
- Determine if they have a new home warranty program and can offer you references if you request them.
- Inquire if they have systems and other processes in place so you can track the progress of the construction without having to be physically on-site.
- Find out if they have a way for you to oversee and inspect the financials involved in the project so you can foresee if you’re going over the budget or not.
All the information mentioned above will help you determine how organized and experienced a custom home builder is. It will also help you choose the one best suited for your needs.
Determining Home Builder Quality
Besides searching online for a “quality home builder near me,” you should also ask for referrals from friends and family.
- Create a List
Create a list of custom home builders that appeal to you, especially those that can work within your budget. It will also be best to work with a local firm that has completed projects in your area, which you can visit and inspect.
Gather the contact info and addresses of each firm on your list. Schedule calls and meetings with their representatives so you can feel how they run their companies.
- Interview and Ask Specific Questions
Reach out and meet with each company. You should ask about their industry experience and find out if they have constructed homes similar to the one you want made. The goal is to narrow your list and find the companies that can do the job and work within your budget.
Here are some of the questions you should ask during your interviews:
- Do you have an established financing plan?
- Do you offer a warranty program? What type of coverage do you provide?
- Can basements, decks and other rooms be left unfinished?
- What are the tax estimates based on the project we proposed?
- How do I know the current costs, and how will you report the building progress?
- What fees and other home development dues do I need to pay?
- Are there any restrictive covenants on the construction work that I should know about?
- Who will I deal with on a day-to-day basis regarding the progress of my project? (Site supervisor, project manager, etc.)
- Have you built similar homes to the one I have in mind?
- Are there any major development plans in the area where I am proposing that will occur in the next five years?
- How will you source the materials and the construction crew?
- What’s the average time for you to build a custom home?
- Are there homeowners association dues, and what costs will I have to pay once construction starts?
Choose the top two custom home builders on your list and compare the quotes they provided. The majority of home builders work using cost plus contracts or cost plus no gross max price (GMP). With this method, there is no fixed price. With this type of contract, the home builder can give you every option that you want to include in your home. You will then agree to pay for the labor and material costs plus a markup of 20 to 30 percent, which covers the builder’s overhead and profit.
The best custom builders may be able to reduce costs through vendor relationships and builder programs on certain items but still provide the quality you’re looking for. While doing that, they can use saved funds and apply those savings towards other items on which you may find yourself spending more such as nicer countertops, tile, or other designer features.
Choose Quality and Value
Finding a custom home builder requires careful consideration. Choose a builder that can provide you with the desired amenities and better resale value for your home. At Chelsea, we provide you with the best experience as we work out the details of your dream home. Send us a message today! Our consultants will be more than happy to answer your questions.