Key Questions When Selecting a Custom Builder

You’re ready to build the house of your dreams, but you’re maybe a little nervous about whether you’ve done your homework—especially now that it’s time to select a custom home builder. It’s understandable. Going off the well-beaten path to design and create a home that’s yours alone creates a lot of excitement, but also some anxiety if you don’t feel well-prepared. Interviewing builders to find the right one is an important task and there are some key questions you should ask to make sure that you’re choosing someone who will do the job right and work with you the entire way.

Here are some questions that will help ease that anxiety and tell you plenty about your builder’s ability to communicate, be flexible, and considerate of your hopes and dreams.

Do you offer a home warranty?

One clear way to calm your nerves and bring a true sense of assurance is to ask about what happens after the project is done. Purchasing a home without a warranty is a risky decision. Knowing that a builder has a plan to stand behind his construction and remain ready to help will give you confidence not only in your home, but also that you hired the right person. Leaving a warranty off to save a few dollars, or going forward with a builder that doesn’t offer one, could lead to sleepless nights in your new home.

How flexible is your builder? Especially when it comes to floor plans and levels of completion?

What’s a custom home if you can’t…customize it? It might seem simple, but making sure that your builder will allow you to change your floor plans to match your needs and desires. If you’re wanting to add a deck, another bedroom, or to remove a room that would go unused, make sure your home builder is willing to create the home as you’re picturing it. It’s a big investment, so make sure you are getting exactly what you paid for and led you down this path in the first place.

Depending on your needs, you might not want every room to be fully finished. Not sure how that man cave should look just yet? Wondering if you will actually need another kid’s bedroom? Ask your builder if you’ll have flexibility when it comes to this matter. If some rooms are left unfinished, you may be able to save money. A room being finished won’t matter if you only intend on using it for a storage space.

What about the appliances?

Most custom homes will include appliances in the quote, but not all builders are flexible when it comes to what goes inside. Make sure to ask what appliances they suggest or recommend and then see if they are flexible if you have different ideas about what you would like to see inside. It’s your house and you should be able to make the final touches and convenience features that you always wanted, not just accept a standard package that the builder insists upon.

What’s your availability? What’s their preferred method of communication?

It’s probably one of the biggest or most important projects of your life and how you get along with the person spearheading the project is more important than you might think. So the answers to the questions above should be questions your custom home builder is asking you, not dictating to you. It will be an unpleasant surprise if you find out that it’s really hard to grab 30 minutes with the person in charge of the operation after your initial consultation or that you’re always redirected to the desk jockey in the office. Make sure your builder is interested in a real two-way relationship and is reasonably available to answer questions you might have throughout the process. It’s a custom home so don’t settle for a cookie cutter approach to communication.