Working in the service industry, we’ve come to understand that the number one reason people get disappointed is unmet expectations. When people think something is going to go one way and it goes the other, frustration is usually not far behind. We also know that the best way to avoid unmet expectations is to ask questions. This goes for almost all situations but particularly when building a custom home.
Since you will be working with the builder and their team for the next six to twelve months, you want the experience to be as smooth as possible.
The more information you have before joining in partnership, the better positioned you will be to enjoy watching your dream home come to life. Here are ten things to discuss with potential builders to determine if they are a good fit.
It is always a good idea to know a builder’s history, how long they’ve been in business and how many homes they have built. More than just seeing previous homes, knowing their depth of experience will give you confidence in their capacity to deliver.
Nothing is more frustrating than picking out the perfect lot, only to find out later you cannot build the home of your dreams on it. Find out from the builder if there are any restrictions to the land you’ve chosen.
Determine whether or not you have to pick from a set of layouts or if the builder will allow you to bring forth your own plans. If you have a specific floor plan in mind, ask about their experience working with original plans.
Building a home is a huge investment. Knowing when the first payment is due and the schedule will keep things moving. You don’t want to be surprised with a bill and have a potential delay in progress.
You have to plan for someplace to live while your home is being built. Having a good idea of the length of time it will take is critical to planning accordingly. You may want to also ask how often they finish early, or more importantly, later than expected.
A clear understanding of how the builder approaches the process will make things easier and less frustrating for you. For example, do all design decisions have to be made upfront? Or can you make changes during and if so, what window of time do you have to make them?
It is important to know who your point of contact will be throughout the process and who will be on the team. Also, ask upfront the best way to contact them and when you can expect to hear back.
Each builder may have their own interpretation of ‘standard or builder’s grade’. You will want a good understanding of what comes with the house. This way you can plan best for the upgrades you want.
To protect your investment after the home is built, know what the warranty is before you get started and exactly what it covers. You can gain valuable confidence in your builder depending on what kind of home warranty they offer.
Hearing from a builder’s previous clients is a great way to learn about what it will be like working with them. Try and see if you can not only talk to someone who is finished with their home but also someone who is in the process.
We have valued partners and great relationships with builders in the Kansas City area and we’d love to help you find the right one for you. Give us a call today at 913.583.9889!