Choosing a custom home builder or general contractor to build your dream home/cottage can feel daunting. You’ve dreamt of the day you can finally get started, and it’s one of the biggest purchases you will ever have to make. We understand the size of the project can make this feel incredibly overwhelming.
You’re not alone in this.
It’s normal to feel pressure when trying to make all the best decisions. After all, you are choosing key features for the place your favourite memories will be made.
You know the look you’re going for; you’ve already mentally picked out some items you want, but how will it all come together? What if the ideas you have don’t look cohesive in real life? You know what you like and don’t like, but after all, you’re probably not a seasoned builder/designer. What if those things you want cost more than your budget allows, then what?
There are so many questions and unknowns when taking on a custom build. Unfortunately, some questions need to wait until you are part-way through the process.
A huge leap of faith is needed when handing over your dream build to someone and saying, “please, take care of this for me”. You will have to trust that they’ll do it justice for you and your family.
What can you do to make this giant leap feel manageable? How can you make choices you’re confident with?
It all begins with a relationship built on trust.
Plenty of builders can create a product that looks great on the surface. The difference is their process and their end quality. It will be evident when a builder can take your vision and create a product that meets and, ideally, exceeds your expectations. It’s also important to note the involvement you and your family has in the process.
As we do with most things today, folks often start online; researching different builder websites. This is a great way to get a feel for a builder, but you should also concider these components:
You want to get an idea of the quality and expertise of a company. You’ll never have the level of trust you need for your builder if you don’t feel like they have the skills necessary to execute your project.
- Transparency. This obviously can’t be known by just visiting their website, but it should give you a good sense that they’re open and honest with their clients. After all, that’s the foundation of trust.
- Look into their process. This may not be front page of a website, but as you navigate through, you should be able to find something outlining how that company works. This will hopefully inspire some confidence moving forward. In our case, we have an email series that walks you through our building process step-by-step.
- Gut feeling. Don’t second-guess yourself. We often try to quiet our internal worries/fears and tell ourselves that there is nothing to worry about. At the end of the day, trust it, it usually takes you where you want to go.
Once you’ve set aside the time to evaluate several builders based on these points, you will likely narrow it down to a handful who fit the criteria. Now, it’s time to schedule an in-person meeting.
You can only really get a full impression of someone once you meet them in person. The most important question for you in the first meeting is— can I trust this builder to take care of my dream? Do I have confidence that they can bring it to fruition? If the answer is yes, everything else is just details.
Additional questions to ask your builder, but also past clients:
- What timelines should we expect? Most custom builds take around 8-12 months of construction time
- How do you handle issues that arise during construction? This is an important question you should ask the previous clients; they will have the most experience dealing with your potential builder.
- How does the builder ensure the project is both designed and built to your set budget? Speaking of budget…
What about the cost!?
Don’t worry, I hear your cries; there’s a reason I leave this ’til the end. Too often, we prioritize cost above all else in a build. It’s human nature to want as much as we can get, without risking too much of our savings.
However, when the stakes are high, the last thing you’ll want to do is sell your dreams to the lowest bidder.
With that said, everyone has a budget in mind, so we can’t simply pretend money is no object. So, what’s the answer?
Focus on value.
What kind of value are you getting for spending your hard-earned money? What quality and attention to detail can you expect? What type of customer service will you get? Are you simply another customer, a number on a piece of paper? Or is your project truly important to your builders?
You’re not paying for the result; you’re paying for the process.
How enjoyable is this process going to be? After all, most people only do this once in their life.
Choosing a custom builder might be difficult, but it doesn’t have to feel unattainable. A large part of uncertainty often stems from a lack of experience in our area. It’s usually the type of project where it feels too expensive to make mistakes. If you can find a builder who makes you feel less overwhelmed, you’ve found the builder for you!
If you’d like to learn more about our building process; help gain confidence moving forward, click the link to book a free 20-minute new client phone consultation.
As always, we’re here to answer any questions you have along the way, don’t hesitate to reach out. We look forward to hearing from you!