Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tips For Choosing A Builder

When we began looking for a builder, we knew we needed to choose someone that fit us in multiple ways. We also knew that we needed to be a good fit for the builder. Balance.

Here are some things we considered when choosing which builders to meet with and get quotes from:

  • The aesthetic of the house. Who has built houses like this before? They need to share in our vision with us. 
  • Size and budget. Who builds houses in this price range? It is no secret that some builders have a "standard" their homes must meet before they will build. We knew our dream wouldn't match those of home builders on Hilton Head Island. We are not trying to build an oceanfront mansion. We needed to find a builder that would treat my dream as if it were an oceanfront mansion.
  • Reputation. When you live in a small town and your family has been in the home building industry for over 25 years, reputation is everything. We turned to our friends in the mortgage/real estate/construction field to scope out reputations of builders that may be interested in our dream. 
  • Word of mouth. The best builders may not advertise the most. Advertising has nothing to do with quality of work. Talk to those you trust that have walked in your shoes or watched others walk through these same shoes. 
So we now had a small group of builders we were ready to meet with. (I suggest meeting with 2-4 builders after doing your research.) We invited them out to the lot one at a time. We showed them the land (it was already cleared).  We shared our vision with them. We asked them questions. They asked us questions. We talked for a while. We asked for quotes, shook hands, and parted ways. Full on interview status out the back of a pickup truck!

What made us go with the builder we chose?

  • He told me no! He told me no in the first five minutes of meeting him. How dare he! jk. I need someone that will tell me no. He is not afraid to tell us when something isn't worth worrying about or questioning. He is not afraid to tell us when our choices are not logical and why. 
  • Reputation. This builder came highly recommended from multiple people we have worked with in the past. He offered us references of past clients on our first visit. 
  • Budget.
  • Timeline. He gets that we want in the house yesterday, but he also knows what is possible and realistic.
  • Availability. This builder isn't too small or too big. He's not pounding pavement looking for work. He is not overbooked. He knows boundaries. 
  • Ability to communicate. This one was huge for us. This builder responded to our emails in less than an hour. This builder answered the phone when we called. This builder found answers when we didn't know.
  • A simple gut feeling. It felt right. Our personalities matched. 

Let's hope I have all of these nice things to say at the end of the next five months! We will. We will.

1 comment: