By: Bill Browne
Although there are many considerations during the process of a custom home building project, Design Alternatives suggests that selecting the right home builder is one of the most important steps. Many individuals find the whole process confusing and overwhelming; but along with offering custom home design services, Design Alternatives’ vast experience allows them to make builder recommendations or even work with a custom home builder as a consultant/project manager.
While there are numerous methods of researching home builders, Design Alternatives has always recommended starting with word of mouth. By talking to friends, family or neighbors who have recently completed a custom home building project, you can find out what home builders were used and which ones have high recommendations. In addition to talking to acquaintances, Design Alternatives not only suggests asking business related professionals for an opinion but has often recommended custom home builders and even worked with them during the construction process.
Another quality resource for finding local home builders is real estate agents. Custom home builders often work with real estate agents to help increase new home sales especially in new home developments. Real estate agents often know which home builders to consider and which ones to avoid. While doing consulting work for some real estate agents specializing in custom home sales, Design Alternatives has noticed that some can even get you into a few of the finished homes built by the recommended home builders. Although real estate agents are a great source of information, custom home designers which work directly with home builders are probably the best source for obtaining recommendations.
A custom home designer can see first hand how a home builder approaches and completes a project. Generally a custom home designer will be somewhat involved as a consultant during the construction process. After working with clients to achieve their ideal custom home design; Design Alternatives has not only recommended a home builder, but has also provided consultation and project management services to these clients during construction. Design Alternatives has over twenty years of building relationships with local home builders and knows who can build a quality home along with maintaining a strong bond with its customers. As you can see a custom home designer is a major source of information when it comes to recommending a quality home builder.
While selecting the right home builder, Design Alternatives also suggests considering some important questions and tasks to help with your decision. Although it’s a simple question and often not addressed, ask home builders their availability to start your home building project especially if you need to proceed right away or have a mandatory completion date. Also knowing if the home builder has the skill and experience with your particular type of custom home will help with your decision. Design Alternatives obviously recommends doing reference checks and visiting sites of their completed home building projects.
When you find prospective home builders that you are comfortable with, the next step would be starting the bidding process. Either a description of the home design you desire or construction drawings of your custom home design will then be furnished to the home builder. As part of Design Alternatives services, construction drawings are included with the complete package a custom home designer should offer. Home builders then use these drawings to develop a formal bid for your new home. This bid should include the total cost, construction timeline, payment schedule, specification of materials and what work may be subcontracted out.
Evaluation of the bids you receive is the next step, and much care needs to be given during this review process. Due to the difference of home builders and the materials which they use, bids can vary by substantial amounts. Variation in bids can also indicate what amenities are included or not included as the case may be. A custom home designer such as Design Alternatives can offer assistance during this sometimes overwhelming process. By accumulating vast experience in the home design and building industry, Design Alternatives can provide insight to details that may have otherwise been overlooked.
Once the initial review process from prospective home builders is complete, you need to narrow your selection down to two. Set up a meeting with each of those home builders to review the bid and go over any additional questions you may have. Ultimately you need to know exactly what is included or not included in the bid. In addition to meeting your budget concerns, determine which home builder is most responsive to your needs and willing to work with you. Obviously the one that is most willing to accommodate your needs, come within budget and meet your timeline is the best choice for your home building project.
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Check out how Design Alternatives Custom Home Design and owner Bill Browne can assist you with your custom home design process, provide a complete set of workable construction drawings and offer project/construction management consultation services.
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