Do Your Homework on Builder When Creating Custom Home
Building a custom home can mean fulfilling a lifelong dream. Rather than being satisfied with a residence designed to appeal to a variety of potential buyers, the owner can have a home designed and built exactly to fit his or her needs and lifestyle.

The process can be challenging. So how can you ensure that you will achieve the desired results, especially if this is your first custom home? Most importantly, look for a builder committed to quality – in materials and workmanship.

When you are looking for a builder, ask friends about their experiences. Then interview several firms and inquire about their previous work. How long has the builder been in business? What kinds of homes has the firm constructed in the past? Ask for references, and check them

Choose someone you are comfortable with, because you probably will spend a great deal of time together during the project. No matter how talented an individual is, if you don’t enjoy dealing with him or her, the process of custom building will be much more difficult.

In addition, look for someone who is passionate about the work. A builder who truly enjoys, and cares about, creating beautiful homes is your best bet for a successful result.

Once you choose a builder, study architectural styles to determine what you like and dislike. Then ask about the pros and cons of different types of homes. Remember: The builder has been through this process often and knows what to consider. Ask questions – part of the builder’s job is to help you become more educated.

During construction, a lot of decisions will need to be made. People who have contracted to have a home built have differing expectations about how involved they want to be. Some prefer not to provide much input, and let the builder pretty much carry the project from start to finish. Others want to be included in every step.

For many, it is best to fall somewhere between these two extremes. By staying involved in the process, you are more likely to end up with a product that fulfills your dreams. However, the process will be more time-consuming and stressful. You are, after all, paying your builder for his or her knowledge as well as skills.

Be clear about your budget. Explain what kind of home you want, and create a “wish list.” What features are essential, and which ones would you like but could live without? The builder should be able to tell you whether the home you want is possible, given the amount of money you plan to spend.

If you have not yet found a home site, your builder will be able to help you do so. Are you looking for waterfront property? A home that overlooks a golf course? Do you want an oversize lot so that you’ll have of outdoor space?

There are other considerations as well. Is the parcel shaped so that the home can be oriented to make the best use of views and natural light? Pay several visits to the site, at different times of the day, so you can see for yourself how sunlight and shadows fall. Your builder will be able to help you visualize how the shape and orientation of the land will affect your home.

Choose an architect and an interior designer at the beginning of the project. The result will almost certainly be better than if you wait until the home is built to hire an interior designer. That is because the architect and designer can plan – together – how to place interior walls, electrical work and other items (such as a wet bar or built-in entertainment center) that best match your lifestyle.

Building a custom home can be a great adventure. The builder you choose will have a great deal to do with whether or not it will be a pleasurable journey.

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