Ask Questions Before You Hire a Custom Home Builder
Traditionally, a home is the biggest purchase in your life. The median home price in Myrtle Beach in October 2020 is just about $175,000. Custom homes and those in desirable locations are often much more. Because a home is a major financial decision, you want to make sure you are working with the best people possible.
For buyers looking for a custom design-build, doing your research and interviewing architects and residential build firms is crucial. While you may love the first team you meet, you really don’t know what is out there or how they stack up to the other companies in your market.
In previous posts we’ve shared tips with how to discover home builders and begin researching and evaluating them. After you whittle down your list of potential companies, schedule some introductory meetings. These informal meetings are your chance to learn more about a design-build company by asking some pointed interview questions.
5 Questions to Ask a Custom Home Builder or Architect
Now it’s time to prepare some questions to help you guide the meeting toward the information you’ll need to make a decision.
Use some of the questions below to learn more about a potential builder for your home:
If we were to work with your company, what is the path from this meeting to our move-in day?
This is a great place to start if you are new to the custom home build process. This question lets you learn more about the process and a general timeline for a project. You’ll hopefully learn about different phases of development as well as which services the company offers.
Who from your company is involved in the project and which services are subcontracted?
With this you’ll likely learn about which parties are responsible for what part of the process. Specifically, look for an established team with clear roles, regardless of the company size. Is the designer and builder the same person? If roles are separate, when does the builder join the project? Consider asking follow-up questions about the involvement of the buyers and how different people from the company communicate with their clients.
What are the biggest obstacles to a project like the one we are thinking about?
Learn about how a company solves problems and works through challenges. Ask the company to use some examples from residential projects similar to your own. A good builder will be honest and forthright will challenges and what they can (and sometimes can’t) do to fix them.
How accurate are your project estimates and how do you address issues that can bring a project over-budget?
Sometimes unpredictable factors can reshape a project’s overall cost. For example, a drastic change in material pricing can make some projects much more costly. Learn about how your builder finds creative ways to cut costs and mitigate overages in specific areas.
Do you have any references and past clients I can speak with?
A phone call or meeting with a previous client can offer a more realistic depiction of the process than a builder may be able to provide. In the end, it’s the customer’s side that you will be experiencing, so hearing from others is always the best. Additionally, make plans to tour a previous project that resembles your own either in terms of style or budget.
Want to Interview Us? Let’s Chat
In conclusion, we hope that this list of questions helps you learn more about the companies on your shortlist and leads you to the best possible choice. Ultimately, we encourage all potential clients to speak with our team as well as others. In the end, we want to make sure we are the right fit for the custom home you are seeking.
We’d love to learn more about you and the project you have in mind. To schedule a no-strings introductory meeting, contact us today.