Choosing the right custom home builder is more about choosing the right home builder for you. As there are several concrete qualifications one would expect of a custom home builder in Atherton, some aspects are based on your personal expectations and needs. Beginning with whether they are the right team for your design to what to expect during the process, use this guide to be certain your custom home is in the right hands.
GOOD FIT QUESTIONS
Questions that determine whether a builder will be the right fit for your design aspirations are step one. Their qualifications and professionalism are, of course, very important, however, if their portfolio of work doesn’t suit your tastes, it may be time to look elsewhere. These questions are a great starting point for deciding if the builder is a good fit.
Do you have a portfolio of custom homes your firm has completed?
Many custom home builders may have a portfolio available on their website. Even when this is the case, there may be more examples of custom homes available upon request. Be sure to keep an eye out for all levels of design, be it details, style, and entire layouts.
Do you work with your own network of vendors/suppliers?
A custom home builder may have a trusted network already in place. This has its pros and cons. A downside may be that they are unwilling to reach out beyond their network for materials. However, a benefit will be that the relationship may ensure quality, price, and timeliness.
Do you have a list of architects you’d recommend?
As with their network of vendors, the firm will likely have a shortlist of trusted architects with whom they’ve already built a report. With your style preferences in mind, having a shortlist of architects and designers will cut your search time significantly. Also, having a history of communication between the home builder and architect ensures a smoother process.
CREDENTIAL BASED QUESTIONS
Knowing your builder is properly prepared for the job is incredibly important. Don’t assume every builder, even those that come recommended, is sufficiently insured and licensed.
Are you licensed and insured?
California is a state that requires custom home builders to have licenses. Contractors should also have insurance to cover the possibility of an injury or damages.
BUDGET BASED QUESTIONS
What’s not included in my project?
During construction, is the builder responsible for pulling permits, or does that responsibility and cost fall to you. Also, find out from your builder if the appraisal or surveyor’s certificate will be included in your agreement if it’s required by your lender.
Is Landscaping included? If not, are you outfitted to supply landscaping or do you recommend landscaping companies?
The designers on staff may also be qualified to do your landscaping designs, or they may have landscapers to recommend. Either way, be sure to include this in your initial conversation.
What program/portal is used for communication?
Keeping an open line of communication with your builder will ensure no concerns will go unanswered and that clear documentation of what’s been discussed is available. Many programs are available to facilitate this type of ongoing and consistent communication.
Can you make my home energy efficient?
If sustainability, lowering energy costs, and being more environmentally conscious is important to you, ask the custom home builder how they might be prepared to design your home with these priorities in mind.
How do I pick the materials or fixtures for my custom home?
During the design process, you will want to be hands-on when choosing every element. Ask when and how you will be asked to choose paint colors, light fixtures, door hardware, and many more seemingly small design choices. After all, you will live with these design elements every day and will want to choose what suits your style best.
Can I request changes once the building starts?
Not all custom home builders are open to last-minute changes. Indeed, some choices are concrete once they’re made. It’s good to know going into the process what choices are more flexible than others. However, it’s important to note that changes likely come with changes in both cost and time.
Will you be able to fix anything after I move into my custom home?
Being aware of the warranty period, as well as what’s under warranty, will save both time and stress.
What’s your inspection process? At what points of construction, including the final walk-through, will any matters that need to be corrected or finalized be addressed?
The pre-settlement walk-through with your builder should be the time when you will go through your custom home together to create a list of issues that may need to be repaired or otherwise addressed. Be sure to know ahead of time what to expect of the walk-through schedule. Also, ask the custom home builder what the timeline is for listing problems after you’ve moved into the home, which could range from 30 to 90 days.
READY TO HAVE A CONVERSATION ABOUT YOUR CUSTOM HOME?
K.C. Customs, Incorporated is an experienced and highly skilled design-build firm that specializes in building high-end luxury homes. Our portfolio of homes shows our wide breadth of experience in a multitude of styles. We provide impeccable craftsmanship with attention to detail to deliver incredible quality, on time and within your budget. When you’re ready to discuss building your custom home in Atherton, Contact K.C. Customs, Inc.