Custom home construction is the best way for you to realize your unique vision and create a one-of-a-kind dream house. But choosing a homebuilder from the many companies in your area can be a daunting task. Once you and your family have a clear vision of what you’re looking for in a house, you can begin researching individual companies in earnest.

A new home is the single most important purchase you will make for your family, and key to a successful experience is your relationship with your builder.

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Assuming you’ve already decided specifics about what kind of home you want to build and have ascertained what your budget is, you can now begin the process of assessing companies. Get recommendations from friends and colleagues, visit home shows and open houses, and research company websites. This should allow you to create a short list of builders whose work fits with your vision. Next, meet with the builder or his/her representative. Come prepared to discuss house plans – tell him or her what plans from the company interest you, or ask to see plans that fit your requirements. It’s best to go to the meeting with a list of questions to ensure that you get all the information you need to make a decision. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions; it’s better to have any potential issues clarified before signing a contract. Sample questions might include:

  • What services and standard features are included in the price?
  • How many changes can be made to a plan?
  • Is HST included in the price quote?
  • Will the house be covered by a third-party new home warranty?
  • Does the company offer help with financing?
  • What sort of after-sales service is available?
  • What is the usual payment schedule?
  • When would the company be able to start building your home, and what would the expected date of occupancy be? What happens if construction is delayed?

During your meeting, take note not only of the answers to your questions, but also pay attention to your rapport with the builder. Does he or she listen and understand your questions? Does he or she answer them fully? Are you comfortable with the person? Do you feel like you have the builder’s full attention and respect? Take your time. Go home and consider what you’ve been told, and if you have further questions, set up another meeting.

 

Be sure to ask the builder for references from past clients, and follow up with them. These people have agreed to be contacted, so don’t worry about disturbing them. Ask them if they are happy with their homes, and if not, why not? Ask about what parts of the process may have been problematic.

Once you have visited several builders, compare what they offer. Points to consider include price, quality of materials, flexibility regarding plans, warranty, after-sales service, and your personal feelings about the builder. Often, two or more builders will be offering similar packages, and you will make your decision based on your level of trust and comfort with the builder him/herself.

By researching carefully and finding a builder who fits with your vision and personal style, you’ll help to ensure that building your dream home is a dream come true!