You’re taking the first steps toward building your own custom home. You’ve probably been thinking about your dream home for quite a while. Maybe even spent a few late nights perusing Houzz to get ideas. You may have already chosen the perfect lot or sketched out ideas for a floor plan. Wherever you are in this research phase, we are thrilled that you’ve found us. We make it our mission to provide as many helpful resources to people like you who are embarking upon this exciting custom homebuilding journey. In this post, we hope to make an incredibly important decision a little less daunting for you.
Selecting the right custom homebuilder is absolutely the most impactful decision you will make along the road to your dream home. Choose well and you will have a true partner and advocate. With the right builder you will avoid the all-too-familiar construction horror story and instead end up with a high-quality dream home as well as an enjoyable, smooth, and creatively fulfilling experience for you and your family. It is the same too with commercial builders building a commercial space.
The correct timing to choose a good builder
The best time to choose your builder is either before you begin the design phase with an architect or very soon after engaging an architect. Bringing a builder on board early in the design phase will ensure that your home’s design and your desired budget stay aligned throughout the process. Actually, a good custom builder will do much more than that during this architectural design phase.
The search process
First, you should know that anyone can be a builder. There are no licenses or certifications required by law here like there are in most other states. Because of this very low barrier to entry, there are hundreds of homebuilders in and around Bristol, some better than others. It’s always best to start your search by talking to friends, family, neighbors, and real estate professionals that you trust for any positive custom builder referrals. Chances are someone you know has heard things about a custom builder or two. Worst case scenario, these conversations may not uncover a stellar builder, but they might help you create a list of builders to AVOID. This is equally valuable.
Get an interview with 2-3 builders – this is key overall
This will be the most time-consuming part of this process, and also the most crucial. You will want to schedule a face-to-face meeting with each builder as well as request to visit a completed home and current jobsite with them.
Overall – from estimate to overall completion
A preliminary estimate can take as little as a week, and a detailed budget estimate can take as long as three weeks. If the builder thinks it will take longer than that, be sure to ask why. You may have a particularly complex home design which would understandably take longer than three weeks to estimate, or they may be overloaded which could be a red flag that your project won’t get adequate attention if you choose them as your builder.