Picking a builder is like speed dating; you have to find someone you like, have similar values, and can put up with fairly quickly. Then you need to trust them with a lot of personal information in order to have a successful project. Fortunately, you are only looking for a builder that you can work with for 6-12 months for most home projects – so the pressure is not as high as looking for a long-term relationship through speed dating. (blog post about the steps to building a new home – click HERE)
We encourage our clients to have a contractor selected for their project by the time we are finished with schematic design. This level of work is enough for the builder to start reviewing the project scope vs the project budget to make sure things are in line. The builder will probably attend a couple of the design meetings to get more insight on the goals and values of the client and offer suggestions to make the design better, more efficient to build, and hopefully hit the desired budget. This process also gives the client a chance to get to know the builder and how they communicate. This is a critical part of building a relationship with your builder so that you know before the construction contract is signed that the relationship is a good fit.
Building a home is probably the most stressful investment you will make outside of building a business. As they say, “construction happens.” Things like severe weather, shipping delays, a sloppy install, and poor coordination of systems can all make for a bad experience and they are hard things to prevent. Good planning will help minimize the chances, as will a good relationship with your builder. If you have a builder that is part of your team vs a builder that is the lowest price (bid situation), you are more likely to have a successful project.
Picking a builder who is right for your project is critical to creating a healthy, energy-efficient, and durable home that will last for many generations. For some questions to ask while you are speed dating for your next builder, check out this blog post – HERE.