How To Choose The Right Custom Home Builder

Choosing The Right Custom Home Builder Is More Art Than Science

Congratulations! You chose custom home building instead of pre-fab or production building.  If you’re looking at customer home builders in Maryland, you need to narrow down the options, and then consider several factors.

Exploring Your Options

Selecting the right custom home builder requires a little effort but is possible with relative ease.

If you’re choosing a partner to bring your dream home into reality, you should treat it a bit like dating.  When you were dating, you found special someone through an introduction, the Internet, or a chance encounter. Look to the same avenues when finding a builder.  

Like dating, it may be love at first sight. You may opt to be more prudent and “date around” (or interview two or three builders).  

Introduction. You have a friend who used a custom home builder and enjoyed a great experience.  Referrals from friends and relatives are a powerful tool in finding a custom home builder.

Internet. Search for custom home building options online. Sort through a few custom home building options, and narrow down more prevalent builders in your area.  

Chance Encounter. You notice signs in front of custom home sites but didn’t pay too much attention before.  Now that you’re about to build a home, you pay a bit more attention to other in-construction homes in the area. Visit that builder’s website and reach out for a discussion.

I’ve Selected A Few. Now What?

Quite a lot goes into a resume. If you narrowed it down to two or three options, talk to each builder and do some independent research.  

As you review the list below, if a potential custom home builder doesn’t take the time to help you with these factors, it’s time to break up.

  • Construction Experience. We know the importance of a construction manager. You want to know the people who will be actually building your home.  A nice office and a pleasant salesperson make the initial experience better, but vet the person who will actually be on the job site every day.

    Do they have long-standing custom home building and new home construction experience? Do the company principals and resume reflect someone you want to construct your most important asset?  

    A lot of people are capable of 5 years of experience, but wouldn’t you prefer someone who has 20+ years of experience? What about two principals on the job site each day, each with 20+ years of experience doing custom home building in Maryland?
  • Quality. Show me! A quality custom home builder is proud of their work. If it’s a thoughtful, small-batch builder, each home is like a child. The builder should be eager to show you completed homes, introduce you to homeowners, and take you through under-construction homes.
  • Price. So, you found a quality builder with a good reputation.   Now, you need to know that you’re quote is a fair price upfront and that the builder will execute on that price.
  • Schedule. You’ve heard “deliver on time and under budget.” That statement rarely aligns with custom home builders.  The key is to understand that the budget and timeline is based on client choices,  timing, and process changes. Working with a builder that sets proper expectations and reacts in a fluid manner is a critical part of the process.  You don’t want to lose a few weeks here and there because the builders’ preferred contractor is out for a month! They should expect schedule hiccups and have processes in place to adapt.
  • Business Standing. How long have they been in business?  If they haven’t been in business for a long time, what were the owners doing before the company formed? Is the company in good standing? What do vendors, subcontractors, and other partners say about them?
  • Personal Fit. You’re spending the next 6 to 12 months with this builder. That’s a long time for any important business relationship, but consider what you’re dealing with. This is your most important, expensive investment. It’s the most emotionally valuable item in your life. You’re building your dream home from scratch!  

    You need to like the company that’s building it. You should feel comfortable contacting them and be excited to see them on site. (They should be excited to include you in the process, too!) They should be patient with you, working with you to make your dreams come true. They’re designing the perfect home, long before you even sign a contract.  

Did I Find The Perfect Builder? What Do I Do?

Congrats! You moved out of “dating,” and you’re ready to “get married.”  You’re thrilled to find a quality home builder that gives you the confidence to build your custom home. You believe in their quality, reputation, price, process, and personality.  

From this point, ask them what the next steps are!  For more information about building your dream custom home in Maryland, reach out to North Market Construction. We would LOVE to talk to you.