Guidelines to choosing a Custom Home Builder

Signing with a builder is a big commitment. If everything else checks out with the builder, go with your instincts. The single most important factor in a custom building project is how well you and your builder will communicate. It is better to invest a bit more to get a builder who you are comfortable with. If you have done a thorough job of choosing the right builder you will have an exciting and enjoyable experience that will leave you with a well built home customized for your lifestyle.

1. Identify your needs and what kind of builder you are seeking:

-How big and customized is your project?
-Will you accept a semi-custom project from a project oriented builder?
-How much time do you have to invest in the building process?
-Often its best to focus on your vocation, that is what you do best, and hire a professional to handle the entire project.
-How much research am I able to do for products and finishes?
-How much time do I have to select materials and finishes?
-Do you want the full service of a Custom Builder?
-Often its best to focus your time and energy on visiting suppliers, working with samples and making informed selections for your new home while leaving the project management to a professional Custom Builder.

2. Identify 2 or 3 Prospective Builders:

– Ask people you trust for recommendations.
– Do web search to find ones that specialize in your type of project.
– Consult online reviews for each builder.

3. Conduct Phone Interviews:

-Do you do this type of project?
-Is Custom Home Building your core business and are you a licensed full time professional?
-What is your experience and how long have you been in business?
-Are you a member of a Homebuilders association?
-What is your Warranty program?
-What is your post completion warranty and service policy?
-Do you have contractors general liability insurance and Work safe registration? Get copies.

4. Meet each Builder at their office:

-Make introductions; identify how you heard about their company.
-Do you have a regular team of subcontractors?
-Do you have an in-house framing crew, or do you use framing subcontractors?
-Which tradesmen do you have on staff and what are their qualifications?
-Can we visit one of your current work sites?
-Will you provide us the names and contact information for your last 3 clients?
-Provide a set of preliminary drawings or completed construction drawings.
-Provide all the specifications you have compiled so far.
-Note how the builder communicates:
-How well does he or she listen?
-Does he answer questions satisfactorily? Does he put you at ease?
-Can you work with this person on a valuable 6-month project?
-Do you do Cost-plus contracts?
-Describe the building process and who on your staff handles various responsibilities?
-How do you manage, share and track communications with your clients?
-How do you manage, store and share the vast amount of information required for a custom project?

5. Contact the Builders 2 or 3 most recent clients:

-Did they complete the Project on Time? If not why?
-Did they complete the Project on Budget? If not why and how much was due to client changes and how much was due to other factors?
-Is the workmanship of High Quality? Can we see your project?
-Did they keep the job site tidy and safe?
-Were the tradesmen courteous?
-Were the tradesmen careful with the owner’s property and materials?
-How quickly did they respond to communications and problems?

6. Visit each builder’s projects:

-Visit an active construction site;
-Note tidiness, tradesmen, storage of materials etc.
-Visit completed projects:
-Note quality of workmanship, fit and finish, paint finish, joinery etc.

7. Visit builders preferred supply showrooms:

-Set up appointments with builder’s contacts.
-Bring plans for reference.
-Make preliminary selections, have the supplier forward these on to the builders.
-This will really help you know what you are getting.

8. Meet with successful builder to award the building contract:

-Contact the builder who is your first choice.
-Who is my primary contact for this project?
-What is our site-meeting schedule and policy?
-How are showroom allowances handled and invoiced?
-How many projects do you normally run at a time?
-How many projects will you have on during our project?
-What are your projected start and completion dates?
-Ask for projected start and completion dates.
-Sign the contract and provide the deposit.

Testimonials


  • "In a time where building costs went out of control due to Covid, K2 brought us home on time and on budget."
    Michael and Jacqui Hamilton

  • "We are very honoured to be able to speak on behalf of K2 and their sub trades; They excel in every aspect of a construction project!"
    David and Lynn George

  • "K2’s attention to detail and workmanship is second to none, as are their organizational and communication skills."
    Wayne and Maureen Moore

  • "Each stage of construction was completed on time and on budget. We were also impressed with your building philosophy of building a house that exceeds specifications."
    Andriyka and Chris Yost

  • "The communication throughout the entire project was very clear, organized and efficient. The on-line system was absolutely fantastic"
    Mark Sanders and Laura McLean

  • "Seamless customer support and cross collaboration between K2 members also ensured the project stayed on budget and schedule."
    Drew and Jane Cudlip

  • "If you want a first class builder, then K2 is the go-to builder for you."
    Dr Graham Fishburne

  • "Both the process and the end result confirmed for us that we made the right choice. Our house was delivered on time and on budget, and we love the finished product."
    Robert and Lee Bowman