Selecting the Right Builder for You

Selecting the Right Builder for Building a Your Dream Home
Choosing a builder is likely the most important decision in the custom home building process. The Metropolitan Builders Association (MBA) offers tips to select the right builder.

Choosing a builder early in the process – ideally before you’ve settled on a site or design for your home – can set the stage for a successful home-building experience. The building process is complex and most owners need professional guidance from the beginning to avoid mistakes in site selection, home design and setting a budget.

Your budget shouldn’t be among the top criteria in selecting a builder. No builder can quote an accurate price for a custom or semi-custom home until he or she knows the type, style, finishes and features of the home, the site conditions and the type of contract you want to use for construction. Rather than focusing on cost, you may want to base your decision on the builder’s competence, reputation, professionalism, warranty coverage, experience.

Here are a few things to consider when selecting a builder:
1. Types of Builders:
Custom Home Builder: A truly custom home has an original and unique design. It is designed to be built on a specific site and purchased by a specific buyer.
Semi-Custom Home Builder: A semi-custom home starts with an existing home design, which then is modified to fit the individual home buyer’s needs.                                                    Production Home or Model Home Builder: A model is built according to a standardized plan.
Spec Home Builder: A home built “on speculation” by a buyer who hasn’t identified a specific builder but hopes to sell it during construction or shortly after it’s completed.

2. Builder Reputation:

Look for an established builder who is a member of the Metropolitan Builders Association.
MBA members have met stringent membership eligibility requirements set by the MBA to protect consumers.

3. Areas of Operation: Choose a builder who is familiar with the area where you want your home to be built. Local  knowledge is important in handling variations in local building codes, subcontracting practices or other factors.

4. Type of Home:

Select a builder who has extensive experience constructing homes in your price range and general design style.

5. Compatibility:

Building a home is a highly personal and emotional experience. You’ll want choose a builder with whom you’ll feel comfortable.

6. Warranty:

The builder should be willing and able to offer you a comprehensive written warranty on your new home.

7. Financial Stability:

Make sure the building company you select is financially viable.

8. Financial Strength:

Successful builders are in the best position to contract for the services of top subcontractors and suppliers – the people who will actually build your home.

9. Quality:

Cost is not a direct measure of quality. Good quality is the merging of good design with appropriate products and materials that are installed with superior workmanship.

10.  Contact me.

Seriously, if you are building in South Eastern, Central or East Central Wisconsin give me an opportunity to use my 20 years of networking to help you, you can e-mail me at joel.fleischman@drexelteam.com or kick me on twitter @JoelmFleischman.  I’d love to help you get started.

Bottom line:  Building a new home is not like buying a car. Apples for apples for builders just doesn’t exist, every builder will build a different home.  GO WITH THE BUILDER YOU CAN TRUST. THAT’S THE BOTTOM LINE.  So many things will happen after the contract that will require communication and yes money, go with the builder you have the connection with and can trust.

Bonus Bottom Line:  Building a home will require a ton of your time.  Don’t assume it won’t.  If you are not prepared for that, I would recommend not building at all until it’s better timing in your life.

– Joel Fleischman.  Joel is the president and solution provider for Drexel Building Supply.  (www.drexelteam.com).   You can follow him on twitter:  @JoelmFleischman.  He has provided solutions for builders and their clients since 1996 and a whole bunch of other stuff that you probably don’t care about.   Article from the MBA, and is a press release.

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