Thinking about remodeling or building your dream home? One of the first steps is finding a professional home builder you can trust.
Many people fall in love with a model home or the final outcome of a builder’s decorated model, but how do you know if a particular builder is someone you want to hire to create your family’s new home?
2 Steps to Finding a Custom Home Builder in the Twin Cities
First: Get Referrals and Contact Them. Though this sounds fairly straight forward, you may be asking yourself, “what do I do after contacting them?” Unfortunately, most people don’t know which questions to ask a past client about their experiences with a home builder.
Since new home construction and remodeling doesn’t happen within a manufacturing facility, there are many things that can go awry during the process; after all, we’re building within the natural elements of mother nature. In addition, a home remodel or new build has many different sub-trade professionals involved, creating more opportunities for human error. This is typical in any new home build process, which is why you’ll want to find out immediately how a builder reacts when something goes wrong during the home building process.
Questions to Ask About a Custom Home Builder:
- Did the builder treat the situation in a defensive manner and/or was unwilling to take responsibility?
- Did the builder listen and understand where things went wrong and look to facilitate a good solution?
- Did the builder point blame at the client at any point of the process? If there are any instances where the builder did point blame or became defensive, that’s not the type of builder you want to hire.
Second: Decide Which One of Your Referrals is a Problem Solver. You want someone who can accept an error and accept that there is probably a myriad of decisions that can eventually lead to an “oh, no” moment. Once there, did the builder help everyone move in an efficient and satisfying way. If the answer is yes, you have the type of builder you should hire. If no, move on to another referral.
Also, be sure to ask the following three essential questions:
- Was the builder transparent?
- Did the client see all invoices prior to being paid?
- Did the client know exactly what they were paying for?
If you don’t understand what you’re paying for, how can you make an informed decision about whether you want to make any trade-offs between items, such as higher quality windows, countertops, or even garage doors? Therefore, it’s important for you to know the exact costs, and if you’re going to establish a trusting relationship with a builder, it should be easy for both parties to be open and transparent.
Setting Realistic Expectations with Your Home Builder
Now that you’ve chosen a qualified custom home builder to create your modern or contemporary home, you may be wondering whether or not you should let the builder know your real budget. The truth is if you want a successful project, the answer is always yes!
And Here’s Why: More often than not, we meet homeowners who don’t want to reveal their true budget numbers. This lack of disclosure is not in their best interest and almost always sets the stage for disappointment.
Such reluctance is understandable. Perhaps your own past experience, your friends’ experiences, or even the majority of the online advice you read about hiring a contractor is telling you to treat the process as a poker game with the contractor as your opponent. This mentality often leads people to hold their cards close and creates a non-collaborative environment.
In reality, the adversarial approach is the least effective method if you’re planning a custom home or remodel. Think of it this way: you’re not engaging in a one-time transaction. You’re partnering with a professional who will transform your design vision into a stunning reality. Success demands that you choose a builder and architect in whom you have enough trust to discuss how much you’re prepared to invest. If this still feels like a difficult task, you can always give a range rather than a hard number, but remember to keep it as realistic as possible.
A reality-based budget is a crucial tool in the construction planning process. Most people have preconceived notions of what a house should cost, based upon square footage prices they have seen here or there. But these assumptions seldom support the designs and products they’re envisioning, and the results tend to be frustration. Putting your budget cards on the table is the only way your home builder can paint an accurate picture of what’s possible.
More Tips for Partnering with a Custom Home Builder
- The best approach for building a new home is to bring your design ideas—whether it’s a full set of plans or just a rough concept—along with pictures of styles and products you’re envisioning and lay them out along with your budget during the planning phase of the project. The builder can help evaluate these against your budget. If there’s a gap, having complete information opens the doors to finding new, creative solutions.
- Solutions usually involve a bit of value engineering, which is a systematic approach to making intelligent tradeoffs that satisfy your priorities while still working within your budget.
- Value engineering may include altering the layout, such as reducing square footage in a way that doesn’t take space from the rooms you consider most important. The process can also include specifying less costly products that, while not ideal, can easily be upgraded later. Floor covering, appliances, plumbing, and light fixtures are all products that can easily be changed out at a later date. The builder will also help ensure that you make the best decisions today on items that aren’t easily upgraded, including cabinets, windows, foundation and tile.
- Your builder can’t do this creative work without an honest and accurate budget. In other words, a frank and open discussion about money is a prerequisite to getting a result that will satisfy your needs!
Choosing a professional builder that you can trust is tantamount to a successful project that you will feel proud of, and more importantly, you will have gained a friend!
Build Your Dream Home with ADŌR Today!
At ADŌR Homes, we pride ourselves on being open, transparent, and problem solvers for every client we have the pleasure of working with! As Minnesota’s leading luxury custom home builders, we offer over 31 years of experience in luxury custom homes, so we understand how to help clients make the best decisions for their unique build!
We want people to feel as though they’re getting a fair value and a valued partner throughout their entire home build, which is why we allow our clients to view every cost, including the amount ADŌR is making on a project — right down to the last penny. This allows us to establish a mutual respect with our clients and provide ongoing support from design and construction to final completion of your dream home!
Connect with us today to get started on building your dream home!