Choosing A Custom Home Builder // Custom Home Building Process

December 4, 2019 0 By Kody Olson


Are you looking for a custom home builder?
This video shares three commonly missed questions you can ask your potential home builder, and
to help you as the homeowner choose your builder more confidently.
Hey everyone, welcome to Custom Homes with Kathy. I’m Kathy Yuen, architectural technologist,
custom home designer, and founder of Phase One Design. Our team has helped over 500 homeowners
navigate their way through the custom home process, including selecting a home builder.
As custom home designers, we bring a really unique perspective to this particular topic.
By the end of this video you as the homeowner will be very confident and one step closer
to selecting your custom home builder. If you find this video helpful, please let me know
by clicking the like button below, and of course, don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t
miss any future custom home related videos. Let’s dive in. Question Number One: Talk to
the trades the home builder works with. Trades can give you a really, really great behind
the scenes insight into how that particular home builder operates. Ask the trades, how
long have they been working with that particular homebuilder, and what has their experience
been like working with that home builder? So here’s some of the key things that you
as a home owner, when you’re having these conversations, could be looking for. So first and foremost,
a good builder will have a stable base of key trades. Now it’s not entirely realistic
to have every single trade of theirs as long term trades, but high quality builders will
generally have a really great core base of trades that they work with on a regular basis.
This is really important for you, because ultimately the trades are the actual men and
women out there that are actually, physically building your house.
So the better relationship that the builder has with them, and the longer standing relationship
that they have with them, the better, of course, for you. A long relationship is a great telltale
sign that they probably are going to stand behind their work, and very often that they
are going to have great craftsmanship in their work, which of course is of great benefit
to you. Question Number Two: Ask about the home builder’s
experience with your particular geographic area and/or project type. So make sure, whichever
builder that you’re talking to for your project, make sure they’re experienced with they type
of build that you’re doing. So what I mean by this is each type of build is going to
have its own nuances, and you need to make sure that your builder is familiar with what
those nuances are and how they should be dealing with them.
So here’s just a few examples. If you’re building on an acreage there’s going to be specific
things such as septic systems, servicing the site, water tables, potential geo technical
conditions, and the list goes on. So obviously you need to make sure a builder’s familiar
with all those things in that particular area, in that municipality. If you’re building on
a challenging site, make sure your builder has experience with that particular type of
building. So for example, maybe you’re building on an
extremely steep lot on the side of a mountain where rock blasting is required. Or perhaps
you’re building close to a waterfront, or environmentally protected area where there’s
certain construction access setbacks required, or other requirements from the municipality.
Obviously your builder should be familiar with those. If you’re building in a developed
urban area you may be tearing down an existing building, or an existing structure, and then
replacing it with a new home or a new in-fill. So obviously if that’s the case then you need
to make sure your builder understands how that process works, and the approval process
through the municipality. So whatever that looks like for your particular project, just
make sure that your builder is familiar with either that municipality, or with that type
of project, or in most cases both. So just as a side note, as we’re talking about
geographic areas and land, if you happen to be in a process of choosing land I have two
extra side little tips to help you out. There’s actually a separate video that we’ve made
with regard to how to choose land, and I’ve provided the link below. Secondly, we’ve also
created a really short checklist for you as a homeowner, as a cheat sheet to use when
choosing your land so you know the things to look for. A lot of these things that you
should be looking for in choosing one should be some of the things that your homebuilder
should be somewhat familiar with. So I’ve provided links below, feel free to check them
out. Question Number Three: Ask the homebuilder
to provide some examples of when things didn’t go so smoothly. So ask your home builder for
these examples, and more importantly ask them how they actually handled them. So okay, for
this particular question I would like to set a very realistic expectation on behalf of
all the custom home builders out there. It is a custom home that you’re building, which
means that it has never been built before. And it is the world of construction that you’re
dealing with, so something, at some point, may end up not going exactly as planned.
So when and if this happens, just please remember, it is not the end of the world. What is really
important though is how this particular situation is handled. So that’s really what you’re asking
the home builder is how situations like this, when they come up, are going to be handled.
So here are some of the things to look for: will they make executive decisions on your
behalf, or are they going to involve you in every single decision? To be honest, it doesn’t
really matter what the answer is, there really is no right or wrong. What you’re looking
for is to make sure whatever that answer is to that question, and whatever examples that
they give you, that you as a homeowner are comfortable with how that particular homebuilder
likes to deal with challenges as they come up.
So here are some things to help you out. In the past we’ve seen really, really great success
with home builders that have some of these following traits. So first and foremost, collaborative
home builders. There’s a huge team of people that are going to be working on your project,
so builders that are collaborative with that entire team versus finger pointing is great.
Another thing to look for is a builder who will actually take accountability if they
did make a mistake that was actually theirs, which I actually think that’s the way your
entire team should operate. But somebody who, if they make a mistake they own it, they’re
going to sit down and let you know, okay, sorry this happened, and then they’re going
to focus on the solution and moving forward. This point also speaks to how really successful
home builders typically quickly address issues, they communicate directly with you and they’re
very transparent about the whole process to you as the homeowner/client. At the end of
the day it is up to you as a homeowner just to gauge your comfort level in how a home builder
is going to be addressing any issues, if and when they come up.
So now you have three powerful questions that you can use when choosing a new home builder
for your custom home project. If you need more help in choosing a homebuilder feel free
to reach out to our team, we have an amazing network of some of, what I think are the best
homebuilders in the cities that we work in. You can email me at [email protected],
I’ve provided it up here, and also in a link down below in the comments. Don’t forget to
check out our other custom home videos on this channel, and if this video was helpful
for you please let me know by clicking the like button below. Thanks so much for watching,
and see you in the next video.