Post details: Choosing a Builder

02/23/05

Permalink 11:55:14 am, Categories: Articles, 407 words   English (US)

Choosing a Builder


Consider all the aspects of choosing a builder for your new home or addition.

Beyond the Best BidBeyond the Best Bid

When Sherri and Jerry Johnson built their first home several years ago, they didn't worry much about choosing a builder. They had saved for years, and knew what they wanted down to the last nail. They figured their knowledge and enthusiasm would be easy for any builder to understand.

Instead of following a stringent selection process, they simply hired the builder who built a home for Sherri's sister and her husband. Sherri's sister was happy with her home and sang the builder's praises. The builder was personable, came with positive references, and seemed eager to do a good job.

But the Johnsons' home style was larger and more ornate than that of Sherri's sister, and the Johnsons soon realized they had a problem. Several months and numerous crises later, Sherri and Jerry had a completed house, but they were disappointed with the finished product.

No one wants to end up in Sherri and Jerry Johnson's situation. Be sure you end up with the right match by following the selection guidelines here.

Making the MatchMaking the Match

Matching a builder to a building project involves more than getting the best deal for your money. Many aspects of home building are subjective. One person's dream may be a quaint cottage by a lake, while another may prefer a 6,000-square-foot French country. Can the same builder construct both? Probably. Could they be constructed equally well? Probably not.

Builders have niches with regard to the types and price ranges of houses they usually construct. Some may be geared toward high-end custom houses, building only two or three $1 million homes a year. Others have found their niches in building speculative three-bedroom, three-bathroom tract houses. Whatever the builder's specialty, a consumer should match his or her needs to a builder with appropriate experience.

According to Dave Brewer, a builder and owner of Dave Brewer Homes in Sanford, Florida, "If a builder bills himself as a builder of custom homes, don't just take his word for it. Check his work. Keep in mind that if he builds some speculative homes and some custom, that might not be what you want. Each builder employs tradespeople to create their homes. If a builder builds primarily executive homes, he will use tradespeople who are experienced in high-end home construction and vice versa."

Better Homes and Gardens

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