6 Questions to Ask When Designing a Custom Home

July 14, 2016

Ready to start designing your custom home? There are a number of important factors to consider as you begin the home building process. Here are six major questions to ask when designing your new custom home.

1) What are your credentials?

Hiring a custom home builder is not all that different from hiring an employee for your business. Instead of asking for a resume, you’ll want to ask for information about the number of years the builder has been in business, the number of homes that they have built, licensure, insurance, and professional credentials.

2) Can I talk to references/see a home you’ve built?

The best way to get a feel for a designer’s abilities is to tour homes they’ve built in the past or see images of recent projects. Speaking to previous clients and other references can give you an idea of the designer’s process and help you determine whether or not the company is a good fit for your custom home.

3) How and when do you determine the final price of a home?

Will you know the cost of your custom home before the foundation is laid or are you going to be in for potential budget surprises halfway through construction? It’s important to understand how the home builder determines price and when you can expect to know the final cost of your new home. Some builders employ a “cost plus contract” which requires a lower initial investment but could lead to major costs for you since you agree to pay for increases in material costs, labor, etc. once the contract is signed. If the cost of lumber jumps up, so does your bill. Ask your builder to provide you with a firm final quoted price and guarantee that you won’t pay over that price.

4) How long is the building process? Who is my contact person?

There’s nothing worse that investing a significant amount of money in a project and not receiving updates. Establish the timeline for building your home and ask when and how often you’ll have access to the home during the building process. Who will be overseeing the construction and how often can you expect updates? What’s the process for inspections and the final walk through? Communicating about communication can save time and energy for both you and the builder. You won’t be frustrated about not knowing what’s going on at the property on Tuesday evening if you know you can expect a detailed update on Wednesday afternoon. Meanwhile, your builder won’t be distracted by multiple emails from you if communication is pre-scheduled for a specific date.

5) Is your building process environmentally friendly? What kind of energy saving features can you offer?

Green building techniques are more effective and cost efficient than ever before. Your custom home builder should be able to build your home in an environmentally friendly manner while saving you money on the cost of building materials during construction and utility bills once you’ve moved in. Installing energy efficient appliances can offer major savings, as can smart building techniques that make the most of your home’s insulation and natural lighting.

6) How much can I customize my home’s design?

“Custom home” means different things to different people. How much does your builder allow you to customize your home? What will they do to make sure that your new home doesn’t include features that you dislike? How will they accommodate your personal needs and make the space truly belong to you? Can they offer accessibility options, flexible spaces, and any custom features you’re interested in?

Got Questions? We’ve Got Answers

Here at Estes Builders, we know how complicated the custom home building can be. Our goal is to make it as simple, stress free, and fun as possible! With an award building process and more than 25 years of experience building custom homes in the Pacific Northwest, Estes Builders is here to provide insight and guidance as you begin designing your custom home. Get started with our free Project Analysis today! Estes Builders is an award-winning design build firm that specializes in custom homes in Western Washington. We have earned more than 130 customer testimonials and a reputation as Western Washington’s most trusted custom home builder. We build custom homes in Sequim, Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Port Ludlow, Bainbridge Island, Kingston, Silverdale, Port Orchard and surrounding areas. Contact us for a FREE Project Analysis to discuss your project.]]>