You’ve decided to build your dream custom-built home in the Las Vegas area. You may have a lot preselected or a private property you would like to build on with a current building that needs to be torn down. The decision now is who will build your dream home, when you begin interviewing builders, and what questions you need to ask to feel confident you’ve made the right choice?
Most custom home builders will connect you with the right architect for your project if you don’t already have one selected. If you already work with an architect, you want to find your builder early on, either before starting the design phase with an architect or shortly after.
Bringing a builder into the project planning phase early on will ensure that your custom home design and budget stay aligned throughout the process. Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential candidates, being prepared with the right questions can help you decide who is the best construction partner for your project. You’ll want a builder that aligns with your ideas, and most importantly, you. It is essential to the project completing with an end result you are ecstatic about.
Here are ten questions to ask a builder when building a custom home.
Questions to Ask a Potential Builder When Building a Custom Home
How will you work with my architect and interior designer, or can you help me find one?
When selecting your custom home builder, you want someone who will partner with your architect and interior designer. If your builder and architect work together well, it helps prevent miscommunications that could lead to delays and increased costs. Your potential builder’s approach to relationships with your design team will also give you a clue about how they will communicate with you. If you don’t have an architect or a designer selected, you want someone who can help assemble a capable and experienced team for you.
Are you experienced in building the style and quality of the home I am I want?
The type of home you are building directly affects the builder. Suppose you are building on a custom mountainside lot like in the Ascaya community in Henderson. In that case, you will want a builder specializing in this, as there are laws and considerations to be followed. You want to ensure that your builder isn’t trying something new and can resolve any issues that come up on your project. The term “custom home builder” is used loosely in the industry. Are you indeed a custom home builder?
What is your estimating process? How do you ensure your budgets are accurate?
It is essential that the builder’s estimating process is comprehensive. The preliminary estimate is based on historical hard costs and current market pricing. You will want a builder knowledgeable with the cost of building the type of custom home you envision. A detailed estimate ( usually completed after plans and specs are delivered) is based on the bids from vendors and subcontractors the builder plans to use. A quality custom home builder will have relationships with multiple reputable subcontractors. They will make an effort to get the best price and provide the best fit for your project. Knowing that the chosen team works to keep you on the exact budget you set and that they will work with that in mind provides a level of comfort and confidence vital to a smooth build.
Who will manage the project, and how often will that person be available on the job?
A custom builder gives you the advantage of knowing who your project manager is from the get-go. It is important to know how hands-on the manager will be and what their involvement will be. The more involved they are, the higher probability of staying on budget and the timeline the project will be. It will also be important to know what office support to expect. Whom do you contact with questions and concerns?
It is also good to understadn the number of projects your manager and team are working on at the same time and how much attention your project will receive.
During construction, how will questions and concerns be addressed?
Expect that something unexpected will happen at some point in the construction process; it is part of the process. Make sure you know and are agreeable with the builder’s communication style. It is essential that you trust that the team will value your opinions and concerns throughout the entire process. Ask if there will be a regularly scheduled meeting with the team, including your design firm and subcontractors. This process can provide an opportunity to ensure everyone is on schedule and being held accountable for moving forward in the same direction.
How do you address design changes or unforeseen conditions that result in changes to the cost structure?
High-end custom home building often comes with change orders during construction due to the nature of the complexity of these project types.
Find out what the process is when you want to make a change. Is there a system in place for change documentation, cost presentation, and options? With a custom home, changes are common, so find out how this is handle before beginning.
How long will construction take? How do you stay on schedule during construction?
This answer will vary depending on the size and complexity of your project, but be aware of a builder who provides timelines that seem unrealistic. Alternatively, if given an estimate that appears exceptionally long, question if they have other priorities or do not have the network of subcontractors to handle the work.
Do you use specific building methods or materials and products you prefer to use, and why?
This is important! You will need to know that the builder has the required knowledge and expertise to build a high-end custom home and the level of quality their minimum standard is. Ask if they will guide your selections to ensure you choose the best material for your new home.
Can you provide references, preferably a few past clients and a current client?
This should be a easily delivered request for a high-end custom home builder, and they should be able to provide you with past clients directly who will allow you to view their property or provide an outstanding review. If you see hesitation here, it may indicate an issue to investigate.
At Aztec Builders the client always comes first and we go above and beyond to help our clients fulfill their custom design dreams. We take pride in providing every Aztec Custom Home client with a professional and personalized experience; every Aztec home is unique. It is just one of the differences that sets us apart from other Las Vegas, NV custom home builders.