5 Unexpected Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Custom Home Builder

Few things in life are as rewarding as building a custom home to fit the unique lifestyle and desires of your family. It’s there where you’ll build memories that last a lifetime. Getting everything you want and a custom home you love means working closely and collaborating often with the home builder you select over the course of the entire project. Since most custom build projects take two to four years to plan and build, you should be sure you’re asking all of the right questions early on.

Since building a custom home is one of the largest investments you’re likely to make in a lifetime, and one of the most time-consuming endeavors you may take on, you’ll want to ask plenty of questions up front before choosing one. Diving deep will give you the confidence you need to select a custom home builder with confidence.

Here are the relatively obvious questions to ask, and also some of the most important yet less obvious you’ll want to include in your evaluation process. These will help you compare ‘apples to apples’.

The Obvious Questions to Ask a Custom Home Builder

  1. How many years have you been in business?
  2. How many homes to you build every year?
  3. Are you licensed and insured (in the state you wish to build)?
  4. What standard features are included?
  5. How and when can I make changes or upgrades before and during construction?
  6. Do you offer architectural services or only construction?
  7. What type of warranty do you offer?
  8. How long will my home take to complete?
  9. What type of maintenance do you offer after move-in?
  10. May I have references from past clients?
  11. Why should I select you over your competitors?
  12. How and when will the final price for my home be determined?
  13. How often (and when) will I have access to the home during the building process?
  14. What’s your process for inspection at key points of construction, at final walk-through, and to address any matters that need to be corrected or finalized?

The 5 Critically Important (Yet Less Obvious) Questions to Ask a Custom Home Builder

  1. How do you help home buyers identify the best location and lot for their custom home project, if they don’t already have one?
  2. What is the benefit of having my builder help select my lot location?
  3. How do you handle changes to my project and ensure the project still stays on track and on budget?
  4. What are the pros and cons of having my own architect versus using your architectural services?
  5. What if I have any problems with my home after I move in?

The truth is, you probably cannot ask too many questions up front before selecting a custom home builder for your project, especially projects of significant magnitude such as custom homes valued at $1.5 million and higher. These projects are complex and often take years to complete from beginning to end. That means knowledge is power, so the more you know up front, the more prepared you’ll be to effectively and efficiently navigate your decision process from beginning to end.

Knowing this list of obvious versus ‘less obvious’ questions also means you’ll be able to better compare custom home builders to identify what traits and value each brings based on your unique project requirements and priority list.

In the end, be sure your home builder has the experience, flexibility, positive reputation and project management skills to handle your project with ease, so it will truly be the fun, remarkable experience of a lifetime that it should be.