Decide on the Type of Home
Before you hire your custom home builder from Greenville SC, consider the type of home you desire. In general, there are three types of homes, including spec, tract and custom. Most homes are either spec or tract. These homes tend to be less expensive than custom homes but come with fewer features and upgrades, and you may not be able to change the floorplan of the home very much. Not to mention, you don’t need a custom home builder if you want either two of these options.
By contrast, a custom home builder from Greenville SC builds the home you want. This means that if you want to significantly change a floorplan, add doors or windows and choose your own flooring from your favorite flooring company, you can do it. The custom home builder may have basic plans or designs that you can review, but the options and upgrades are completely up to you. The other benefit to hiring a custom home builder is that you can buy your own land and hire your own architect to ensure you get exactly the home you and your family needs for the short and long term.
Decide on Your Must-Have Features
Determine what features are most important to you. Do you like open, closed, or semi-open floorplans? Do you prefer all your private areas on a separate floor? Do you have an older relative that may need to move in with you in the future? Do you own a home business? The answers to these questions will tell you a lot about the type of floorplan you need and the layout. For example, if you have a home business, you may want an office close to the front door, or you may want an office with its own entrance and exit for clients.
Consider the Scope of Your Project with your Custom Home Builder from Greenville SC
How big is your home and the property surrounding it? Most home builders will seed the lawn, but they may not do any custom landscaping or add any hardscaping features. When considering your new home, consider whether you want custom patios, decks, gazebos and what types of plants you want in your yard. Also, ask yourself if you are willing to add plants on your own after the home is built or if you’ll want the contractor to hire a landscaping and hardscaping company. If you find yourself leaning toward the latter, you’ll need to make sure that your custom home builder from Greenville SC knows a good landscaping subcontractor.
Consider Hiring an Architect
If you exterior and interior home needs are highly specific or if you have a good idea of the type and style of home you want, consider hiring an architect prior to hiring your custom home builder in Greenville, SC. An architect can take your ideas and turn them into the house of your dreams, complete with floorplans, blueprints and interior and exterior designs. Builders often work best when you already have a home plan and schematics that they can review. This is also a great way to get the most accurate bid on your new home.
Ask the Right Questions
When you talk to a custom home builder, make sure you ask the right questions. Most general contractors hire subcontractors for electrical, plumbing, flooring and roofing, among other tasks. Ask your home builder which contractors they use and how they are vetted. Ask how the price of a new home is determined and what’s included. If they do not list something you want, make sure they include it.
Ask who chooses the finishes. In some instances, the contractor may want you to purchase your own appliances and bathroom and kitchen fixtures and have them delivered. If this is not something you want to do, you’ll need to discuss it with the builder. Not discussing appliances, counter styles and other finishes could lead to builder-grade finishes inside your custom home. While builder-grade finishes do work, they are often not custom, and they may not be the quality or style you want for your new home. Instead of leaving this up in the air, make sure your builder knows the types and styles of finishes you want so they can be sourced prior to the build.
If you need to make changes to the design while the house is being built, ask how changes and alternations are performed. Ask your builder how familiar they are with building the type and style of home you desire. Ask how available the contractor is during the building process and get an estimate for the time it will take to build the home. You will also want to inquire about the home warranty and how they handle any problems with the new build. Most custom homeowners should offer at least a one year warranty, and they should be willing to fix problems for free, like badly installed bathroom counters, cracks in walls from settling and any repainting issues.
Get References, Visit Previous Completed Projects with your Custom Home Builder from Greenville SC
Before choosing your custom home builder, ask for references of completed projects and pictures. You may also want to get addresses for the completed project so that you can drive-by and examine the homes yourself. If possible, it’s always a good idea to ask the new homeowners about the contractor and what they thought of the home builder, pricing and completion times.
In addition, you should always get the contractor’s license number and bond information. You’ll want to make sure they are licensed for the state of South Carolina and appropriately bonded and insured. If they aren’t, you won’t want to choose that homebuilder for your project.
Get an Estimate
After the builder has all of your home information, and you’ve decided to choose our custom builder in South Carolina, get a detailed estimate for the project. If you can’t decide between multiple builders, get estimates from all the builders you are considering hiring. The trick here is to examine all the estimates and what they include and review it along with the other information you’ve acquired. This means that you may not be choosing the lowest priced builder. In fact, you may not want to choose the builder with the lowest price. There is more risk of shortcuts in order to maintain profit margins, and you may even end up with budget overruns that make the cost of your new home much more expensive than the initial estimate or bid.
Determine the Up-Front Costs
A builder may ask for a small downpayment of between 10 and 30 percent of the project cost to build the home, but they should not ask for most of the money up-front. Asking for a huge sum of money upfront may mean that the contractor doesn’t have the cash to purchase the materials to build your home. If that’s the case, you could find yourself with a contractor that abandons your project, leaving you with a half-built house and the need to find a different contractor.
Choose Your Custom Home Builder in Greenville SC
Once you’ve reviewed all the estimates and information, choose your custom home builder in Greenville. Ask them when they can start the project and the estimated completion date. This is also a good time to make any changes to your home plans and finalize everything about your home. After all, it’s always more affordable to make changes prior to breaking ground. Although, home builders will often make changes during the build as well.