Building a bespoke home is quite possibly the most exciting (and expensive) experience in ones lifetime, and selecting the perfect bespoke home builder is crucial to the project’s success. The role of a bespoke home builder is not only to build you an exceptional home but also to advice and guide you through the tricky procedures of design, planning and building regulation requirements. General builders are not so clued up on these points. Since home building can be a very long process, sometimes feeling endless, it’s essential that you feel there’s trust and clear communication between you and your builder.
Consider Your Resources
If you have already employed an architect their knowledge and expertise will be at your disposal as a starting point in your search for the right builder for project. Architects generally have firsthand experience of builders and can often guide you on finding a reputable builder, as well as communicating with your builder about your design requirements. In addition to your architect, your estate agent or the National Association of Home Builders (amongst others) could also be a good resource in finding good local builders. As always, the Internet is an excellent hub of information and searches will locate numerous builders in your area, use sites that show ratings and feedback from previous customers. Not forgetting the most favourable mode of finding a good builder, friends and family! There’s a lot to be said about word of mouth referrals, the builder has been tried and tested by a person you trust so you have a much better chance of not running into problems with them latter.
Shop Around for Suitable Builders
Shopping for a qualified home builder is a lot easier once you have your plans drafted by the architect. You can forward your plans to the builder to get a more accurate quote for the work. If you are looking to build a bespoke home you need to focus on building companies who are primarily centered on building custom homes, they will understand your needs better and have delivered on similar projects to yours previously. Once you have a short list of builders it is essential to examine their abilities in more detail, their website and testimonials are a good reference point. You need to know that the builder you’re considering has completed work like yours before.
Work on the Schedule
When you speak to your prospective builder, raise the question about what their estimated schedule to complete the work would be. You must appreciate that building a custom home typically takes a minimum of 12 months, depending on the size, and can go off schedule as building work is weather-dependent. You could ask for a breakdown of the schedule, ie…when do you estimate the house will be at first fix stage (plumbing and electrics installation). A builder who PROMISES a timeframe for completion, eg weeks or months, ought to be a red flag for you, however tempting it may appear to have your work completed quickly go with the builder providing an estimated timeframe, they are more accurate. With bespoke home building your priority should be that your project is completed properly rather then quickly.
Communication is Vital
You need to be comfortable with how a builder communicates with you. You should not feel pressured or talked down to at any time. You are trusting a professional to build your home and they need to take the time to clarify their method in layman’s terms. Any queries you have should be answered in a timely and respectful manner. You should not be waiting for weeks for a quote, this would be another red flag, maybe the builder is simply too busy to fully concentrate on your project. If you find yourself unsure or uncomfortable with your builder at the beginning move on! There are plenty of professional building companies out there who will be happy for your business and will address any concerns you have. For your peace of mind, make sure you receive written quotes and have a contract with your builder in place before starting the work.
A couple of additional things to consider with your bespoke home build, If you have a location in mind take into account the project you are looking to undertake, in particular access to the property for you’re builder and material deliveries, can those big lorries get to your property? What style of home do you want? Browse the internet for ideas on styles, you may also pick up details of the home building company used to build the house. It may seem like a bit of a minefield but making the right choices in the beginning means you won’t be losing your mind latter!
Remember, you are the client and spending possibly your life savings on this project, you need a cooperative and reliable building partner for your bespoke home. Take your time, be specific in what you want, raise queries and get your quotes and contract in writing.
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