How to Choose a Top Custom Home Builder
The low-bid, budget homebuilder company may cost more in the long run. Here’s why.
Does your home builder have the size and—more importantly—the management systems needed to handle a custom home project? If not, the final cost in dollars and frustration may be more than you bargained for.
There are innumerable “horror stories” on the Internet about the downsides of hiring a lone contractor. In the extreme, you may read about solo builders who lack the needed licenses and insurance to protect the owner from accidents or fraud. They may lack written warranties or human resources to keep their promises and complete a job as promised. The failure rates of homebuilding companies are second only to restaurants, and there is no guarantee they will be around when problems surface.
On most jobs, this type of fly-by-night operator isn’t our real competitor. Customers looking to build complex luxury custom homes are savvy enough to avoid the blatantly unethical builder. A more subtle, yet often equally difficult set of issues is presented by a home builder that lacks the internal management systems to focus the manpower and attention required to successfully complete a complex project.
Picking the Right Home Builder
How do you know if you have a great custom home builder? Understaffed companies typically talk up the personal attention they supposedly provide. This kind of company often has a field staff of one: the owner. If the builder is present on a job all day, every day, who is running the business? Along with managing a project, the builder must market, sell, bid on future work, schedule subcontractors, meet with new prospects, pay bills, and on and on. Can anyone spread this thin provide the attention to detail a complex custom home requires?
By contrast, the adequately staffed, well-organized professional builder delegates work to a team of specialists. Custom luxury homes have innumerable details that require the coordination of dozens of employees, suppliers, and subcontractors, all of whom need to start and finish at just the right time. The professional home builder has the manpower to smoothly manage all these moving parts, including onsite project managers, office contacts, purchasing agents, designers, and others.
This staffing, along with comprehensive communication and project management systems, means that when multiple jobs are underway, no one has responsibility for more than he or she can handle. No one is overwhelmed.
What are the Benefits of a Great Home Builder?
It stands to reason that when adequate human resources are available, customers get better service, jobs stay on schedule, and the inevitable issues that come up during a lengthy project get addressed more efficiently.
Established, larger custom home builders also have more leverage with suppliers and subcontractors. We provide more work for our subcontractors than the small operator, so our jobs get priority.
Staffing, systems, and relationships can mean greater efficiency. This enables the professional builder to get homes built faster—often months faster if it’s a large home. Many homeowners are paying construction loan interest and real estate taxes during the build, along with current living costs, so this saves real money, not to mention the time that is being invested into the building process.
The bottom line is that the best company for a luxury custom home will have the experience and organization to handle that particular type of project. Hiring a professional company with the resources and processes needed to do a great job, on time, and with minimal stress can save big and be a better value in the long run.
For more tips about how to choose a custom home builder, you can read this article for even more insights.
Winsome Construction is a custom luxury home builder, crafting high-performance homes throughout Portland, Salem, Bend, the Willamette Valley, and the North Oregon Coast. We invite you to stay connected with us by subscribing to our monthly newsletter (enter name and email below) or calling us today at 503-472-7402.