October 30, 2020

4 Important Questions to Ask When Choosing a Custom Home Builder

When you decide to build your own home, you must partner with the right custom home builder that can make your dream home a reality. During your search, you’ll meet and talk to several home builders. As you do, you will have a lot of questions to ask as you try to determine which home builder can provide the enjoyable and creatively fulfilling experience you’re searching for. Building a custom home is an investment in time and money, so you want to make sure you have a dependable, experienced custom home builder by your side that you can trust. To help you on your journey, here are four important questions to ask when choosing a custom home builder:

1) What is your experience building custom homes in the area?

When building a home, obstacles may appear, and you want to make sure that your home builder has the experience and expertise to deal with these challenges. Ideally, you want to partner with a builder that has at least five years of experience building in your area or city. Homebuilders that have been operating in your local area for a long period will have established relationships in the community, a good understanding of the local weather and terrain, be a valuable resource on the local market and property values, and have familiarity navigating local building codes, permits and inspections.

2) How do I design my home?

Building a custom home allows you to customize every interior design detail based on your style and tastes. You decide everything, including the colours and materials used for the walls, cabinets, light fixtures, countertops, doorknobs – you name it! Does the home builder have an on-staff interior designer or decorator? Do you have to hire an independent interior designer to help you coordinate your design? Does the home builder have an interior decorator they can recommend? If you have a vision for how you want your dream home to look, it’s important to know how the interior design process will work so you can make sure your custom home looks exactly like your vision.

3) How much can I customize my home?

A custom home is a unique home that is tailor-made to meet the individual needs and wishes of the homeowner. This requires collaboration between the homeowner, custom home builder, architect, and the parties involved in the design of your new home. “Custom” can range from cosmetic design details, such as changes in colours or surface materials, to full-on changes in the architecture. This can include expanding a master bedroom, adding an extra room for a home office, adding a deck, and much more. If you want to customize your home to take advantage of scenic views or tailor a space for furniture you inherited, it’s important to get a clear answer about customization early on so you can clarify if that home builder can create the home you want. A house is not truly a custom home unless a designer, typically an architect, has studied the land and laid out a design, aesthetic or blueprint that reflects your unique wishes. If you want a one-of-a-kind custom home, find out how closely your custom home builder works with the architect and interior designer. You want a home builder that prioritizes a collaborative partnership with the architect and interior designer to prevent unnecessary schedule delays, additional costs, tensions and guarantee that you receive the one-of-a-kind home you’re dreaming of.

4) What is your warranty? How do you handle issues?

Any reputable home builder will provide a warranty to cover issues involving labour, materials, major structural components, and major systems like HVAC, electrical or plumbing. Warranty policies may differ between each home builder, so make sure you ask questions on how long warranties are and what kind of issues they cover. Often, warranties for workmanship and materials have different cut-off dates than plumbing or electrical work. Talk to your custom home builder about how they service warranty issues after you move-in and how responsive they will be. Ask to see what their warranty looks like and if they have it in writing. For complete peace of mind, ask what is covered in the warranty and what is left out.

Looking for a custom home builder in Nanaimo, BC?

As an experienced custom home builder in Nanaimo for more than 30 years, our team at Westmark understands the importance of open, honest communication between the construction team, design team and homeowners to ensure a successful build. If you are planning to build a custom home on Vancouver Island and need a little help to get started, contact us today. We’d be happy to tell you about our process and how we can help you build the custom home of your dreams!

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