Find a Luxury Home Builder After You Have An Architect

May 7th 2016

Building a luxury home is a homeowner's dream come true. Once you’ve chosen an architect, you’ll be ready to choose the right builder for your custom home. Builders and architects collaborate with one another, ensuring that your home is built to high standards and has the design aesthetic you’re dreaming of. In order to create this interdependent duo, you’ll need to choose a reputable luxury home builder to compliment your architect. Follow these steps to find a home builder who you can trust to work comfortably with your architect.    

Make a List of Possible Luxury Home Builders

A reputable builder comes highly recommended, and has a proven history of satisfied customers and high quality builds. You may not find this builder in the first place you look, which is why you should create a list of potential builders. From that list, you can begin to narrow down your options until you find the builder who's the most qualified for your job.  

Creating a list of reputable builders from scratch can be difficult unless you use your resources. Contact your architect and ask for recommendations, as he or she has experience working with professional builders and likely has a repertoire of reputable builders. Add your architect's suggestions to your list, and vet those builders first. Since your architect and builder will be collaborating on your new home, it’s essential that these two workers are comfortable with one another. You don’t have to choose your architect’s suggestion. This is simply a great place to start building your list.

You can find potential builders other ways as well, such as:

  • Find your local Home Builders’ Association and browse their list of local luxury home builders.  
  • Ask your real estate agent for recommendations, or look in the real estate sections of magazines and newspapers for ads placed by builders.
  • Ask friends and family members for their recommendations.

One by one, contact your list of potential builders and examine their strong suits and any potential weaknesses. Identify what your deal breakers are and vet accordingly. Any builder who violates one of your deal breakers should be crossed off the list. A few things to consider when interviewing candidates include:

  • Is your architect enthusiastic about working with the builder?
  • Is the builder licensed and do they carry the right certifications and permits? Are they insured?
  • What types of homes has the builder worked on? Do they specialize in luxury homes similar to the style you prefer?
  • Do they come with recommendations? Don’t be afraid to ask your builder for references.

Be Thorough: Shop Around for the Highest Value

Once you’ve vetted your list, you’ll be ready to meet with the remaining home builders. These builders will need to be interviewed in order to determine if they work well with others and have an agreeable personality. You do not want to work with a builder who is hard-headed or with whom you sense there may be problems.

If you find a particular builder agreeable, request to take a look at some of the builder’s new homes. Examining their previous builds will help you determine the quality of their craftsmanship. Key things to look for include:

  • Solid foundation, quality of the materials used, layout, etc.
  • Unique construction features – anything that stands out and shows skill, ability and artistry. (Cabinets, paint, carpeting, etc.) 

Ask the builder if you can invite your architect, as this field trip is a great way to introduce the two of them. As you’re inspecting the home, you can also observe their relationship and determine if they’ll get along on the job site. Plus, your architect will help you determine if the build is high quality or not.

Make it Official

Once you’ve chosen a builder, they will provide you with a contract. It’s essential to read this contract from cover to cover. If possible, share a copy with your attorney and get their approval before signing on the dotted line. This contract will be your only recourse should the builder not follow through on their promises. Ensure that any contract protects both the builder and yourself, should an untimely event occur.

Most luxury homes take a few months up to a few years to build, depending on the size and location. This is why it's so crucial to find a dynamic duo in your architect and builder's relationship. Once you’ve found a reliable pair, you’ll be ready to break ground on your luxury home.   

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