How to Find the Right Custom Home Builder

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Many people love the idea of building a custom home. It gives them versatility and creative control over how their future home will look like. While the thought of building a home from the ground up may be very exciting, finding the right custom home builder is often a challenge because most people don’t know where to begin.

You’ll want to make sure that the person you entrust your vision with is well-qualified, reliable and professional at all times. Having the right builder is one of the major factors in successfully building a custom home. So, how do you find the right custom home builder in Toronto?

Step #1 – Decide how you want your custom home to look

Custom home architectural drawings

Early on in the planning process, you will need to hone your ideas and determine exactly what you would like your custom home to look like. What are some of the features and styles you want to incorporate? What layout will you have for the various rooms? These are some of the basic things you should decide on ahead of hiring a custom home builder.

Once you have brought these ideas together, you can now begin to narrow down your choices to specifics. Think about your family’s future goals and needs, not just what your needs are at the present moment. This will be an advantage to you when choosing a custom home builder because they can give you estimates based on your drawings and the features you want in your home. Always strive for estimates that are as close to your vision as possible.

Step #2 – Seek out potential custom home builders

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This is quite a task and often takes longer than many people realize. Be intentional about where you look and who you consider to be a potential builder. Looking at places like the Home Builders’ Associations either in your area or the area where you plan to build your custom home is a good place to begin. This is an excellent resource to finding qualified home builders you can rely on and entrust with your dream.

Another tried and true way to finding reliable builders is through word-of-mouth. Talk to family and friends if they know a custom builder they would recommend. This is always good because you get to hear a review and people typically recommend somebody they approve.

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Once you have a potential list of builders, look to see if you can find any that have recent projects they completed, and go see the property, if possible. It’s one thing to say you can do great work, and another to actually deliver. This gives you the opportunity to see their work in person and assess whether you like their work.

Another way is to browse through your local newspaper real estate section. Look through the ads and see if there are any that list home builders.

Step #3 – Contacting custom home builders

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Accessibility is important when it comes to selecting the right custom home builder in Toronto. This is because you will need to be able to reach them easily and quickly when they begin to work on your project. So, take this into account. If, when you contact the potential builder, they don’t respond to you within a reasonable amount of time, take it as a red flag. If they are not easily accessible right off the bat, this probably will not improve during the course of the project. Unless there is a specific reason (like an emergency) why they were inaccessible, of course. When you call them, do they call you back in a reasonable amount of time? Do they respond to emails in a timely manner? This is something that may feel unimportant, but in the long run, it makes a huge difference.

Step #4 – Arrange for interviews with potential custom home builders

Custom living room from black pearl custom homes

Once you have your list compiled, begin to schedule some interviews with each of your potential home builders. Create a list of questions you would like them to answer ahead of time. Be prepared to take notes as you interview them and see how receptive they are to your questions. Reputable home builders will not shy away from questions and well welcome the opportunity to interact with you. Ask them about their experience and qualifications. Some questions you may consider asking are:

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  • How many years of experience do you have?
  • How many homes have you built?
  • Do you have model homes we can visit?
  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • Are there additional expenses or fees I should be aware of?
  • How do you calculate the cost to build a custom home?
  • What kind of relationship do you have with your subcontractors?
  • Are you willing to work with a designer we hire?
  • Do you have any references we can contact?
  • Is there room for adjustments during the construction phase?
  • How will the final costs be determined, and what stage?
  • What is your inspection process like?

Finding the right builder can be a long process, but remember your home project is a long-term one, so making sure you have someone you can have a positive working relationship with is critical.