Building Your Luxury Home: Questions To Ask Your Builders Before Appointing Them
Deciding to have your luxury home custom built can be both exciting and challenging. You don’t need us to tell you that preparation is key.
So, with that in mind, you may be wondering when’s the best time to begin contacting and interviewing potential builders.
The simple answer to this is either before you begin the design phase with your architect, or soon after. Getting your builder on board early will ensure budgets remain aligned and overall processes run smoothly.
In this post, we’ll outline some key questions to ask your builders once you’ve shortlisted your candidates.
Read on to find out more…
1. Will You Work Closely With My Interior Designer & Architect?
A ‘lone ranger’ has no place on your luxury home build project. You want a builder that champions collaborative partnerships with those involved in the design of your home.
The last thing you need is miscommunication, tensions on-site, delays and ultimately, extra costs.
2. Can You Build To My Style & Quality?
Seek a builder that has a vast catalogue of projects involving similar homes to the one you want. Inevitably, there will be certain unique challenges, but a builder with a good level of experience will be better equipped to overcome them.
3. Tell Me About Your Estimating Process…
It’s crucial that your builder’s estimating process is extremely thorough. A preliminary estimate will be based on historical hard costs as well as current market pricing (let’s not forget the global material shortage right now).
After plans and specs are finalised, you should receive a detailed budget estimate. This is likely to be based on hard bids from vendors and subcontractors within the builder’s existing network. Ensure that multiple bids will be secured from high-quality subcontractors, and that they are analysed to make sure they’re detailed.
4. Who Will Be Assigned To My Project?
If you take our advice from the intro and obtain a builder early in the design phase, it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to tell you who will be assigned to your project. Understandable, since works probably won’t commence until further down the line…
However, you will learn a couple of things from their answer:
- What their project teams look like (office support, whether there’s a construction manager only or both a construction and project manager…)
- Whether or not your projects will be under direct supervision regularly.
5. How Will You Deal With Changes In Design/Unforeseen Circumstances?
High-profile, custom homes are likely to encounter changes, partly due to the complexity of these projects, and partly due to your fussy husband or wife…
You want to be confident that, if and when you want to make a change, there’s a system in place for documenting changes, presenting costs and options, getting your approval and implementing them efficiently.
6. How Long Do You Anticipate It Will Take?
Of course, this is a near-to-impossible question since a custom home can take anywhere from 10 months to two years to complete. However, this question will allow you to elicit how organised the builder’s systems and processes are, how experienced and diligent they are and how proactive they’ll be at anticipating and solving problems before they arise.
Alongside these six questions we’ve highlighted, you should also consider asking questions around:
- Giving examples of specific building methods and materials the builders prefer to use
- References from a past or current clients
- Whether or not they offer fixed price or cost-plus contracts
Choosing a luxury home build team can be daunting, so take the time to analyse your builder’s processes with these questions so that you get the very best service.
Ready to take the next step? Choose MG Design & Build as your custom home team and get experience and passion from experts who always put your interests first. Don’t hesitate to speak to one of our experts today.