Building a custom luxury home from scratch is a big investment in both time and money. You don’t want to rush into things without doing your due diligence in finding the right custom home builder for the job. Looking at and comparing multiple contractors will provide the perspective you need when deciding which one is the best fit for your luxury home project.
The process can be stressful, especially when you aren’t 100% sure what to look for in a contractor. So what things should you look for and consider when evaluating contractors? We’ll break down some of the key things you should keep in mind when meeting potential builders.
The first thing you will probably consider before diving into your luxury home project is what your budget is. The budget for luxury homes are obviously higher than your average home, but even then the cost can vary greatly. Here are a few questions you should ask contractors regarding budget:
What were the budgets for other recent projects?
If the budgets are typically much higher or much lower than yours, they may not be a good fit even if they do good work. Understanding a contractors typical project structure will help you find a perfect match.
What steps will you take to ensure the project stays within the budget?
A highly coordinated and efficient contractor should be able to keep your project on budget and keep you heavily involved in the process to make sure the cost can be controlled. Even if you are flexible on the budget, it is good to know your contractor will stay within the proposed budget.
Do you guarantee your pricing?
You don’t want to have the rug pulled out from under you if materials and labor exceed original estimates. Know the contractors policies in advance of starting your luxury home project.
Budget and design go hand in hand when planning out your luxury home project. You may find a stock building plan or plan a fully custom home with the help of an architect. Questions you should ask potential contractors regarding design options include:
Do you have a floor plan library?
A library of floor plans may give you inspiration for your home and also give you a sense of whether they are familiar with building projects similar to the one you have in mind. If they do, you can rest easy knowing they have worked on similar projects in the past.
Do you offer custom design services?
Some home builders will only work on specific home designs. Only a small subset of contractors do completely custom home designs. If you are interested in a completely custom luxury home, you will need to find a contractor willing to take on that kind of project.
Custom home projects are lengthy, multi-step processes. Not every contractor’s process will be the same. Before deciding on a contractor, it is a good idea to get a sense of what each of their processes are. You may also want to consider whether you want to be heavily involved in the process or leave the bulk of the project to the building team. Questions you could ask about the construction process include:
What are my responsibilities as the homeowner?
If this is your first custom home project, it is understandable that you might not know all the steps involved. It isn’t as simple as just building the home on your land. You will need a variety of permits and set all the expectations for the project before the construction begins.
How much help will they provide in the entire process?
As we mentioned, you need to secure permits for your project. It can leave first timers feeling overwhelmed. Some contractors, who deal with permits frequently, are willing to walk you through the steps to get these permits submitted and cleared.
For luxury home projects in New Jersey, keep all these questions in mind when talking to different contractors, and do extra research to be as educated on the process as possible.