For years, you have been dreaming about a custom-built home that reflects your style, wants and needs. You have been saving money, saving ideas to your Pinterest board and have found a lot that you think is ideal. Next, you begin the search for a general contractor. What are your priorities when determining your contractor? Reputation? Workmanship? Quality finishes? Communication? Price?

“As you think about your own dreams and realities, it’s useful to picture quality, quantity, and cost as the three points of a triangle. In designing and building a new house, two of these three variables can remain constant, but the third has to be adjustable” (Susanka, S., The Not So Big House, 136).

What is more important for you and your home?

If the quality/features and size of the home are both a priority, are you willing to increase your budget? If size is a priority and the budget is set, are you willing to sacrifice the quality/features? If fine finishes and craftsmanship are a must, are you willing to reduce the size of the home to remain in budget? This illustration can assist you when determining your priorities when building and perhaps when selecting your contractor.

If you determine price is a top priority and reach out to different contractors for competitive bids, essentially you will be comparing apples to oranges to bananas. Each contractor has their own method of determining an estimate and there are many factors that determine the cost to construct your home. Some contractors have a standard square footage price without considering whether you would like mid-grade or high-end finishes, appliances, etc. Also, the lot’s slope or topography may not be considered when providing an estimate.  

Some contractors essentially will provide an estimate hoping to be the low bidder and secure the project, knowing they will make up monies during construction with Change Orders. The result? In the end, you have paid thousands of dollars more than the original estimate leaving you frustrated.

When determining a bid, a contractor may use entry level pricing for all finishes without conversing with you. For example, the contractor may have carpet at $15 per sq. yard. You, the homeowner, may prefer a mid-grade carpet but that was not communicated. Later when picking out carpet the price is $30 per sq. yard. For the builder this change becomes a Change Order. Not only is the price of the carpet double, but contractors add additional monies for their time to make the change. 

Building Partnerships

We all have a budget and we want you to meet yours. Therefore, communication is vital and is why we strive to develop a partnership with you. We want to prevent as many surprises throughout the process as possible, by planning with you, selecting finishes with you and being upfront from the beginning.

A competitive bid does not explain how a contractor works; referrals do. A competitive bid does not demonstrate how our team can guide you through the process and provide you with exceptional customer service, from beginning to end.

We develop relationships with our clients and we pride ourselves on providing strong communication, a quality project and a positive experience for you. Ultimately, a home is an investment and one of the biggest endeavors you will undertake; therefore, select your contractor based on who can execute your vision, while also respecting your budget.

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