How To Find A Custom Home Builder

The 8 Things You Need To Find.

How Do You Find A Custom Home Builder In Colorado (The 8 Most Important Things You Need To Know).

The process of building a custom home represents a substantial outlay of your time and money. Aside from coming up with the cash to pay for your dream home, you’ve got a whole host of other duties, from finding the perfect plot of land in a neighborhood you love to connecting with the right custom home builder who can help you take your project from the starting gate to the finish line.  It is so critical which is why we put together this page on how to find a custom home builder and the 8 most important things you need to know! 

As many prospective custom homeowners do not have the background or desire to handle the 

project on their own, it’s important to have a strong hand leading the way. We’re going to cover the 8 core criteria in your search to find an outstanding home builder.

How To Find A Custom Home Builder Factor 1: Quality

The Greek philosopher Aristotle once remarked, “Quality is not an act, it is a habit.” You should seek to find a builder that has mastered their process, a builder for which the act of constructing quality luxury homes is not just what they do- it’s how they approach every facet of the business. This includes their company’s actual construction process, which we’ll look at below, as well as how they treat their clients, vendors, and fellow real estate professionals, awards they may have  won, their reputation, and more, all of which we will cover below. 

However, you actually want to look at the underlying quality of the projects they’ve constructed. You can do this in a few different ways, mainly by looking at the following categories:

How To Find A Custom Home Builder Factor 2: Experience

A builder with a wealth of experience will be more likely to deliver a high-quality home. While that doesn’t necessarily mean that someone new to the game will fail to deliver, it’s a safer bet to go with a firm that has an established presence. Newer builders may lack the relationships and know-how that are necessary to ensure a smooth construction project. In many parts of the country, including the Denver Metro Area, obtaining the requisite permits for construction can be a painstaking process that can drive even the most level-headed among us mad. Hiring a builder with experience dealing with these bureaucratic headaches will not only ensure your project is completed on time- it will also ensure that you’re able to build your dream home with less sweat equity and hassle on your part.

How To Find A Custom Home Builder Factor 3: Process

The homebuilding sector is not an easy place to succeed – builders may pave roads in a new development, but they’re using asphalt- not gold. The best builders leverage both their customer-facing and construction processes to create stellar outcomes for their clients.   This is why we want to help you understand how to find the right custom home builder! 

What does a good custom homebuilding process look like for a client?

As a custom home building client, there are a few processes that you want to see on the customer side. First and foremost, you need to like the person you’re working with. This may seem like a small obstacle you can overcome, but remember that you’re going to be working closely with this person and their team for the duration of your project- for some longer projects that could be up to 2 years! You don’t need to be best friends, but a certain level of rapport will certainly help to create efficiencies in the process, and it will also help you maintain clear and open lines of communication- another must-have item from any home builder worth their salt.

How do you determine if a builder has an effective process & how do you find a good custom home builder?

The proof is in the pudding. If you’re not a construction expert, you can read about special methods of laying concrete or novel ways to save money on labor and materials, and you should certainly make sure that your builder is using best practices. However, you can also get a gauge of how well their process works by looking at some of the other items on our list, like their reputation in the community, testimonials, and most of all, their recent projects, which you should do your best to physically see, if not tour inside.

How To Find A Custom Home Builder Factor 4:

Reputation

A builder’s reputation is perhaps their most important asset. You can have the best talent in the world, or offer the lowest prices, but if you’ve got a poor reputation, none of that really matters. Custom homes are not cheap. As a buyer, you are paying a significant premium for a luxury product, and you don’t want to risk losing time or money due to an incompetent or unethical builder. The ramifications of working with the wrong builder can be catastrophic. 

Conversely, you can learn a lot about a potential builder by their dealings with others, and more specifically, from their dealings with custom home clients. Any builder worth their salt should be happy to provide you with references, either phone numbers or contact emails for previous clients who can tell you about their experiences. If you’re still in the early stages of whittling down your builder choice, you can use publicly available sources to do a quick background check before you make contact and solicit references. 

Use the websites listed below to get the 411 on any custom home builder’s reputation.

Newhomesource.com TrustBuilder bills itself as a service that offers ‘honest, independent, credible reviews on homebuilders across the country from buyers like you.” They have home builders in cities across the US, from Austin, Texas to Youngstown, Ohio. 
Houzz.com Houzz is a Palo Alto-based website that offers up a homeowner-oriented online community, as well as software for architecture, interior design, home improvement, and landscape design. They also feature a wealth of reviews and other relevant info relating to home builders- Houzz is fast becoming a must-check when it comes to researching home builders online.
Zillow.com Zillow is not just a heavy-hitter in the consumer and industry-facing real estate data space, they are THE heavy hitter. They recently launched a new product on their site, called Builder Reviews which is powered by technology from Avid Ratings. Don’t skip Zillow when researching potential luxury or custom home builders.
Google Reviews Google itself also hosts reviews for local businesses, including home builders. Simply type in the name of the builder on Google and there will be a review to the right of the search results. Keep in mind that not all businesses or builders have reviews.

How To Find A Custom Home Builder Factor 5:

Testimonials

You can also find testimonials via most of the above options, and often directly on the builder’s website or social media pages like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. 

Remember that anytime you contact a builder’s reference you’re essentially soliciting your own personal testimonial- so take full advantage of the lines of communication. You can also find a detailed guide on what subjects you should cover with a prospective builder’s former clients in our FAQ On Home Building In Denver in 2022.

How To Find A Custom Home Builder Factor 6:

Recent Projects

After you’ve done a bit of background research and identified a few of the builders you’d like to work with, it’s time to review some of their recent projects. There are a few ways that you can go about this, and if you’re serious about a builder, you should perform all of the following tasks. 

  • Start with a cursory review of their completed projects. You should be able to find pictures and videos on the builder’s website or social media pages. If the builder doesn’t have any up, you can always ask, but be wary of any builder that does not proudly display their work. 
  • Find the location of some of the completed properties, either through web searches or direct contact with the builder or after contacting a former client, whose contact information should be given to you by the builder. If possible, take a drive to see the exterior of the property, and if you’ve got a relationship with the resident and they’re willing, look inside. Also, many builders will have open access to projects they’ve built but not yet sold, so you should ask if that’s an option.
  • Email or call any client for which you have contact info supplied by the builder. A tip- rather than asking for clients of their choosing, ask for their last 5 clients- that will give you a fairer view when compared to a cherry-picked list of their happiest clients. It will also give you a feel for how the builder is performing now, not 10 years ago.

How To Find A Custom Home Builder Factor 7:

Awards

Your background review should also take note of any local or national awards won by the builder. Numerous organizations recognize and award homebuilders, some of the most prominent include NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) and industry publications BUILD Magazine and Builder Magazine.  Additionally, local professional and consumer associations also reward homebuilders for innovative processes, high-quality service, and other metrics. 

Thomas Sattler Homes is the lucky recipient of several of these awards, including the Best Builder in America by Builder Magazine and, the Denver Home Builders Association Award for Best Custom Home, and several others, which you can find listed here. Most companies will have a list of their awards on their web presence- wouldn’t you? But you can also find previous awards through web searches, something on the order of “<home builders name> awards” or “<home builders name> awards <local city/region name>.” 

While awards are not necessarily the be-all and end-all factor you should use when choosing a builder, they can help to demonstrate that the builder in question does have some things going for them.

How To Find A Custom Home Builder Factor 8 (and some change):

Outside of the quality of their work and process, what else should you look for when seeking a new custom home builder?

Marketing

Marketing often gets a bad rap, largely due to dishonest actors that use advertising for less than ethical means. However, there can be a lot of value in marketing- not just for businesses (like homebuilders), but for home buyers as well. The right marketing campaign can help buyers connect to their ideal builder- one that can deliver the house they want in the timeframe they need. Marketing efforts by successful builders include:

-Email newsletters and outreach

-Websites

-Blog and written web content

-Videos and other multimedia

-Print advertising in industry and homebuyer-oriented publications

-Partnerships and guest posts/podcasts with agents and other real estate professionals

-Outreach at industry and community events

Customer Service

Excellent customer service is a must-have for top-tier builders. Keep in mind that you’re not buying a latte or a new TV- you’re going to be working with your builder’s team intimately. That means you’ll be in regular contact with them going through all of the steps you need to complete in order to move into your dream home. You can get a feel for their ability to provide customer service via your initial contact with their team. Questions to ask yourself during this process include:

-How fast do they respond to emails or calls?

-How knowledgeable are they regarding your custom home questions?

-Are they able to communicate ideas and concepts clearly?

-Do you feel a “vibe” with the builder and their team?

-How would you feel having to work closely with this person (or people) for 6 months or longer?

Value

When you’re working with a builder to create your dream home you should absolutely consider the value offered by a particular builder before you make your decision. Expensive does not always mean better- you have to judge the builder based on what they charge as well as what they deliver. That also means you shouldn’t judge them based on price alone, you can run into real problems with construction projects, and sometimes it is worth it to pay a little more upfront to ensure that not only does your project finish on time, but that it meets your specific standards and specifications- this is your dream home we’re talking about!

Competitive Advantage

Every builder is different. The best builders will have some form of competitive advantage. That could encompass any number of things, including cheaper materials from buying in bulk, a top-flight design team that outshines the competition, or new or more effective building techniques that can help save you time and money. Regardless of how the builder makes their mark, you want to find that special something that gives them a competitive advantage. 

Solicit multiple quotes from builders that work in your market and then use the other criteria on this list to evaluate them. Make sure to view them independently of the cost they bring to the table. Your goal should not be to save every penny but to maximize the value you get out of your dollars and to ensure that your project meets your high standards. You want to find a builder with a competitive advantage that syncs with your home building needs- whether you’re looking to save money on the project, build something unique that will wow the neighbors, or simply get a project done within a certain timeframe.

-Thomas Sattler Homes

Found a perfect lot in Castle Rock? Ready to buy a tear-down in Denver and get started building your dream home?

Call us today to schedule your free feasibility estimate! Know your total project cost before you commit to any decisions. We pride ourselves on a customer-oriented experience, always putting your needs first. 

You can reach the Thomas Sattler Homes Sales Team at <a href=”tel:7204493562″>

Call (720)449-3562</a> or online at ThomasSattlerHomes.com.

Outside of the quality of their work and process, what else should you look for when seeking a new custom home builder?

Marketing

Marketing often gets a bad rap, largely due to dishonest actors that use advertising for less than ethical means. However, there can be a lot of value in marketing- not just for businesses (like homebuilders), but for home buyers as well. The right marketing campaign can help buyers connect to their ideal builder- one that can deliver the house they want in the timeframe they need. Marketing efforts by successful builders include:

-Email newsletters and outreach

-Websites

-Blog and written web content

-Videos and other multimedia

-Print advertising in industry and homebuyer-oriented publications

-Partnerships and guest posts/podcasts with agents and other real estate professionals

-Outreach at industry and community events

Customer Service

Excellent customer service is a must-have for top-tier builders. Keep in mind that you’re not buying a latte or a new TV- you’re going to be working with your builder’s team intimately. That means you’ll be in regular contact with them going through all of the steps you need to complete in order to move into your dream home. You can get a feel for their ability to provide customer service via your initial contact with their team. Questions to ask yourself during this process include:

-How fast do they respond to emails or calls?

-How knowledgeable are they regarding your custom home questions?

-Are they able to communicate ideas and concepts clearly?

-Do you feel a “vibe” with the builder and their team?

-How would you feel having to work closely with this person (or people) for 6 months or longer?

Value

When you’re working with a builder to create your dream home you should absolutely consider the value offered by a particular builder before you make your decision. Expensive does not always mean better- you have to judge the builder based on what they charge as well as what they deliver. That also means you shouldn’t judge them based on price alone, you can run into real problems with construction projects, and sometimes it is worth it to pay a little more upfront to ensure that not only does your project finish on time, but that it meets your specific standards and specifications- this is your dream home we’re talking about!

Competitive Advantage

Every builder is different. The best builders will have some form of competitive advantage. That could encompass any number of things, including cheaper materials from buying in bulk, a top-flight design team that outshines the competition, or new or more effective building techniques that can help save you time and money. Regardless of how the builder makes their mark, you want to find that special something that gives them a competitive advantage. 

Solicit multiple quotes from builders that work in your market and then use the other criteria on this list to evaluate them. Make sure to view them independently of the cost they bring to the table. Your goal should not be to save every penny but to maximize the value you get out of your dollars and to ensure that your project meets your high standards. You want to find a builder with a competitive advantage that syncs with your home building needs- whether you’re looking to save money on the project, build something unique that will wow the neighbors, or simply get a project done within a certain timeframe.   Finding the right builder is a big deal when building a custom home and we have you have found this article useful in helping you find the right custom home builder and the factors that matter! 

-Thomas Sattler Homes

Found a perfect lot in Castle Rock? Ready to buy a tear-down in Denver and get started building your dream home?

Call us today to schedule your free feasibility estimate! Know your total project cost before you commit to any decisions. We pride ourselves on a customer-oriented experience, always putting your needs first. 

You can reach the Thomas Sattler Homes Sales Team at <a href=”tel:7204493562″>

Call (720)449-3562</a> or online at ThomasSattlerHomes.com.

Never Miss An Update

Get our monthly tips, tricks and trends about the custom home building industry.  These emails help you navigate the custom home building process in Denver.  

You have Successfully Subscribed!