New Home Builders (GC's)
HOW TO SELECT A BUILDER
Selecting the right builder is the next vital link to the success of your new home. In experienced consumers typically base their home builder choice on reasons unrelated to the home construction quality and the builder qualifications. Based on past research, these are the most frequently reasons on which consumers selected a builder:
- Like the layout of the home
- Like the way the home is decorated
- Like the neighborhood or location
- Liking the builder (nice guy)
- Perceive a home to be built as a good value.
While these are important, they are not valid reasons for choosing a builder. Rather, things like communications, organizational and problem solving skills, business ethics, employee turn over, etc. are factors on which a decision should be made. The Wise Home Building Guide provides you with a step by step approach to choosing the right builder, from what questions to ask, to the best way to deal with references to visiting a prospective builder's place of business.
MATCHING YOUR HOME BUILDER TO THE HOME
There are four types of builders or (GC's) as they are called. Following the list below is a brief discussion of each of these types.
- "Select" or "Builder's Choice" Home Builder
- Custom Home Builder
- Volume or Track Home Builder
- High End or Luxury Home Builder.
"Select" or "Builder's Choice" Home Builder
By Select or Builder's Choice what is meant is a builder that allows you to choose from a number of floor plans/ home plans that he builds. Select builders generally build a small number of homes each year - -from a few up to twenty-five or so. Note the term "generally," as there are some that fall outside of this average range and might build as many as a few hundred. Companies or builders that construct these larger numbers most often will offer a larger selection of floor or house plans. These builders most often will allow changes to be made to the home plan, though they are often more cosmetic than structural.
This method of construction, since it is based upon building the same or very similar home many times over, permits the builder and subcontractors involved to become intimate with the design and structure of the plans. It starts at the lumber yard, where the same material makeup list is able to be used for bidding, and continues all the way through the carpenters and subcontractors- - as they too become familiar with the plans after doing the work repetitively.
This approach to building increases efficiency and productivity, and in turn reducing home construction time, costs, errors and waste. The results are a better value at a more competitive price than the custom home builder.
Custom Home Builder
Custom home building means that each house built is unique. This approach gives consumers maximum flexibility in terms of the design of their new home. However, because each home is unique, each home builts is a new undertaking for the builder. This lack of familiarity with a plan will increase the time to completion, and increases exposure to errors and waste, thus, adding to increasing the cost of the home.
The higher cost of a custom home over the a "builder's choice" home will vary from a small amount to something substantially higher. Also note that with cusom homes it is more common to make changes (change orders) as the building progresses; this also will add additional costs. Note: Every change should be in writing, without exception. Many consumers made costly mistakes by choosing the "nice guy" builder.
Track or Volume Home Builder
The "Track"or "Volume" home builders are those that construct hundreds or even thousands of homes annually. A common term used is a "cookie cutter" builder. They construct a number of model home designs at a specific location for viewing. It's a "what you see is what you get" type of home purchase. Some hold this rule so tightly that the only options offered are color choices and a reverse house plan.
Luxury Home Builder
Luxury Home builders are for those where price is not the deciding factor. This type of home requires highly skilled tradespeople due to complex construction and the use of high end materials and products. The home cost per square foot will be substantially higher than any of the other types of builders.
Changes are expected and are part of the building process. The builder or his/her representative is readily available throughout the entire building process. Because of the higher cost and potential for error, it is paramount that an architect draws home plans and the right builder is chosen.
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