Building your own custom is an exciting event. The opportunity to customize the home directly to your needs and personality is unique and often a cost saving measure. When consulting a builder, you must plan for how long it takes, what they don’t cover, and how involved you will be in the building process.
How Long it Takes
The average custom home is built in 5-8 months. It is very rare for the home to be completed in less than five months and very common for the building process to take even longer. You are likely not the only client your builder is working with. Climate, industry demands, and financial position can influence the duration of the build. A rushed job generally means poor quality. Because of internal and external factors, plan on the building process getting delayed. Also plan to have backup living arrangements as it is not safe to move in before construction is completed.
What They Don’t Cover
Most custom home builders give you at least 1 year warranty on the structure of your home. Some builders give up to 10 years warranty. While the construction contract and warranty is useful, it does not cover everything in your home. Generally, appliances, landscaping and interior design are not covered by your contractor. Interior design is generally up to you when designing a custom home. If you want to bring in a designer to furnish your space, that will be a separate expense. Ask your builder for what they offer and recommendations for outside services.
How Involved You Are
Building a custom home gives you complete control over the design process. It also requires multiple meetings, phone calls, and walk-throughs with your builder. Communication is critical to crafting the home according to your tastes and vision. Because of this you should commit yourself to making time for your builder to communicate and ask you questions. Study the various design options and make decisions before it is too late. Your level of involvement will greatly impact the satisfaction you have with the finished product.
While a custom build takes time, many homeowners find the wait worth it. Be patient with your contractor and establish a clear completion timeline. Create a contract with the company so expectations of what they do and do not cover are clear. Plan to spend time being involved in the building process which will give you the best outcome.
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