According to The House Designers, finding the right home builder is just as important as finding the perfect house plan, since it is the general contractor’s technical expertise that will be responsible for constructing the home. Before purchasing house plans it is best to consult with a builder to confirm the house plan is suitable for the lot, lifestyle and budget.
There are plenty of ways to find competent, qualified builders to guide consumers through the entire home building experience. Companies like The House Designers provide consumers with a free builder listing and tips to help consumers find local builders, as well as provide a marketplace for builders to offer their services.
“Although there are questionable professionals in every industry, rest assured that most professional residential builders are competent, qualified individuals who are more than capable of building your dream home,” said Tammy Crosby, Chief Operating Officer of The House Designers, who sell the best-selling, most popular online construction-ready house plans in the U.S. The website offers a free building directory making it easy to find local builders.
“Mostly we hear great comments about our customer’s general contractors, but occasionally customers share stories about costly delays, problems with roof and foundation construction, and other construction problems,” Crosby said. “The good news is that it’s not hard to find great builders and by doing a little homework, you can find quality builders that offer expert craftsmanship.”
Look for builders that specialize in building a similar home in the same price range. For example, a builder who specializes in constructing small ranch homes may not be the best choice for a luxury Mediterranean or craftsman home that requires lots of architectural detailing. Interest in building an ENERGY STAR® home will require a builder who understands the EPA’s guidelines and building techniques so the home will qualify once built.
For consumers looking to build their own home, here are some helpful tips to help choose the right home builder:
- First and most important, ask to see the potential contractor’s most recent work. If possible, speak with homeowners that have been in their homes for over a year. This will provide a real assessment on the quality of the home, number of problems and overall feedback about the builder. Be sure to ask the general contractor how many houses they build annually. Being in business for years, doesn’t necessarily mean they are credible.
- Looking for builders on the internet can save plenty of time and money. Most successful and reputable builders will have websites with testimonials, photographs of completed projects, pricing and information about the building process. Many will offer free online estimates of construction costs and some may offer flexible financing options.
- Contact the local home builders’ association to obtain a list of builders who construct homes in that area. Local builders can be found at nahb.org/findanhba.
- Make sure that the builder is licensed in the building area so they can obtain the necessary permits and are familiar with the local building codes.
- Referrals are key, especially from family, friends and neighbors to allow for a tour of the home and an opportunity to ask questions about their home building experience. Running into costly surprises while building a home can easily put a homeowner over budget.
- Make sure that the contract is easy to read and that it’s easy to understand. A confusing contract should be a red flag. Also make sure the contractor offers a guarantee in writing for the work they perform.
A great place to start looking for a builder is The House Designers’ Preferred Builders listing which is also a great resource for quality builders to promote their business.
“Our free Preferred Builders Program is a great way for builders to market their companies and reach thousands of house plan purchasers looking for general contractors,” said Crosby. “We now offer house plans that builders can receive in minutes in our new PDFs Now! collection.”
The House Designers recently introduced this new collection of PDFs Now! to allow builders and consumers to receive their home plans in minutes in their inbox. A PDF version of the construction drawing makes it easy to print as many copies of the blueprints as needed, including smaller copies (8.5” x 11”) from a home or office printer. Quickly and easily email builders, sub-contractors, supply stores and more for budgeting and estimates making it convenient to shop around and receive competitive pricing on your new home building project!
For an added convenience most of the house plans on thehousedesigners.com are available in an electronic PDF format and can be emailed within 24 hours. View the PDFs Fast house plan collection to see what designs are available.
Consumers can also download free worksheets for building a new home and sign up for free weekly e-newsletters featuring the latest in home design and innovative, energy-efficient building products.