What Type of New Home Builder Should You Hire?
Judie Docs, Executive Officer
CSP, CMP, CGP, MCSP, MIRM
North Coast Building Industry Association (NCBIA) www. ncbia.com
Imagine getting the keys to a new home that perfectly fits your family’s lifestyle. Before making that dream a reality, as a new home buyer, you decide what type of home to purchase. Once you determine which new home type works best for your family and budget, you can then figure out what kind of home builder you need to hire. To help you select the builder that works for you, here’s a brief explanation of the types of home builders and some of the differences in working with each.
Custom home builders
A custom home is generally a single-family home that is built to a buyer’s specifications on land that the buyer owns. With a custom home, you’ll be starting with a new design, so you have to make many decisions, from the floor plan type to the final finishes. Therefore, you’ll have to work closely with the builder and architect to design and construct a home with all your desired features and elements. A custom home is truly one-of-a-kind and won’t look like any other house in the neighborhood.
Given the number of decisions you’ll have to make related to crafting your dream house, it could take longer to build and be costly. However, a key benefit of working with a custom home builder is that you can make alterations at any point in the building process, although it may increase the overall price of the home.
Semi-custom home builders
A semi-custom home is constructed based on existing blueprints and can be built on the builders’ land or land you own. As a semi-custom home buyer, you can review the plans before construction and conform them to your personal preferences. However, unlike a custom home, once construction begins, there is less flexibility to make changes. And since the house is not being designed from scratch, it often costs less and is completed in a faster timeframe than an entire custom home.
Production home builders
Production homes are built in developments on land the builder owns and there will likely be multiple homes in the neighborhood that look similar. Production builders use standard plans, but often offer a variety of plan choices and options, such as different floor plans and elevations. You can choose from various feature options, from cabinets to countertops, which may or may not increase the base home price. However, you may have yet to find the exact features you want.
In general, production homes are built in a fast timeframe since the builder has already obtained the necessary permits for the plans. However, alterations to structural elements, such as the foundation walls, will require reengineering the plans and resubmitting them for new permits, which could lengthen the completion date.
For more information on types of builders in the area, contact the NCBIA.
We are your local not-for-profit trade association representing member companies involved in all aspects of home building, remodeling, and other aspects of services available to help you in the future as well as more information on the above topic. So, you can see it is for your protection that you use a NCBIA member. If you are unsure that your contractor is a member of the NCBIA or you are looking for a list of NCBIA members, you can visit our website at www.ncbia.com – go to Members and then Member Search, or call 440-934-1090. We also have a job posting board (under the industry tab).
Visit our 24/7 Virtual Parade of Homes!!! Allows you to look at some of our builders’ new homes and communities on your mobile device or computer at your leisure (including our remodelers) We know time is our greatest asset and via our NCBIA Virtual Parade of Homes, we save you time looking for a new home or a community that fits your lifestyle. The Virtual Parade of Homes is open online 24/7. Many of the homes featured in our Virtual Parade host regular open house hours for those consumers who are looking to tour the actual homes. You can click through to builder websites to see what they have to offer.
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