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Custom Home Questions

Questions to Ask When Building a Custom Home

Choosing a custom build is the ultimate experience in home ownership, but it’s not an experience to enter into lightly. You should have a sense for what you like and what you don’t, what you want and what you can pass on. You should also have a serious conversation with your home builder to ensure both parties are on the same page about expectations, process, and results. To help you get started with a custom home-building experience, you need to make sure you’re asking both yourself and your builder the right questions.

What to Ask Yourself

Here’s a look at four specific questions you need to ask yourself before jumping into a custom-build project.

1. What Does My Family Need?

This may sound like an obvious question, but it’s one that escapes most custom home buyers: What does my family really need? It’s easy to get caught up in the process and start falling in love with all sorts of added features and spaces, but a perfect home is one that delivers exactly what your unique family needs. Make sure those basic needs are covered above all else.

2. How Big Is My Family?

This is incredibly important. If you’re a family of four — two adults and two kids — you can typically get by with either three or four bedrooms. However, if you have more than two kids, you’re likely going to need more space. You should also take into consideration how often you entertain guests. Will you need a dedicated guest room? Or, does anyone work from home? If so, you may want to consider a flex space that can serve as both a home office and a guest room.

3. How Long Will We Be Here?

Length of stay is significant, too. Most people have a plan for how long they want to stay in one house. Although those plans don’t always work out, they are essential to consider ahead of time. This is also essential if your family isn’t done growing yet. If you know you want more kids, you may want to plan for more space to accommodate them — unless you think you’ll move out before they arrive.

4. What Features Are Most Important to Us?

The cool thing about a custom home is that it allows you to dream. Dream big about the features and spaces you’ve always wanted in a house but have never had. As noted above, think about the number of rooms you need, as well as whether you’ll need a guest room or a study. Will a single living space be enough? Do you need a formal dining room? You may also want an outdoor entertaining area. What about smart and energy-saving features?

The start of your custom home journey is the time to consider how critical specific features are to you.

What to Ask the Builder

Once you’ve asked and answered questions on your own, it’s time to consider different custom home builders in the area. When you do, be sure to ask them these five questions.

1. Are There Options for the Floor Plan?

The more flexibility and the more options, the better. Sometimes, home buyers think they’re talking to a custom builder who’s just selling a pre-designed floor plan that is prohibitively expensive to tweak.

2. Can You Give Me Local Clients as References?

Always ask for references. A custom home is a massive investment and a huge decision to make. You’ll want to do as much research as possible before making a final choice. The best place to get information is from a buyer who’s worked with that builder before, so don’t be shy about asking for references, calling them and asking as many questions as you’d like.

3. Are You Licensed and Insured?

This is another crucial question. Any custom home builder worth their salt is going to be licensed and insured. This protects all parties from harm and financial loss should something go wrong.

4. What’s the Timeframe?

Ask for honesty above all else. Some custom home builders will offer the moon, which leads to frustration when the timeline for construction falls apart. Be sure to ask about a timeframe, and make sure you’re getting an honest answer.

5. How Do You Handle Delays?

Delays can happen for any number of reasons. There might be a shortage of a specific material, or there might be severe weather. Delays will occur — so all you can do is ask about how your builder plans to handle them.

About SDL Custom Homes

SDL Custom Homes is your experienced and knowledgeable custom home builder in Central Pennsylvania. When you have questions about the process or need expert guidance about getting started, we’re here to help.

Contact us today or request a quote to have an initial discussion about your custom home.

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