Whether you already know the ropes or you’re a first-timer, building your new custom home in San Luis Obispo should be a rewarding experience you feel confident about. So, how do you find the best home builders in SLO? Here are some tips from our team.
Know what you want
Before you talk to any contractors, have a discussion with yourself! Make some lists about how you see your new home: Must Have, Nice to Have, Not a Fan Of, Deal Killers. Do your homework. Take lots of notes, save images and links, walk around neighborhoods. Ask yourself what you do or don’t like about certain things you see. Using your notes, organize the information in a way that clearly defines your wants, needs, and expectations.
Ask around and look around
Talk to your friends about their projects and experiences. Get opinions. Don’t be shy. Are you on social media? Ask your Facebook friends. If you encounter the owner of a home you admire on your dog walk, stop to chat. Read reviews of the home builders who have been recommended, and see how they compare to others. Check out their qualifications and the projects they’re proudest of on their websites.
Choose the top contenders
Make a list of the builders who’ve risen to the top of your list. Check the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) to confirm licensing status, bonding and workers’ compensation insurance. See if any complaint disclosures or construction-related civil judgments are shown. Do a web search to see if they’ve been in the news for anything that makes you uncomfortable.
Talk to the contenders
When you feel well-informed, schedule meetings with the home builders at the top of your list, and prepare your information and questions. After giving an overview of your project, you may have specific things you’d like to learn. Here are some of the more common questions.
- Is this the type of project you’re looking for?
- Can you help me with site selection, or should I return after I make a purchase?
- Do you handle everything including permits and site preparation?
- Can you show me some similar projects you’ve done?
- Will I have one main point of contact? How much time will that person spend at my project? How many jobs will they be running at once?
- How much of the work is done by subcontractors?
- What percentage of your projects are completed within your projected timelines? What percentage within your budget estimates?
- Can you explain the typical process and expected timeline for me?
- What kind of reporting and communication should I expect during the project?
- How long will I have to make decisions on things?
- Do you have any concerns about my project?
The builder representative (or team) should be able and willing to answer your questions, and will have some of their own. Be sure your answers are accurate and carefully considered.
Weigh the facts… but also trust your gut
When building a new custom home, you’ll be investing more than money. Your time, energy, passion and communication skills will all be required. A good relationship with your home builder will be essential. So, in addition to weighing the information you’re given, check in with your gut. How do you feel about doing business with this team? Do you feel heard when you speak? Do you feel comfortable talking with them? Do you feel like your best interests and desired outcomes are the focus of the discussion? Do you feel confident that you can work with this team for the length of the project? Do they demonstrate the balance of professionalism and personal attention you expect?
Let the fun begin!
When your questions have been answered, it’s time to make a decision. Your new San Luis Obispo custom home won’t magically appear overnight. It will be a process. The right home builder will guide this process for you. They’ll make sure it’s exciting, but not scary. They’ll help you evaluate options before making decisions, based on their experience and industry knowledge. They’ll understand your vision, protect your interests, and build the home you’ve worked so hard to save and plan for.
When you’re ready to build your custom home in San Luis Obispo, give us a call at 805-543-7277. We’re ready to answer your questions and show you how our people and processes will make your experience groundbreaking, from start to finish.