SEATTLE (Zillow) -- I hear it every time. It’s the question 10 out of 10 people ask when I tell them I design custom homes: “Oh? What builders do you work with?”
Many people considering building a home think about builders before they think about the architect, the house design, decorating, building lots or anything else.
Why? Because ultimately the builder is the key player. He or she is the captain; the person who manages the entire building process for you; the person to whom you’ll be writing the really big checks.
And – most important – because everyone knows that the builder can make or break a project.
But how can that be? Wouldn’t any builder you choose be working with the same set of plans? Don’t all builders have to build to the requirements of the building code? Don’t they get the same prices from their suppliers? Doesn’t your building contract spell out exactly what the builder must do?
The answers to the questions above are: Yes, yes, no and maybe. But those answers have almost nothing to do with the success of your project.
Let’s be clear here: The world is full of excellent builders, great builders and, in fact, a few I know who are extraordinary. I’d go so far as to say most builders I know do everything in their power to provide a quality service and product to their clients.
Those are the guys you’re looking for.
But there are also guys to avoid.
Remember that neighbor of yours, the one whose two-month kitchen remodeling took a year? And then the granite countertops cracked and had to be replaced? What about your cousin who was quoted $300,000 to build his house and it ended up costing him $400,000?