With so many types of home building companies out there,
it’s a little tough to figure out who does what
and who builds what. Here’s a quick run-down on
how to tell the difference between custom and production
home building companies.
Custom home builders generally:
Build on land you own. Some custom builders
also build on land they own.
Build one-of-a-kind houses. A custom home is a site-specific
home built from a unique set of plans for a specific
client. Some custom builders may offer design/build
Build single-family homes.
Are generally small-volume builders (those that build
25 or fewer homes a year).
Tend to build high-end homes.
Production home builders generally:
Build on land they own.
Tend to use stock plans, but usually offer a variety
of plan choices and options.
Build all types of housing — single-family, condos,
town houses, and rental properties.
Are large-volume builders (those that build more than
25 homes a year).
Generally build for all price points — entry level,
move up, luxury, etc.
There are a number of basic precautions
that you should take whenever you are choosing a builder:
Where have they worked before?
Try and visit three or four of the Builders recently
completed jobs and if possible, speak to the owners
about the builders work.
Ask two or three builders for estimates in writing,
check to see that all work is included. Do not automatically
choose the lowest one. Having work done cheaply may
result in shoddy workmanship and sub standard materials
Does the builder belong to a respected trade body?
Builders often claim to that they are members of trade
associations. Contact you local Builder’s Association
and ask for a list of registered members.
Ask to see your builders’ public liability insurance
certificate. Also the work may affect your home &
contents insurance – contact your own insurance
Agree the work and put it in writing
You should make an agreement or contract in writing
with your builder. It should include, all work to be
done, date of completion, security and safety, catering
and lavatory arrangements, disposal of waste materials,
hours of working and so on. (Please bear in mind any
extra requests during the works may incur a cost at
the end of the project).
Remember: Ask questions now, do not wait until it is