Working with a custom home builder gives you the chance to own a home that is truly brand new so that you know the major features of the home, including the roof, electrical systems and plumbing, should last for years before they need repair or replacement. You can also have a new home customised to your needs in particular, rather than trying to remodel or renovate a home after its purchase and after the work and hassle of moving in. When you are ready to meet with a custom home builder, note a few commonly asked questions about the process so you can ensure you know everything involved, and know what to expect along the way.
Can a custom home builder use a homebuyer's preferred materials for construction?
If you're very eco-conscious, or prefer very luxurious, high-end materials, you may want your home builder to use bamboo, solid stone, reclaimed materials and so on for certain areas of construction. Most home builders can accommodate your requests, unless a chosen material would interfere with the overall safety and durability of the home. For example, reclaimed wood may not be good for framing, as it may be soft and weak from having absorbed moisture over the years.
Also, note that some materials may mean quite a bit of added time and cost because of the work involved in their fabrication. Solid stone flooring may require a stonecutter to cut and install those pieces, for example. The home may also need added bracing to hold up the weight of that stone. While a home builder can usually accommodate your wishes, be prepared for added cost and delay.
Can a homebuyer oversee construction?
Be careful about thinking that you can have a part in the construction of your home even though you're paying for it to be built. Most home builders will be happy to arrange tours of the construction, but for your safety, all work usually stops while you're on site. Also, because of a builder's insurance requirements, they also do not usually allow homeowners to have any part in the construction work. Any work you might offer to do for the process, even if it's assembling cabinets, may also not be allowed, as a builder needs to ensure that construction pieces will pass inspection once the home is built. Rather than thinking you can or should oversee construction, leave this work to the builder and keep tours to a minimum so that you don't actually interfere with the creation of your new home.