10 Key Questions to Ask Your Builder
1. What is your experience with building custom homes?
Longevity is a necessity with home builders. The longer time that a company has been building, the longer they have spent fine tuning the trouble areas of construction to make the process that much smoother for clients. At Old Town Design Group, we are proud to be a second-generation builder.
2. What organizations are you a part of?
While it may seem like organizations are just an extra title or badge, many times when a company is a part of an organization, this will offer continued education in their field. Also by being part of an organization, builders are exposed to best practices, changing environmental requirements or building codes first hand. Old Town Design Group is a member of both the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis (BAGI).
3. How long have you been partnered with your vendors?
This is an important question to ask because if a builder has a rotating group of vendors, constantly changing, something must not be right between the builder and the vendor. However, if the vendor-builder relationship has longevity, the team is stable and the communication must be good.
4. What type of contract do you offer?
Typically, there are two types of contracts when it comes to building a custom home, fixed and cost plus. Fixed contracts can take longer to complete than a cost plus contract, but with that extra time you are able to work with the builder to eliminate costly surprises during the build. Cost plus is a quicker route however it’s a ‘best guess’ scenario in the building plans, that often times gives no incentive to stick to a budget.
5. What is a custom home?
There are many companies that boast being a ‘custom home’ builder, but what truly is custom? How many limitations are there for changes to a floorplan or build? With Old Town Design Group, you can truly design your entire home from the foundation to the roof with the help of our in-house designers.
6. How will you handle my budget?
We have the tools to design to a budget. Other companies may have to send the home designs to be drawn or formatted by a second company, but we are capable of completing every aspect of your home in-house. There can sometimes be a negative connotation to a company that builds more than 10 custom homes a year, however from our perspective, by building a larger number of homes per year, we are able to serve the clients with all of the knowledge that we have gained from each build. We are able to tell you with almost complete certainty how changes will affect the budget immediately.
7. What kind of buying power do you have? Are you a part of a buying group?
The reason that this question is important is because when a company is part of a buying group, they can get materials for a cheaper rate. This directly translates to savings for your budget. Old Town Design Group is in a buying group with Gradison Design-Build, meaning we receive much better pricing on materials needed for the home.
8. How are interior design selections made and who helps me?
We are lucky enough to have an interior design partner, Everything Home, that works with each of our clients to help ensure a cohesive home. This is included in every home build and is something that can never be understated. By having an in-house partner and team to work with to choose everything from paints to cabinet finish to styling, it makes the process that much smoother.
9. What is the schedule and how will communication happen?
We utilize a software called BuilderTrend, which shows the day by day steps we are taking to build your home. This system is updated frequently by our build team with pictures, comments and any change orders that may need approval. Home owners are also able to comment and message the build team with any concerns that they might have. BuilderTrend allows for the day by day updates on your home, but also for seeing the big picture.
10. Who is working on my home?
At Old Town, we have six different teams of experts that will all have a hand in working on your home; the Sales Team, the Design Team, the Estimating Team, the Administration Team, the Construction Team and the Interior Design Team. You are able to meet with all of these teams one on one to discuss any questions or concerns you may have during the build process.
At Old Town Design Group, we make it a priority to make sure that you are always in control and aware of what to expect during the home building process. We will check the grade of lots to ensure you know exactly what you're physical lot restrictions are and our experts will find the best lot for your needs. By utilizing our in-house design team, we will create your perfect dream home that matches your aesthetic style and lifestyle through build design and interior design selections.