Building a new house is the largest single investment many people ever make in their lifetime. With so much at stake, it’s crucial to choose a credible design build contractor that can meet your high expectations. The firm you choose should possess certain qualities. You want your contractor to be experienced, honest, and skilled. As you’ll likely be working with the firm for several months, you’ll also want to feel comfortable expressing your needs and concerns. Your contractor is the person who puts all the pieces together to get you your dream home.
Some contractors only see you as a number. Choose a firm that is going to provide personalized service. As the design build process can be long and complex, you want a contractor that will form a professional relationship with you. With an open line of communication, you and your contractor can fulfill your wants and needs for a new house, while giving extra attention to areas of your home that are most important to you. Providing personalized attention to your build allows a contractor to form a stronger dedication to your unique vision.
Read through each contractor’s credentials before deciding on a firm. You want a contractor who holds a degree in architecture from a respectable school, and who has a creative eye for real estate. Also look at what associations the contractor is a member of. In the design build industry, you may find that your contractor has taken the time to become a member of the National Association of Home Builders, American Institute of Architects, and other national and local associations.
Before choosing a design build contractor, take the time to review samples of past work. Having an online portfolio makes it easy for clients to look through a contractor’s history of completed housing projects. A successful portfolio should include high-definition photographs that allow clients to see the big picture as well as smaller finishing touches. An online portfolio may also include a video gallery that allow clients to experience the home building process from start to finish in just minutes from their home computer or smart device. With plenty of photos and videos at your disposal, you can better gauge a contractor’s individual design and build styles.
There are many great reasons to stay local. Not only are you supporting a locally-owned business, but you’ll also receive the personalized attention that comes from working with people in your community. Choose a contractor that exclusively serves your area and is dedicated to designing and building high-quality homes in your neighborhood. It’s also easier to maintain contact with local businesses. If you want changes to your home down the road, you can easily call the same local business and work with a contractor that you’re familiar with and trust.
A great way to see if a contractor does good work is by checking their customer reviews. Do people seem to have had positive experiences with the firm? If there are more than a few complaints or “horror stories”, steer clear of the contractor. In addition to the contractor’s own website, check on other authorized review sites. Houzz.com and other real-estate based websites are great places to find authentic reviews from real people who live in your community. You may also find business reviews on other websites such as Google and Yelp. While customer reviews can give you great insight on a contractor, it’s no substitute for checking references.
Not all clients who want to build their own home know exactly what they want. Having a variety of housing plans available can help you better target your dream home. Most housing plans consist of layouts that can be easily changed or manipulated to accommodate site conditions and your individual wants and needs. Housing models can also demonstrate the time, effort, and detail a contractor puts into homes. There should be house plans for all types of families, from singles and couples to homes that will accommodate a larger family with children. There should also be a variety of housing styles to meet all design tastes.
A good contractor is always learning and sharing new and interesting information. Blogs offer the perfect outlet for informing clients about topics such as financing, modern home designs, remodel ideas, and misconceptions about the home design process. Reading blogs on a contractor’s website can also help you learn more about their design style, experience, and philosophy in regards to designing and building homes. Even if you don’t decide to choose a certain contractor, you can still learn a lot of interesting things by reading blogs found on your local contractor’s website.
Some contractors wear many hats, functioning as both a home builder and general contractor. Once your home is built, you may decide later down the road that you want to make changes or additions. Having a home builder that also offers remodeling services can allow you to work with a firm that you have a trusted relationship with. In addition to home design, a general contractor can provide other updates to your home, such as energy efficiency. As technology evolves, you may decide to upgrade your home’s design to maximize energy efficacy and to create a safer and healthier home for your family.
Choosing the right design build contractor can make the difference between a successful outcome and a renovation disaster. It isn’t enough to search “contractor” on Google and choose the first name that catches your eye. It’s important to do your research to ensure that you’re choosing a contracting firm that has your best interests at heart. If you reside in the City of Falls Church, Arlington, Alexandria, or in Fairfax County, you can trust our team Koncept Design + Build to plan and execute your next home project.