What's your recommendation rate with your customers?
If you’re reading this, you’re probably knee deep in the trenches of researching custom home builders. Don’t you wish you had a construction Sherpa guiding you through your search? Well, I’ve never climbed Everest (too scared of heights), but after working closely with some of North America’s leading contractors, I’ve come to realize that the best of the best custom builders all display three specific things that differentiate themselves from others in their industry. Keep the following three tips at the forefront of your home builder hunt.
Evidence of quality and craftsmanship
When it comes to who’s at the helms of your blueprint, experience matters. Beyond finding out if a builder is licensed and insured, you need to know whether or not the builders you’re vetting have the knowledge and skill to develop what you’re looking for. All custom builds are unique, but you should try to tour a builder’s recently completed home to get a feel for what their finished products are like. Are there clear signs of excellent workmanship, or can you tell that a lot of corners were cut? What products did they use, and are they known for their quality?
Not only should you think about a builder’s level of craftsmanship and what materials they rely on, but you should also consider the quality of their team. Do they give off the impression that your home will be just another job, or do they approach the prospect of building for you with sincerity and passion? Builders who invest in measuring their performance with homeowners are clearly looking to continuously improve the homes and relationships they build.
Customer service that’s beyond status quo
Find a builder that’s focused not only on producing a well-crafted home but also on developing a positive rapport with you. A builder who values communication, professionalism, trust, and problem resolution is the kind of builder you want taking on one of the biggest investments of your lifetime.
To get the true story of how a custom builder stacks up in these areas, just ask their past customers. All quality-minded contractors have a reference list, reach out to a few of those homeowners and have a conversation with them. You’ll get a more in-depth understanding of what their entire home building experience was like, and learn how their relationship with the builder evolved after completion.
Online homeowner reviews are another great source of unabridged customer feedback. If your search returns stories of customer service that go above and beyond the status quo, you have yourself a winner.
Where to look
General Google searches for “good Atlanta home builder” will only get you so far. Directories, associations, and services whose sole focus is working with quality-minded contractors are all great sources to find the perfect builder for your needs. At GuildQuality, we work primarily with residential construction professionals who are driven to improve their businesses and the overall experience they deliver to their customers. Networks like Southern Living’s Custom Builder program are also a helpful in connecting potential home buyers with elite builders. In fact, the program is invitation-only, and those selected are well-known for their outstanding customer service and use of quality building materials in the homes they craft.
A trail of accomplishments
Speaking of accomplished builders, a contractor who has been the recent recipient of awards, especially service excellence awards from credible sources, is someone you should put at the top of your list. Awards in the residential construction industry are competitive. If a builder you’re researching is consistently recognized by their customers and their industry peers, it lends credibility to their ability to deliver exceptional results.
The bottom line
Not all custom home builders are created equal. Excellent customer reviews, craftsmanship, and award wins are all great ways to gauge whether or not a custom builder will meet your standards. Don’t settle for anything less than a quality-minded builder with the type of experience you need, and the passion to see it through to fruition. We happen to work with many contractors who fit that criterion. Find a custom home builder from GuildQuality’s community of quality to take on your build.