Looking for an Indianapolis custom home builder is actually a lot like shopping for a car. When you start out on your car buying journey, you probably have a make and model in mind, much like you probably have the style of custom home you want to build in mind. But, where do you go to buy that particular car? A quick Google search will reveal dozens of car dealerships that you could visit. How do you know which one is the most reliable? Who will give you the best deal? Does one offer a better warranty than another? Your questions shouldn’t be limited to who has the make and model you’re looking for because not every car dealership is going to offer the same features, warranties, and services along with your car.
In much the same way, not every Indianapolis custom home builder is going to offer you the same home design at the same price, with the same quality, or with the same experience. A quick Google search for Indianapolis Custom Home Builders will also reveal dozens of choices. How do you know which one is the right fit for your future home? The first step in finding a custom home builder is knowing what to look for.
Step 1: Make a List of Potential Custom Home Builders
You’ve already done a Google search for custom home builders and now it’s time to whip out the spreadsheet and make a list of potential builders you could work with. We’ll talk about specific criteria for narrowing the list later in this post. For now, if you’re just looking to build a repository of options, here are a couple tips for making your list of potential builders:
- Search online: The obvious first step, and most likely the quickest avenue. Take a look at some of their previous work, reviews, and any other resources you consider important to determine if they should make the list. Proximity to the build site may be a concern so be sure to check that out as well.
- Ask friends and family: Referrals are always good. When you go to purchase a car, you might ask your family and friends where they purchase their vehicles. In the same vein, ask your family and friends if they know of custom home builders or have worked with any themselves.
Step 2: Interviewing Custom Home Builders
Time to get that list out and start contacting home builders. Thinking back to the car buying example, you’re going to ask the salesperson all sorts of questions about the car, the features, and the services included in the sale. You want to do the same thing with an Indianapolis custom home builder. Interviewing them is a great way to gain a better understanding of their custom home building process and how they work with their customers. Here are a few questions you might consider asking:
- What is your custom home building process like?
- What style of home do you typically build? Do you have a preference on style or a specialty?
- Are you willing to work with my interior designer?
- Do you have any references I can contact?
- What types of budgets do you usually work with?
- Do you offer any sort of warranty for the custom home work?
Step 3: Check Out Their Custom Build Homes
If a custom home builder makes it past your interview questions, then it’s time to check up on their work. Knowing what style of home they typically build is great, but seeing it is even better. The custom home builder should have a portfolio on their site that showcases their work. This is where you should start, but it’s also a great idea to actually go check out a couple of their homes. If the builder is currently working on a home, they might allow you to come check it out. In some cases, they might provide you the names and addresses of some of their past clients.
If they do, drive by the home and check out the style and quality of the build. Does it match, in style, the type of home you want to build? If it doesn’t, could you see their work translating into the style of home you want? Further, if the homeowner is at home or outside, don’t be afraid to stop and ask questions about the builder. This is a great chance to get the inside scoop on the builder, their process, and what it’s like working with them.
Step 4: Narrow Down The List Even More
You should eliminate some builders from your list based on the style of homes they build. While a custom home builder could technically build any style, you want a builder familiar and comfortable with the style of home you’re looking for. Beyond that, there are two great criteria you can use to eliminate even more builders from your list:
- Experience: Yes, every custom home builder has to start somewhere, but that starting point doesn’t have to be your custom home. Instead, look for a home builder with several years of experience. By hiring an experienced, distinctive custom home builder, you’re more likely to get a higher quality home from someone who better understands your needs, the industry, and how to estimate things like costs and timelines.
- Design Services: You most likely have a design and floor plan in mind, but you may want to make some modifications. Your custom home builder should be more than happy to talk about those modifications and provide their input on the final design and layout of your home. If a homebuilder on your list simply takes a floor plan and builds the home and nothing more, then you should take them off of your list. You want a partner-someone invested in your home as much as you are.
Building an Indianapolis custom home isn’t a small task. This is going to be the place you call home. It might be where you raise your family or even retire in. You want it to be perfect. Finding a custom home builder shouldn’t be something you take lightly. Spend time with several builders. Find the one that works with your budget, your ideas, and is excited about turning your ideas and dreams into reality.
If you’re interested in learning more about hiring a custom home builder or what to look for in a custom home builder, be sure to download our free e-book, “Tips for Building Your Custom Home.” Inside, you’ll find helpful information on selecting a location, financing your home, and selecting a custom home builder.