If you’re nodding your head in agreement, you’ve come to the right place. Having a home built to your specifications is both exciting and intimidating. There are so many decisions to be made, so much time to be spent, and so much money to be handed out.
You’ll want to be sure that all your efforts and hard-earned dollars are being directed properly. To do that, you’ll want to find the most trusted home builder today. You’ll want a company that can help you get your dream home as painlessly as possible, but where do you start?
We’ve put together a step-by-step guide for finding a top home builder today; one that knows how to overcome significant home building challenges the industry is facing such as skyrocketing material prices, supply chain delays on almost every component, and significant labor shortages resulting in extended build times.
Before you begin your search, take a look at what attributes make up a top home builder today, so you’re one step closer to getting the home of your dreams.
While there are still “old-timers” out there that build one or two homes a year with a small team of “expert” subcontractors. This builder may have years of experience but may be ill-equipped to handle today’s home-building challenges.
You’ll want to look for a builder that has the knowledge and ability to construct your home and a proven track record with verified satisfied customers. Check the national Top 200 Builders list from Builder Magazine to identify the most experienced, highly ranked companies in the country. Click on the builders’ names in the Top 200 ranking to learn more about each company—how long they’ve been in business, types of homes and how many they build each year, gross revenue, and building locations. Larger builders typically have skillfully managed ups and downs in the market and have resources for overcoming challenges with relative ease.
Even though many builders hire skilled framers and independent contractors to carefully craft and construct your home, it’s important that they have a qualified team of skilled personnel to handle the day-to-day operations. Your build process should seamlessly move from department to department—sales, accounting, estimating, purchasing, drafting, administrative, general manager/production, legal, and service. While you may never come face-to-face with the owner or CEO, it will be reassuring if the leadership is involved with creating a better community for all that live there.
Many communities and liability insurance companies have enacted new regulations regarding unsupervised jobsite visits. These rules are in place to protect you from harm and keep the builder honest in maintaining a safe site for all that visit. This means that transparent communication throughout the process will be necessary to ensure your expectations are met. You may not be able to stop by the construction site on your way home from work, but you should be updated regularly on the progress that’s been made.
You’re trusting your builder with a huge investment so honesty is essential. There are a lot of moving parts and complications involved with building your home, so you want to be sure that the people you’re dealing with are truthful every step of the way. Check for past customer testimonials and the Better Business Bureau website in your area to clearly understand issues that have arisen and how the company has resolved them.
Top home builders today carry the necessary insurance and licenses to protect their clients from mishaps during construction. While you’re asking about the company’s specific coverage, learn about the type of warranty it provides. Typical standard builder warranties are one year for workmanship and materials, two years for HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems, and 10 years for major structural defects. Some builders include extended warranty coverage over and above the standard as well as a dedicated Service Department to facilitate all issues that occur after you’ve moved in. Ask for a copy of the warranty book so you understand what is covered.
Home Builder’s Customer Approach
Industry experts at Marrano Homes, a leading residential home builder operating in New York and Florida, have spent years studying homebuyer demographics and requirements. Their research has shown an ever-evolving, highly sophisticated buyer that knows what they want. With the popularity of HGTV shows, DIY videos, and online knowledge-based resources, builders have had to step up their efforts to impress their potential buyers. Marrano offers a variety of open floor plans in single-family, patio homes, townhomes, and condominium styles. The plans have evolved to incorporate new requests like a home office, student learning station, reading nook, and even a pet den. An extensive inventory of homesites in urban, suburban, and rural developments, as well as offsite construction, means that homeowners can build the home of their dreams where they want to live.
With the continued requests from customers, the company built an on-site Design Center with a team of professional interior designers to assist in the selection process. In addition to an extensive list of high-end standard features like central air conditioning, upgraded luxury vinyl flooring, and solid surface countertops, they also offer energy-efficient and high-tech components like a state-of-the-art air purification system, tankless hot water heater, and video doorbell.
As environmental concerns become more mainstream across the United States and the world, green building products and systems are also being requested more often. Top home builders are incorporating new options like solar shingles and roof panels, geothermal heat pumps, and utilizing sustainable building procedures. They also collaborate with local towns to use rebate programs to help buyers save on these green purchases.
While not all top home builders today cater to total customization, the builder you choose should allow some personalization to make the home your own. Isn’t that why you want to build a home in the first place?
Technology Used by Home Builders
Home building challenges continued to plague the industry across the U.S., Canada, and the world. The pandemic wreaked havoc on everything from skyrocketing lumber prices, to the lack of availability of many of the main components needed to build a home, and even more skilled labor shortages. Two and a half years later, many small builders have gone out of business, leaving only the most innovative, resilient top builders to solve these problems.
The builder you choose will likely be utilizing the latest in construction management software to streamline the build process. Smart home builders use a central source for everything from accounting and purchase orders to project management, to warranty management. This helps the company keep prices in check while still achieving maximum profitability. Being on the consumer side, we often forget that the companies we buy from need to stay profitable. The more successful your builder is, the more services they can offer to you.
By using enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, your builder can optimize its resources to identify problems with scheduling and material deliveries to improve project cycle times and deliver your home on time.
Customizable tools also offer online conveniences like 360° virtual model tours to view homes without visiting in person, a design-a-home app with available options, electronic signature programs to sign contracts and process payments, and customer portals to keep you in the loop throughout the build process.
Lender & Home Builder Relationships
Homebuyers have been enjoying the benefits of record-low mortgage rates for some time, but with inflation-curbing techniques implemented by the Federal government recently, mortgage rates have been increasing. Unfortunately, higher home prices and increased mortgage rates will knock some buyers out of the market.
Many top home builders today have established relationships with lenders to offer some financing help—in the form of lower mortgage rates (sometimes for several years,) long lock-in rates to support a long build time, and even specialized building loan financing when required.
In today’s world of technology and the evolution of day-to-day life to remote/in-person work and learning environments, your home should reflect your lifestyle. Finding the most trusted home builder today will mean:
- It is experienced and has a top ranking in the industry
- Has a skilled staff and use top-rated contractors
- Provides transparent communication and excellent customer service throughout the building process
- Has a history of honesty and integrity as reflected by customer testimonials and BBB status
- Is professionally licensed and insured to provide the best protection and peace-of-mind warranty during and after construction
- Uses a customer-focused approach to build high-quality homes where buyers want to live
- Is committed to using the latest technologies to overcome today’s building challenges and streamline its processes to better serve its clients
- Has strong lender relationships and assists buyers establish the best financing
Building a home is a huge undertaking, but you don’t have to do it alone. Do your research, find a top builder that’s right for you, enjoy the process, and look forward to making special memories in your dream home for years to come.
The RenoHood team is dedicated to saving you time and money by offering the best home improvement and home-related advice based on solid facts and thorough research.