There’s something truly special about custom homes. From idea to reality, your dream is designed, constructed, and built to perfection.
But that’s only looking at the positives, and gives off a very skewed representation of the real process.
Building a custom home is a lengthy, detail-oriented process that requires a serious amount of effort. On top of that, most people come into the process with the wrong preconceptions. If you’re interested in building your own custom home, you deserve to get the full-story.
What’s The Process Really Like?
It all starts with trust.
The project outcome largely depends on the level of trust between the home owner and the builder.
If the home owner or builder loses trust in the other party — at any point during the process — the house will suffer.
Here’s why: The entire custom house process relies on open and effective communication. Once a home owner or builder loses trust in the other party, the rest of the project grinds to a halt.
This is because without full confidence in the builder, the client will have serious trouble making decisions. Often, when this starts to happen, the client will bring in other people from outside the process. This ends up “muddying the waters” and just causes more conflict and confusion.
The opposite is true as well: The builder needs to have absolute trust in the home owner. Unfortunately, this is a two way street, and the moment that I sense a home owner has lost trust… it begins to affect my side of the process as well.
But don’t worry just yet, it’s possible to avoid all of these issues by understanding what causes them.
One of the most common reasons a client will lose trust in the builder is unmet expectations. For instance, the client might inadvertently get confused when talking to the builder. This then causes the client to not express their desires as clearly as possible, and almost instantly the project has taken a turn for the worse.
The real problem here is that people don’t always listen closely, and builders don’t always communicate perfectly (remember, we’re human too).
As unmet expectations grow during the construction process, the client becomes more and more disappointed. Before you know it, a self-perpetuating cycle of problems has arisen: miscommunications lead to additional problems which only closes the communication channels further.
The Reality Of Building A Custom Home
Here’s the cold hard truth: I’ve never built a home for anyone – including myself – without having some small level of disappointment.
Because building a truly custom home is a dynamic process. Every single project is different. Every home owner has a different set of specific desires, and every project comes with it’s own unique complications.
During the design process, sometimes people won’t even know what’s important to them. There’s 10,000+ different elements that need to be considered and decided upon during the process, and often the home owner’s aren’t even aware of them. This is another one of the main causes of “surprises” during the building process. For all intents and purposes, surprises during the custom home building process are bad — because they indicate a serious communication error.
To facilitate an effective design process, and to deal with these issues, we’ve developed a system that ensures the best possible outcome for everyone involved.
First and foremost, we work very hard to clarify client expectations. During the design process, I will personally sketch the details and different ideas in 3D. I do this myself to limit the number of people involved in the “equation.” I’ve found that by only having myself interact with clients during the preliminary stage, the risk of miscommunications is lowered significantly.
When we say we put the clients first, we mean it… this is the same reason we don’t have any sales people. The exact same person that works with you during the design process is in charge of overseeing the creation of your home.
Secondly, we understand that things change throughout the whole process. So we make sure to keep the latest set of facts available at any time. If something changes, I personally stay on top of it and update our records. For this reason, a lot of our paperwork and efforts go towards making sure the client understands exactly what we think we are supposed to deliver.
As a home owner, the more you understand… the more you go over with your builder… and the more you pay attention… the higher the likelihood is that you won’t get a nasty surprise. Again, this is just the reality of building a home.
To further guarantee a smooth building process, we focus on being absolutely transparent. Every single week we update clients on a variety of important points.
This includes telling clients:
- The focus and goals for the week
- What we expect to get done
- What we didn’t get done in the previous week
We send clients a construction report to keep the information flowing and if there are any problems whatsoever, we notify the client. From my experience, clients who don’t listen will end up having a big problem (because problems always end up costing someone money).
The process of building a house should be enjoyable, and frankly, most of our clients end up extremely happy with the final result. Think of the building process as your chance to put your own individual “stamp” on the design of the house. At the end of the day, you’re the one in control and you’re the “boss.” We will provide our experience and advice to help you make a decision, but if you decide against our recommendations… it is totally fine. We’ll build it, as long as you’ve been informed.
Most importantly, keep in mind that while building a custom home takes a lot of effort — on everybody’s part — it is an extremely rewarding process that can and should be an enjoyable one.
Interested? Contact us through our website or give us a call today to set up an appointment.