How to Choose a Home Builder – 22 Expert Tips

Ask anyone how to choose a home builder, and they’ll have their own interpretation of the matter.

However, because you’re making such a significant investment in your new custom, there are several key characteristics you’ll want to look out for. 

Reputable home builders often have a long list of references from past projects with years of experience under their belts. They should also be able to offer top-quality craftsmanship and custom design that aligns with your stylistic preferences. Unfortunately, many custom home builders lack sufficient custom home building experience, require large upfront deposits, and use high-pressure sales tactics, all of which are major red flags when determining how to choose a home builder.

Finding a team of professionals with experience in the highest echelon of construction and a commitment to customer satisfaction is key.

Come with us as we look at 22 expert tips to help you find the ideal builder for your dream home. 

22 Tips for Choosing a Home Builder

Knowing how to choose a home builder for your next project requires extensive planning and research. We want to simplify the process by giving you 22 things to look out for. 

1. Identify Your Needs

Set yourself up for success by gauging your needs before anything else. 

The first thing we always recommend our clients have is a realistic budget. This includes the cost of construction, labor, permitting, and post-construction services, such as interior design and landscaping. 

Next, figure out where you’d like to build your home. Do you need proximity to good public schools or amenities like grocery stores and restaurants? Are you looking for direct waterfront access, or do you want to live inland?  

Lastly, consider your baseline needs for the home itself, whether that means a specific number of bedrooms, an open kitchen layout, or an in-ground pool.

2. Conduct Thorough Research

Finding a reputable home builder is as easy as doing some online research. Most professional home builders publish their testimonials and portfolios, which can provide you with some insight into their past work. 

See what kind of expertise they have with building in your preferred area too. Many experienced home builders have connections to the surrounding community and a deep understanding of local regulations.

3. Evaluate Experience and Past Projects

The beautiful designs of RBC Homes, the best home builder in Virginia Beach

A builder’s past experience says a lot about them, and by looking at their past projects, you can gauge whether or not they align with your style. As we said before, exploring portfolios is key. You’ll know right away whether or not their past projects resonate with you, and if so, they might be a good fit. 

Here at RBC Homes, we specialize in building custom luxury homes in the Coastal Virginia region. Learn more about our work by exploring our gallery of past home-building projects

4. Assess Communication and Customer Service

First impressions are everything when determining how to choose a home builder. You’d be surprised how much you can learn from a home builder with an initial phone call or email. 

The most important thing to look out for is how well they communicate and whether or not the conversation feels transparent. You’re making a significant investment, and if the builder can’t be open and honest about their experience or the expected costs of your project, it’s a huge red flag. 

We value transparency above all here at RBC Homes. Get in touch with us to learn more about our home-building process. 

5. Get Detailed Quotes

When you get a quote from a home builder, it should be more than an arbitrary number.

We provide comprehensive cost breakdowns here at RBC Homes, meaning every individual expense, from labor to site preparation and permitting, is transparent.

In getting detailed quotes, you can also make sure the costs align with your budget. 

6. Verify Credentials

Just because a home builder says they have credentials on their website doesn’t mean you should take it at face value. Do your own research to find out whether they have a license or insurance in your state. 

RBC Homes is a class-A licensed luxury home builder here in Coastal Virginia. Learn more about us and our work.

7. Make an Informed Decision

Building a new custom home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, so taking the time to interview multiple builders and research your options will help you make a more informed decision. 

Not only is part of knowing how to choose a home builder making sure the contractor has years of experience and a portfolio to back it up, but also that their work aligns with your style. 

8. Specific Expertise

Many custom home-building projects have unique requirements, such as specialized spaces or unique architectural styles, so finding a home builder with expertise in your preferences can go a long way. 

For example, here at RBC Homes, we focus on custom luxury homes in coastal environments, which often boast characteristics like coastal landscaping, expansive outdoor spaces, and floor-to-ceiling windows to maximize natural light with special emphasis on ensuring the structure itself will sustain the harsh environmental elements present in the coastal lifestyle for years to come.  

9. Visit Past Projects

If you already have a style in mind, one of the best ways to find a builder that aligns with your desires is to look at their past projects.

After exploring their online portfolios, you can get in touch with their past clients to gain deeper insight into their personal experiences. 

10. Discuss Customization

Just like their needs and preferences, all homeowners are unique. Knowing how to choose the right builder means finding one that offers customization options. You want to create a home that’s tailored to your lifestyle, so whether that entails adding the right finishing touches, upgrading kitchen appliances, or using a specific color palette, your builder should be able to adapt to your needs. 

Get in touch with us here at RBC Homes to learn more about our custom luxury home projects.

11. Billing Transparency

Does the company’s billing method offer transparency? As a client electing to engage in a Cost plus Contract versus a Fixed Price Contract you should be able to see the cost of each component used in construction of your new custom home.  

We take great pride in our billing transparency, as we believe it creates a sense of trust between us and our clients. 

12. Seek Recommendations

We always encourage our clients to inquire among friends and family before diving into a new project with a custom home builder. In fact, word of mouth is one of the most reliable and effective ways in knowing how to choose a home builder that’s reputable. Actively seeking advice from those you know can provide you with more insight into a company’s past success stories

13. Understand the Timeline

While unexpected delays can happen, having a project timeline in place that both aligns with your schedule and your needs is key. When speaking with a potential home builder, see if you can get a detailed timeline, which includes the planning and preparation phases. 

An experienced custom home builder should be able to develop a timeline with realistic expectations to optimize the construction process from start to finish. 

14. Check for Eco-Friendly Options

Even as luxury custom home builders, one of the main elements we aim to prioritize in our work is sustainability, as it benefits both the land we build on and the surrounding communities. If sustainability and eco-friendly construction are important to you, look for contractors that have statements pointing to their eco-friendly material usage or green practices. 

Ask if your contractor can implement energy-efficient appliances in your new home or whether or not they use any recyclable or natural materials. 

15. Review the Contract Thoroughly

Knowing what to look for in a construction contract can be difficult if you’re new to the process, which is why we always recommend hiring a legal professional. There can be a lot of seemingly intimidating language to read, and if you’re like most people, you probably don’t have the extra time or bandwidth.

However, you don’t want to skip out on the review process either, as having an accurate outline of what you can expect can protect both you and the contractor from potential issues in the future. 

16. Inquire About After-Sale Services

Many newly built custom homes come with after-sale services, such as warranties and maintenance. 

If your chosen home builder doesn’t provide a warranty, it’s likely because they aren’t confident in their craftsmanship. Again, this is a big red flag, and an important aspect when determining how to choose a home builder.

Learn more about our special after-sale services at RBC Homes! 

17. Ask About Financing

If you’re building a custom home and not paying in cash, you’ll have to consider financing options. Many home builders have relationships with Banks which offer construction/permanent loans, a financing vehicle which can fund a portion of the land cost, fund construction costs, and which  is also a long-term mortgage. This type of loan usually offers a 12 to 18 month construction term and generally the borrower pays interest only on that portion of the loan actually advanced to fund construction. 

However, financing options can vary, so getting a good idea of what financing options are available is crucial. 

18. Check for Associations and Awards

Home builders with industry recognition and awards most often provide a higher level of expertise. We don’t earn awards in this industry without a commitment to consistent excellence. 

You can typically find this information on a builder’s website, though you can also check with professional housing associations, such as the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) or your local Home Builders Association (HBA). 

19. Inspect Their Safety Record

RBC Homes is dedicated to safety in all forms, protecting not only the clients whose homes we are building by adhering to strict safety standards but also the builders themselves with proper training programs and on-site protocol.

As a client, we urge you to inquire about the safety practices of any contractor you’re thinking of hiring when figuring out how to choose a home builder. Is their record clean, free from any incidents for which they’re at fault? Do they provide their builders with professional training according to the latest standards? Are they equipped with adequate insurance coverage throughout the construction process?

Prioritizing safety means minimizing risks and disruptions during the construction process and protecting every party with a stake in the project. 

20. Understand the Payment Schedule

Payment schedules are part of just about every construction process. They detail the timeline of payments that must be made throughout a project’s timeline. 

A quality schedule strikes a balance between the client’s desire to only pay for work that’s been completed and the contractor’s need to receive payment on time. As we said before, knowing how to choose a home builder has a lot to do with finding a timeline that works for you. 

Make sure the payment schedule is something you completely understand so that both parties can agree to it confidently. 

21. Evaluate Their Problem-Solving Skills

Beyond exploring your potential contractor’s portfolio, try to find out more about any issues they may have run into in the past and whether or not they will be able to find solutions for them. 

There are many problems we face here at RBC Homes that are out of our control, from inclement weather to unforeseen site conditions and last-minute design changes. However, we also have years of experience and a proven track record, which helps us handle issues as they arise. 

Knowing that you’re working with a home builder who has a track record of addressing and dealing with challenges can make for a much less stressful process. 

22. Visit Ongoing Projects

One of the last things we recommend when figuring out how to choose a home builder is visiting their ongoing projects if feasible. In doing so, you’ll be able to see how they work in real-time. 

In essence, you get a more hands-on look at their operations before investing in them yourself. During the process, you’ll get a good gauge of their professionalism, organization, and craftsmanship. 

Contact us to learn more about our ongoing luxury custom home projects. We’d love for you to see how we operate! 

Conclusion – How to Choose a Custom Home Builder for Your Needs

Putting in the work to find the home builder that best aligns with your needs can give you the most important thing of all — confidence in the team.  

Building a home is a significant investment. For many clients, the process is quite emotional, so making sure you have a company that values you and provides you with trust is key. 

Our 30+ years of dedicated experience has made us one of the top luxury custom home builders in Virginia Beach. If you’re interested in learning more about our award-winning projects and seeing how we can help you in the process of building your own home, get in touch with us today.

How Long Does It Take to Build a House? – 6 Timeline Variables

Have you ever wondered how long does it take to build a house, especially knowing the world’s first 3D-printed home was constructed in just 24 hours? The timeline for building custom homes from scratch using traditional methods must take numerous variables into account.

On average, building a house from scratch can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months, though the exact timeline will depend on several variables, including the size of the home, the complexity of the overall design, the experience of the construction crew, and inclement weather that arises along the way. Understanding what to expect is the only way to set realistic timelines, create budgets, and coordinate the move-in process.

In this guide, we’ll dissect the typical steps for building a house and see how all of the above factors contribute to the timeline so you can have a better idea of how to prepare.

What Determines the Timing of Building a House? The 6 Key Factors Explained

Once you’ve acquired the lot to build on, you’ll start moving through the 6 home-building phases, all of which can affect the overall timeline.

1. Pre-Construction Phase

The RBC Homes client and architect evaluating the features of the house she need

According to the most recent data from the Census Bureau, the average time it takes to get through the pre-construction process is around 1.3 months for a single-family unit.

So, what does this phase entail?

For custom builds, it means:

  • Meeting with the architect or home designer
  • Creating a floor plan
  • Deciding on structural features
  • Curating design details

Once you make your way through the design phase, you’ll start focusing on permits and regulatory approvals. When we build luxury custom homes here in coastal Virginia, we take care of securing the necessary permits.

However, it’s important to note that if you’re building a home on your own, the permits you need will depend on local and state laws, and in many cases, actually acquiring them takes a long time. Planning ahead is the best way to expedite the process.

Our Happy as a Clam project was one of our latest success stories in this regard. Even with significant height restriction setbacks, we were able to design a beautiful beach home while adhering to code.

2. Construction Phase

Once the permits go through and the city gives the construction team the go-ahead, the construction phase can begin.

For our luxury custom homes, we split the average time it takes to build a house into several mini-phases.

Foundation (1-3 weeks)

The first step in the construction process is lot preparation. In this phase, the groundworks team will ensure your lot is cleared of any debris, such as rocks and trees, so we can begin leveling the ground.

Before laying the foundation, we’ll assess the substructure to determine how to best strengthen the home’s load-bearing capacity. This process could include excavating and placing retaining walls made out of stone, concrete, or blocks.

Next, our team will pour the concrete foundation. The timeline here can vary based on the foundation’s size, though we often like to estimate around 1-3 weeks.

Of course, we may also opt for a different foundation, such as concrete pilings or wood pilings, depending on the design of the home and the soil we’re working on. The important thing to note here is that each foundation option comes with its own pros, cons, and timeline considerations.

Our Aquadesiac Project

There are cases where we built luxury custom homes on sites with high water tables, which required a reinforced concrete beam to support the weight. Even though it required a bit of additional work and added to the timeline, it was a necessary decision for long-term stability.

Our gorgeous Aquadesiac beach home is an excellent example of a home built atop a large foundation, offering a roomy floor plan with eight master suites, plenty of living space, and a versatile outdoor area with an outdoor cabana and a pool.

Let’s explore the next step in order to understand, how long does it take to build a house?

3. Framing and Structure (2-3 weeks)

Once the concrete is dry, we can move on to the framing phase.

In the initial part of the phase, we’ll erect the floors, walls, and roof trusses. Think of this as the “skeleton” of the house. Many of our clients who build custom homes want unique architectural features, which can lengthen the duration of this phase.

Once the skeleton is up, however, we can move on to installing the walls, the roof, and the windows. In the new construction business, this is called the dry-in process. A dried-in home should have all external barriers installed, making it weatherproof so the construction crew can focus on the interior without worrying about rain, wind, or snow.

How long it takes to build a house is often impacted by poor weather conditions or the intricacies of the window and roofing materials you choose. Building a custom home in an area with frequent rain, for example, would make the structural phase more susceptible to delays. 

Our All-Sea-Suns Project

Our Virginia Beach All-Sea-Suns project is an excellent example of a complex structural project our team undertook. It includes a centrally-located elevator, extra-wide ADA-compliant doors, ramps, eight bedrooms, nine bathrooms, and more.

4. Roughing-In (1-2 weeks)

At this point in the construction process, your custom home will have taken shape. The crew will begin laying the foundational network to make your home functional, integrating essential services like:

  • Plumbing: Installing water and sewage lines
  • Electrical: Setting up the main panel, running wires, and placing boxes for switches and outlets
  • HVAC: Installing ducts for A/C and heating

Once everything is installed, the next item on the agenda is making sure it’s up to code. For this, you’ll need local authorities to come by and perform an inspection.

Delays during this phase are often attributed to:

  • The size and complexity of the home build
  • The availability of local inspectors
  • Whether or not the rough-in meets standards or needs modifications

Our Aquatic Dreams Project

In certain custom home-building projects, clients want to integrate their homes with smart features, such as integrated HVAC systems, which can lengthen the process.

When we constructed our award-winning Aquatic Dreams project, we had to overcome the challenge of roughing-in on the Virginia Beach coastline. Even with the unpredictable climate, we were able to quickly create an expertly appointed, open-concept living space with nine bedrooms, custom-designed kitchens, a game room, and a movie theater.

Let’s take a look at the next phase to better understand how long does it take to build a house?

5. Interior and Exterior Work (3-4 weeks)

Finished interior works by RBC homes from their client

One thing we always say when people ask us, “How long does it take to build a new house?” We often say that this phase is where that house begins to feel like a home.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to pin down a general timeline for the interior and exterior work, as it truly depends on the scale of the project and the types of materials you choose.

We’ll start by installing insulation and hanging drywall to form the walls and ceilings in each room throughout the house. The type of insulation you want (spray foam, fiberglass, etc.) or the style of finish you’d like for your drywall (smooth, textured, etc.) can significantly affect the timeline.

Material Considerations

Some builders will use a combination of materials.

Once the basics are complete, we’ll start integrating finishing touches, such as hard surface flooring, paint, and interior trims, such as the windowsills, molding, or baseboards.

While we can certainly (and often do) use specialty finishes and materials for our interiors and exteriors, some may require more time to source or install. For example, working with marble requires a high level of care compared to other materials.

Our Count Your Blessings project had several exterior challenges we had to overcome. The main unusual feature of this project was the massive composite deck, atop which we built a cabana bar. We also raised the foundation higher than the FEMA standard, offering a safer, longevity-focused solution compared to other homes in Sandbridge.

6. Final Touches (2-3 weeks)

During the final phase, your custom home vision comes to life.

The construction team will install key components like fixtures, cabinetry, and appliances.

If you’re considering high-end appliances that aren’t readily available or custom cabinetry that requires more intricate craftsmanship, it could extend the timeline. The same can be said for installing unique lighting or plumbing fixtures.

Our team often likes to complete the landscaping portion of the construction process in tandem with exterior finishes, whether that means installing a basic lawn or custom hardscaping.

After a thorough clean-up, we’ll perform a final walkthrough and quality inspection with you to make sure you’re happy with the home and that everything is functioning as it should.

One of our favorite projects was our Virginia Beach Summer Baycation build, which was unique due to the shape of the lot and the number of elements our clients wanted to include in the home. Even so, we were able to add some beautiful final touches, including a screened-in porch, a cabana bar, and luxury landscaping.

Factors Influencing the Timeline of Building a House

When our clients ask us, “How long does it take to build a house?” We often take them through the many factors that could affect the timeline. Knowing these factors can help you avoid delays and streamline the process.

When you’re ready to start your home-building journey, get in touch with our team at RBC Homes to get a personalized estimate.

Size and Complexity of the House

The size and complexity of your custom home often carry the most weight when determining a timeline. For starters, building your own home will naturally take much longer than erecting a pre-fab or pre-built home.

Plus, the more intricate your home, the more time will be required in the planning and design phases.

Weather Conditions

Weather can be unpredictable, especially here in coastal Virginia. Oftentimes, rain or snow can halt construction activity, especially during the foundation and exterior phases.

Availability of Materials and Labor

Supply shortages can also impact the construction timeline. Looking to install those hand-painted Spanish tiles you’ve always dreamed of? You may have to wait for prices to drop if you’re on a strict budget.

The same goes for labor. Demand for skilled laborers may be much higher around the same time you’re looking to build your home.

Changes in Design or Unexpected Issues

We spend a decent amount of time in the planning phase to avoid design changes down the line. However, they happen, which is why it’s important to account for them. You may have envisioned something different for your home than what actuality presents you with, and that’s okay. Just note that delays may come with it.

In the same vein, unforeseen issues can pop up. The team might discover hazardous materials on the build site, which need to be cleaned before the foundation phase can begin, or cracks on the back patio from poor weather.

Average Timelines of Building a House

So, how long does it take to build a house?

Generally, the timeline looks something like this:

  • Pre-Construction and Planning: 1-2 months
  • Foundation: 1-3 weeks
  • Framing and Structure: 2-3 weeks
  • Roughing-In: 1-2 weeks
  • Interior and Exterior Work: 3-4 weeks
  • Final Touches: 2-3 weeks

The above timeline is for traditional or custom construction. This means the house was built from the ground up using a custom design and blueprints. While you get the benefit of customization and high-quality materials, the process is far more involved, adding to the timeline.

A pre-fab home, on the other hand, won’t give you the same level of customization, as most of the major components are assembled off-site before they’re transported to the home location for assembly. These homes are often more cost-effective, thanks to the reduced need for labor and relatively minimal design flexibility.

Expert Insights of RBC

One of the RBC Homes manager great the new owner and turn over their new house

With 30 years of experience and a team of tireless construction and design experts, RBC Homes has renovated, remodeled, and constructed custom homes from the ground up throughout Vriginia Beach and the surrounding coastal communities.

Our hallmark homes have been a testament to our experience, even with the challenging terrain and complex projects we undertake. Thanks to our proactive planning and careful project management, we’re often able to minimize the duration of typically long-term builds.

If you’d like to take advantage of our deep commitment to quality construction, contact us today to see how we can turn your dream home into a reality.

FAQs – Understanding the Construction Timeline Variables

Let’s take a look at some of our most frequently asked questions regarding the construction timeline.

Can a Home Be Built In 3 Months?

With today’s cutting-edge technology, it is possible to build a home in three months. In fact, this California home was finished on-site in three months.

How Quick Can You Build a Home?

The actual process of building a standard home can take anywhere from 4 to 6 months, though it depends entirely on a number of factors, including the size and complexity of the project, the site, the zoning, and much more.

What Part of Building a Home Takes the Longest?

One of the most time-consuming parts of the home-building process is often getting the permits, permission, approval, and consent. In the worst-case scenarios, this part of the process can take over a year.

Conclusion: How Long Does It Take to Build a House from the Ground Up?

The above guide is simply an estimated timeline for building a house, and depending on the type of house, the experience of the construction crew, and other external variables, the duration of your project can change.

From the pre-planning to the construction phase, and the framing to the final touches, RBC Homes offers the expertise to manage the variables that impact the timeline with finesse, delivering high-end custom homes that are tailored to your vision. 

If you’re ready to build your custom dream home, we invite you to take the next step. Schedule a consultation, explore our portfolio, and get in touch with us today so that we can exceed your expectations!

How to Find a Home Builder – The Ultimate Guide for Success

Finding the right home builder is a massive undertaking.

Not only is building a custom home a significant investment, but the contractor you choose will be your collaborator for several months. To that end, knowing how to find a home builder can make the difference between a home that exceeds your expectations and a construction process that trudges along with no end in sight.

At the bare minimum, a reputable home builder will use top-quality materials that look better, last longer, and require fewer repairs and maintenance in the long run so that even many years down the road, your custom home retains its value. Beyond materials, any great home builder should possess the technical expertise and experience building in your particular region and navigating local laws and regulations.

In this guide, we’re going to explore how successful custom homeowners find the perfect partner for building their dream homes.

Define Your Home Building Needs and Preferences

Now before you go Googling “home builders in your area,” it’s important to have a clear understanding of your expectations for your custom home.

Are you looking to build a cozy, family-friendly vacation home with all the best vacation-style amenities, or is a sleek, modern, minimalist condo for you and your significant other on your radar?

Identifying the Perfect Fit for Your Dream Home

When you narrow down your needs, it becomes exponentially easier to find a home builder that aligns with your vision from the get-go. Here are a few other things to consider:

  • Style: What kinds of home styles are you drawn to? Clean and contemporary? Traditional? Spanish-style? Tudor? Greek Revival? Many home builders specialize in specific styles, and looking at their past work is a great way to determine whether they share your aesthetic preferences. Some of the pics under remodel and renovate were new construction homes. I will go through all those tabs and pics and let you know on that later.
  • Size: Are you looking to build a custom home for your extended family or a small, cottage-style rental to add to your portfolio?
  • Features: What are your must-have features? From open-plan kitchens to smart home technology integration, certain features or amenities can greatly impact the construction timeline and costs.
  • Budget: Be realistic with your budget. Not only will it give you practical limitations on the scale and complexity of your project, but it’ll also help you determine which builders are within reach.

Of course, you’ll also want to consider your timeline. If you’re looking to finish a home project as soon as possible, it might weed out a few contractors with booked schedules.

Research and Compile a List of Home Builders

There are endless local directories and home-building forums dedicated to home construction, which can offer the most insightful resources when determining how to find a home builder. Platforms like Better Business Bureau offer reviews and detailed profiles of builders with snapshots of their experience, past projects, and areas of expertise.

From there, you can explore specific builder’s websites to get a deeper look at their portfolios, which should help you determine whether or not their work aligns with your style.

Of course, you should never underestimate the power of personal recommendations either. In the contracting business, they actually might be the most powerful.

Ask around. See if any friends, family members, or colleagues have built custom homes in the past. If so, they’ll be able to give you the kinds of insight that online reviews simply can’t provide. No one wants to recommend a business to someone they know if they aren’t certain of its quality and reliability, making it easier for you to steer clear of those with less stellar reputations.

Finding Builders with Special Expertise

As you compile your list, pay close attention to builders that share your stylistic preferences. For example, here at RBC Homes, we specialize in luxury custom homes throughout coastal Virginia, and our style is very prevalent in our past work.

The idea here is to determine your needs and find a builder that has strengths and experience to match.

Check Builder Credentials and Reputations

The RBC Homes gets good feedback from their satisfied client.

At this point, you should have your shortlist of potential home builders in hand.

The next step is to check whether or not they have the proper credentials.

It’s important to note that there are different quality assurance agencies for just about every sector, which are put in place to inspect and evaluate companies based on specific parameters. The most popular, globally recognized analysis body is the International Standard Organization (ISO).

A builder with ISO certification, in this case, would be considered more reliable than one without.

Beyond that, any reputable home builder should be able to provide you with their local and statewide license to operate, as well as certifications that demonstrate their expertise.

Track Record and Portfolio

The preview of RBC Homes' successful projects

Next, see how your potential home builder puts their certifications to work.

They should have a decent history of constructing quality homes in the same style and scale as your envisioned project. Of course, a portfolio that’s more diverse than what you envision never hurts too.

Negative Reviews

Often more helpful than positive reviews and testimonials are complaints and legal issues associated with the builder.

You can explore the BBB or get in touch with your local home builder’s associations to source this kind of information. Keep an eye peeled for recurring complaints from past clients, such as budget overruns or construction delays, as these can save you from companies with gaps in their expertise or professionalism.

Interview Potential Builders

Part of knowing how to find a home builder is knowing how to interview one to make sure they have ample communication skills and can bring your vision to life.

Before you contact your potential builder for a consultation, prepare a detailed list of questions.

Ask if they have experience with projects similar to yours or what kinds of challenges they’ve had to overcome in the past. Treat this like a job interview and make sure they understand every detail of your project, including your timeline, budget, and expectations.

What to Assess During the Interview

There are a few things you should pay close attention to during the interview process, though the most important aspect is how they communicate. Are they transparent and straightforward regarding their costs and experience, or do they seem wishy-washy with their answers?

A lack of transparency is a major red flag.

If during your interview, you feel a sense of trust with your potential builder, the next step is to see how they react to your ideas. Are they willing to incorporate your ideas into the project and do their technical abilities match your needs?

Visit Previous Projects and References

Looking at a portfolio online can only tell you so much.

If you have the opportunity, visit some of the home builder’s previous projects. It’s much easier to assess craftsmanship and attention to detail in person. After all, you’re planning to build a home you’ll be intimate with.

Ask about the kinds of fittings and finishes they implemented in the homes you’re looking at, and see how they balance functional design with aesthetics.

Contact Past References

If possible, see if you can contact past references to gather unbiased feedback. A builder will most likely only showcase their best testimonials, which doesn’t provide you with the deepest insight into the real-life customer experience.

In the chance you’re able to get ahold of a past client, there are a few things you should ask about:

  • How satisfied they were with the completed project
  • How well the builder handled the timeline and proposed deadlines
  • How well the budget was handled
  • If there were any issues that arose along the way

Evaluate Costs and Contracts

RBC Homes has obtained fantastic testimonials from its customers, thanks to the quality of the projects carried out

The moment you’ve been in waiting for in our “How to Find a Home Builder” guide — how much is this going to cost?

The best way to find out is to ask for detailed estimates that break down the associated costs with each aspect of the construction process. If your potential home builder is transparent, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Note that the level of breakdown they provide can reflect their attention to detail. On the other hand, any price discrepancies, whether for labor or materials, should be a red flag.

Reviewing Contracts

Even more critical than the cost breakdown is the contract. Contractor horror stories are somewhat of a cliche, though it’s easy to avoid those pitfalls if both parties have a clear and mutual understanding of the contract.

If you aren’t a legal professional, we’d recommend finding someone who is to walk you through your contract to tell you whether or not your interests are protected. However, if you’d like to look it over beforehand, there are a couple of things to pay attention to:

  • Whether or not the scope of the work is outlined clearly
  • The final price, including additional costs and allowances
  • Payment schedules
  • Timelines
  • Warranties

A thorough contract will protect both you and the builder, which is why the review process is such a crucial part of finding a home builder.

Understand the Building Process

The RBC Home architect discusses the home building process with his client.

So, you’ve found a builder that ticks off all the boxes?

Next, you’ll want to see what their construction process looks like.

Our recent article provides an overview of what you can expect from each phase of the construction process, including everything from permitting and laying the foundation to system installation and final touches.

Now, most builders will give you an overview of the construction process in an ideal situation, which is why it’s key to ask about challenges or contingency plans in the case that issues arise. There are endless reasons construction projects face delays, from poor weather conditions to material shortages.

Knowing how your builder addresses common problems to stay on schedule and under budget can provide you with peace of mind when a pivot is necessary.

Establishing Clear Communication Channels

When you have questions about the project or want updates, who do you reach out to?

Having a clear point of contact before the construction process starts is key. The last thing you want to be is left out in the dark.

When we work with clients here at RBC Homes, we make sure to stay engaged with our clients from start to finish, providing them with progress reports along the way.

Verify Permits and Regulations

With years of experience building custom luxury homes throughout Virginia Beach, we’ve gained a deep understanding of the land and the local regulations that encompass it.

The builder you ultimately choose should have the same breadth of experience, as without it, it’s impossible to guarantee the safety, sustainability, and legality of your new home.

Before your projects takes off, ensure they’ve obtained the necessary permits. The permitting process can be quite complex and time-consuming, depending on the region in which you’re building and how strict zoning laws or plumbing and electrical codes are.

Of course, any reputable builder should already be aware of these aspects and be able to navigate them like second nature.

Finalize Your Decision and Begin Construction

A succesfull project of RBC Homes

After you’ve put in the hours of research, it’s time to use your intuition to find the perfect home builder!

If you still have a few builders on your shortlist, make a table that outlines the pros and cons of each, consider factors like how well they communicated during your initial consultation, whether or not their style best aligns with yours, and what their past clients had to say about them.

Trust us when we say that we understand how difficult it can be to balance facts and feelings in knowing how to find a home builder. However, with the deep levels of insight you’ve gained through the exploration phases above, you’ll have a much more confident gut feeling about choosing the partner best equipped for the job.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, knowing how to find the right home builder requires diligent research. Since this might be one of the most significant investments you ever make, however, it’s worth putting in the extra time and effort.

From defining your needs and researching local home builders that align with them to setting up interviews and checking credentials, you now know the ideal method for vetting your home-building partner.

As you get started, we urge you to reach out to us here at RBC Homes. With over 30 years of experience and a deep commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, we’ve become one of the most sought-after home builders in the coastal Virginia region.

Get in touch with us today and let us help you create the perfect home you’ve always dreamt of!