Finding the perfect custom home builder in Portsmouth, NH or anywhere across the US can be a challenge. There are several types of builders, so you first need to determine what kind of home builder you need, based on your requirements and budget.
Starting at the top, there are “high end luxury home builders” in contrast to “community or production builders” who build hundreds of homes each year. In the middle, are smaller “custom home builders” who stay actively involved in your project from beginning to end.
Custom Home Builders for High End, Luxury Homes
High end, luxury custom home builders typically have higher overhead. They spend a lot more time with their clients, learning what they want and finding products and materials to meet demanding requirements. Their attention to even the smallest details comes at a price, that luxury home buyers are willing to pay. You will find more luxury homes in desirable locations like Portsmouth, NH and the surrounding NH seacoast.
Builder's plans are usually drawn by architects who spend a lot of time interviewing you, making rough drawings of the design, and making revisions before coming up with a final draft. He/she will work with you to choose colors and finishes, then with the builder to determine feasibility and costs. The building process is lengthy and requires a lot of focus on your builder's part to assure quality and coordination. In other words, it is the most expensive of the three types of home builders.
Custom Home Builders Building Communities
If you want a more affordable option, you should consider home builders who build hundreds of custom home in communities and are sometimes referred to as “production builders.” These custom home builders offer model homes that you can choose from, and because the builders are efficient at their system, they're able to build their custom homes quickly and stay on budget. They tend to offer a limited number of options (2 or 3 different layouts) within the same floor plan, so if you want more flexibility, you may be dissatisfied with this option.
Many production home builders know their strengths when it comes to building homes and are aware of their limitations in what can be modified. These homes can be customized by the buyer any time before completion. Typically these builders offer a nice selection of finishes from roofing and siding choices, to cabinets, hardware, flooring, lighting and paint colors. At Highfield Commons in Rochester, NH they even offer 3 different types of custom, interior trim which isn't something I'm used to seeing.
Sometimes the limited flexibility of production home builders causes buyers to look at smaller, custom home builders.
Smaller, Custom Home Builders Offer Flexibility
Customers who are frustrated with the production home builders limited ability to offer customization, often turn to small, custom home builders who offer greater flexibility and a hands-on approach. These home builders, many who offer design build services, can be found in the same towns as the big sub-divisions where production home builders have all the lots tied up.
These seasoned builders generally build 3 or more custom houses a year, so they can give homeowners the attention you're looking for. There are different ways to find a custom home builder that suits your personality and has experience with the type of home you want to build. As few homeowners have experience working with custom builders, it's a good idea to talk to several builders so you can learn what's important to you.
When our 4-story addition, we worked with an architect to draw up our plans (a kitchen remodel in 100 year old Victorian) and asked 3 custom home builders for estimates. We visited houses for 2 builders — 1 in process, the other completed where we also got feedback on the remodeling experience from the homeowners. Sometimes custom builders come with the lot because they've partnered with the land owner or developer. When we wanted to build a contemporary home, we picked a custom builder developing a street with 10 contemporary homes.
You can use traditional word-of-mouth referrals from friends and associates at work, talk to homeowners in neighborhoods where new homes are going up, check property files at the town office to see who built homes you like or get referrals from architects. Custom home builders should be online so if you do a local search, like googling “remodeling and Newburyport” you will find custom home builders like Green Construction.
Good luck finding your custom home builder.
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