In this article, you will learn what to look for and the red flags to avoid when hiring a custom home builder in Charleston, South Carolina.
Things to consider
Reputation – You have to look into the company and ensure they have positive reviews through and through. Look at what people say about them, the world of mouth is very important and efficient when making decisions. Also, do your research and look up sites like BBB, Better Business Bureau, and check on their ratings, what complaints do they have posted on the site? Are the issues resolved or unresolved? Besides that, you should also look into their banking and supplier reputation as they will be working as your middlemen with the bank and contracting suppliers. A good reputation is definitely a good start to a dream home.
Business portfolio – besides the company’s reviews, you have to look at the credentials they have. Are they a licensed company with trade associations in the industry? Look at their experience levels as more experience means they can easily adapt to your needs because they have probably done what you want for your home. What are their success rates? As to go on tour to their past projects and homes and check on the quality of their work. Speak to their references and past clients.
Check to see if the company is up to date with the latest building practices. Usually, if they have trade associations it is very likely they are up to date but it will not hurt to check on these small things. Look into their technological advancements and what other things they offer their customers.
Look to see if they have good customer service. You want to work with a company that is transparent about its business model. What products they use in building, timelines and price estimates. The company should have fast response and great social media integration so it is easy to reach them either by Facebook, email or phone.
Budgetary needs – You should work with a custom home builder that fits into your budget. They should be flexible to suit your needs and even though they have fixes needs, they should be accommodatable and no compromise on the quality of the work.
The familiarity of the area– You want to work with a company that has worked in Charleston, SC as they will be complicit with the law and environmental factors associated with the area. You don’t want to be hot with surprises once the project has begun
The turnaround time – This is also a factor because you don’t want to contract customers home builders who have many other projects ongoing. This means you are likely to be neglected and the turnaround time will be more than you expected. Am sure for most of you, you would like your home to be built fast so you can start to enjoy the fruits of your labour. They should have enough dedicated staff and subcontractors who will give you support from the start to the end of the project.
Things to avoid
A contracting company that asks for large deposits upfront. This is a major flag as a reputable custom home builder will ensure they have enough credits combined with your first deposit, enough to cover the starting costs of the project. If they are asking for a large deposit it could mean they are new to the industry and they have no prior assets to use to start off your project.
Unrealistic timelines – you want you home to be built fast enough for you to move in as soon as possible. But it doesn’t mean they the work should be done hurriedly and messily. You want quality work done regardless of the time. But that also doesn’t mean too much time as that will mean they are not giving you the much-required attention.
Fixed pricing quotation – A good company will give you all the estimated quotations you will need for the project. There is no need you go and start stressing and arguing about the pricing later on in the middle of the project.
Unlicensed builders – if they have no license it means they have no permission to give out the service. Which could also mean that they have no insurance and are not supported by any trade associations. In case any accidents or injuries happen during the period of the project, you will be the one to pay for the damages.
Cheap prices– Most new companies will offer discounted prices making it seem like you are saving on costs but you might come to pay a whole lot more during repairs and replacements. You want quality products and service for your home building but you don’t want to have compromises when it comes to the standards of your house.
Aggressive attitude and behaviour – As described above on the things to look for, if you find a company is aggressive and it’s in a hurry to sign you up as a client, consider that a red flag. You could end up being complicit to other issues you were not supposed to be a part of. They could be on the verge of bankruptcy or they just want to fill their books with no quality work. This also goes for if they deny signing contracts upfront or providing references for their work.
Irregular working hours – You want your custom home builders to be active when you can be available to supervise. If they have irregular working hours it means they are pressed for time or they don’t want you actually managing the house indirectly and that it’s a red flag.