Before you can build the custom home of your dreams in the Colorado front range, you have to build a team that will help you achieve that goal. The goal is to assemble a group of professionals who understand your vision and can provide each of the services you need for a project as complex as building a house from scratch.
If this is your first time building a custom home in Colorado, this task in and of itself may be a bit daunting. However, while there is always a little risk involved when hiring a new team for a project that requires a major financial investment, there are measures you can take when vetting prospective candidates to increase the odds of hiring a great team.
Who Is Part of the Custom Home Building Team?
When it comes to creating a new home in Colorado Springs, Monument or the surrounding area, there are a couple of key team members you’ll need on your ‘home building’ team. First, you need an architect to assist with creating plans for your custom home. Next, you’ll need the builder or general contractor in Colorado who oversees the construction phase of the project. You’ll also want to have an interior designer to help round out the team. Your interior designer will be responsible for selecting all of the finishes that will complete your custom home such as cabinetry, paint colors, tile, flooring and even furniture. Finally, you may also require the assistance of a realtor to find and purchase the land on which to construct your new home.
One option when designing and building a new Colorado Springs home is to hire each professional individually, which typically involves creating a set of plans with your architect and then bidding out the project to a general contractor or home builder to execute construction. Another option is to hire a design-build firm, such as Gowler Homes, that can handle each aspect of the project. This approach negates the need for you to search around for multiple team members and then coordinate between them throughout the home building process. Gowler Homes can even help you find the perfect piece of land in the Colorado Front Range for your project, in addition to overseeing the design and construction.
Selecting a Team for Your Custom Home Build
There are numerous benefits to working with a design-build team, such as streamlined communication, better cohesion and a more efficient transition from design to construction. Even still, you have to find a reliable custom home builder that offers design-build services that are right for you. The quality and type of services a company offers, their design style, and their unique home building process and collaborative approach can all influence the cost, style and quality of your project, as well as how much you enjoy the process. Here is how to get started on finding a professional design-build team to construct your new custom home:
1. Set a Preliminary Budget
Although you won’t deal with hard numbers until later in the project, you should have a ballpark range of how much you want to invest in your new custom Colorado home before seeking out your dream team. Different design-build companies may prefer working with certain price points, so establishing a preliminary budget upfront enables you to narrow down your selection. At Gowler Homes, our budget ‘sweet spot’ for building custom homes is between $1,000,000 and $3,000,000, not including land.
As you establish a preliminary budget to share with your builder, consider all the expenses that may be involved in your new home build, such as purchasing land and the costs of construction, utilities and permitting. You’ll also want to clearly communicate how much, if any, landscaping you are expecting to be included in your budget.
2. Do Your Research
The next step is to make a list of possible custom home builders in Colorado based on your budget and type of house you envision. There are a few effective ways to do preliminary research on prospective home building companies in the Colorado Springs and surrounding area. First, you can check with the Housing & Building Association of Colorado Springs or even the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) to get a list of companies that construct homes in your area.. From articles and ads, you can get a sense of which custom home builders are active in the Colorado Front Range. Additionally, your friends, family members and neighbors may have good recommendations—especially if they just finished a similar project.
After you have collected names from these different sources, you can then further research each candidate by viewing their professional website and social media accounts. Make sure they are licensed and insured, and check for affiliations with reputable industry organizations. Find out if there are outstanding complaints or lawsuits against the company and read reviews on Google, Facebook, Houzz, Angie’s List and other sources. Most builders in Colorado will also have an online portfolio that you can peruse to make sure your vision aligns with the types of projects the team creates.
3. Interview Your Top Candidates
Once you’ve developed your shortlist of potential design-build firms for your project, schedule a consultation with a couple of them. This is a chance to meet the owner or a project manager face to face and get down to the details before choosing a home builder or signing a contract. It’s also the time to ask plenty of questions so that you are able to make an informed decision when the time comes.
To help you plan for your consultation, here are a few helpful interview questions to ask a Colorado home builder before hiring them:
- How long have you been in business? Did you ever operate under a different name?
- What home styles are you most experienced with?
- Do you consistently use the same vendors and subcontractors?
- Do you offer a warranty on materials and craftsmanship? If so, what is the time period for the warranty?
- What does your typical home-building process look like, and how long will my project take?
- When and how can I make changes or upgrades throughout the project? Do all decisions need to be finalized before construction begins?
- Will there be one person I primarily communicate with for the duration of the project? If they are unavailable or out of town, how should I communicate questions and concerns?
- How is the construction budget developed, and how does financing work?
- How can I track the progress on my custom home build throughout the project?
- What is your process for inspections throughout construction and the final walk-through?
- Can you provide references from previous clients and/or let me tour a home you are currently building in Colorado?
- How do you help with budget control and implementing cost-saving measures throughout the project?
Make sure to actually jot down the answers to these questions, as well as your overall impressions from each meeting, so you have an easier time comparing candidates later and then narrowing your options to the top choice. During or after the meeting, see if you can visit a couple of the builder’s recently completed homes. You can also directly contact previous clients of each respective home builder to get a first hand account of the good, bad and ugly.
Although vetting potential custom home builders in Colorado takes time and commitment, doing your due diligence at this stage is essential to set up your project for success.
Designing and Building Your Custom Home in Colorado
Building a new custom home is likely to be one of the biggest investments you make in your life. You want a team by your side that understands the importance of creating a place where your family can thrive for years to come. At Gowler Homes, we take a collaborative approach that involves you as the homeowner and our team of professionals to design and construct a new home in the Colorado Front Range that fulfills your vision and makes the most of your investment.