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Choosing a Custom Home Builder

If you've always dreamed of building your dream home but have never built a custom home before you probably feel overwhelmed by the prospect of building a custom home in the Charleston area of South Carolina. While choosing a custom home builder can be daunting it doesn't need to be. Building a custom home is an incredibly rewarding process. Not only do you get to build the home they way you live in it, but you also get the satisfaction of knowing what's inside the walls and the great craftsmanship that went into it.

When choosing a custom builder it's important to ask the right questions so that the fit is good. Even with the most experienced and awarded builder, if the fit isn't good it's not going to be a positive experience.

You're going to spend a lot of time with the builder and their team so it's important that you are compatible. You want to choose someone who will listen to you, but can also tell you the honest truth when necessary. You want to choose an honest and trustworthy home builder and you probably want someone who is reliable.

Below is a list of tips and interview questions to help guide your selection process...


• Home building is a service industry – Not a product. A professional home builder is your partner and consultant in investigating design and construction options, plus their costs.

• Everyone says they do quality work so be a skeptic. Go see their work.

• The finished home is only as good as the design.

• Remember 1/3 of the cost of your home is materials and products priced on a worldwide commodities market. 2/3 is the labor you pay to assemble these materials. Labor costs can vary wildly based on the specific Installation Methods and skill level a home builder requires from subcontractors.

• Always call references to inquire about their experience.

• Check with Better Business Bureau for complaints and company history.

Home Builder Interview Questions:

  1. How long have you been in business?

  2. What is your educational & experience background?

  3. Do you have a professional designer(s) to help with space planning and selection?

  4. Are your carpenters employees or subcontractors?

  5. Do you have a written scope of work/product installation methods for each trade? If yes ask to see it.

  6. What professional associations do you belong to?

  7. Where do you bank and who is your contact person?

  8. Where do you purchase your lumber and who is your contact person?

  9. Do you use the same trade subcontractors consistently or receive bids for the lowest price?

  10. Will you provide a written timetable for project construction?

  11. Who will be my daily contact? How will they contact me?

  12. Can I receive a copy of your warranty and Homeowner's Manual?

  13. How long has your key employees been with your company?

  14. How often will my home be cleaned during the construction process?

  15. How many homes have you built similar to mine?

  16. On average, how much do your customers deviate from your allowances?

  17. What is your change order policy?

  18. What happens if you miss the agreed upon closing date?

  19. What guarantees do you offer?

Why should I choose your company?

For more tips about building your new custom home in Charleston download our free resource guide.

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