10 Keim Custom Home Building Tips
Before any drawings are made, meet together with your architect, builder and interior designer at the same time on your lot to discuss your vision of your dream home. Ask them individually to relate back to you what each of them heard you say in your description.
Separate your emotions about the Views – Prepare for the Worst! Consider the path of the sun in all seasons, the prevailing winds, tree cover, 100 year flood plain line, drainage easements and all the contours of the land to define the perfect position for your home on your lot. How will your home survive the storm?
This is a must to think about in rural construction. If you plan from the beginning to install a rain water collection system, you will reap the benefits for the life of your home.
Choose a builder that is willing to work with you to achieve your vision. The builder should be flexible and always have the commitment to your project as if it were her/his own home.
Identify your expectations of the builder in a written contract. Have your builder identify their expectations of you (the homeowner) in the same written contract.
Have your builder define the construction process from the beginning to completion stages for your home. There must be a clear understanding of what you will accept and what you will not accept during this process from your builder.
Think about how your family lives. Consider traffic patterns, food preparation preferences and task lighting. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Special occasions are a good place to start.
Create a budget with your builder that is realistic. Communicate that you can “take the truth” and the builder will not be tempted to just “tell you what you want to hear” for fear of losing your business or your confidence. “Building in the Dark” is not an option – ever. Always have full disclosure to create full trust.
Always treat your builder with respect even during times when communication and understanding are difficult. Important tip: Loud assaulting energy = low understanding. Calm controlled energy = high understanding.
Have a clear understanding in a written contract that addresses change orders. Your builder should have a “Book of Change Orders” that is associated with appropriate charges. Pay your change order charges on a weekly or biweekly basis so that you don’t get a large bill (and a big shock) at closing. Be aware that most change orders will affect construction time schedules and may delay your project.