Selecting a builder with a reputation for being fair priced creates a better chance for project success and client satisfaction.
Putting all of this together made it clear to me that each of us have an important role in the successful outcome of a potential custom home project. In the first paragraph I said that custom home clients don’t know where to start, this statement is only partially true. They all have already started, with a budget in mind. There are exceptions when high net worth individuals ask for their homes to be drawn, with everything they want, and pay for what it costs. I have found that most families have a budget. Even when I ask a client what their budget is and they reply ” We really don’t have one.”
I follow up with “OK, are we below 2 million dollars?”
This gets a quick response and we then both know that they have a number in mind. Starting with a project budget, and designing to that budget makes as much sense as shooting at a target on a tree versus a forest. In my experience the successful outcome of almost every custom home project depends upon designing to a final targeted cost.
Collaboration is the obvious answer.
Architects and plan Designers can be researched and interviewed to find a good match for the type of home a family wants, and the timing required for finished drawings. Builders can be researched in advance as well. As an award winning Austin custom home builder we receive many inquires from new clients trying to determine if we are a match for their project. While “bidding” a project seems to make sense to some, no two companies “bid” the same and make the same assumptions on a project. Among professional builders there is a saying that “The lowest bidder is the guy who is willing to lose the most money.”
Selecting a builder with a reputation for being fair priced creates a better chance for project success and client satisfaction. With a professional builder involved during the planning process, costs can be observed and evaluated as they present themselves. In this case clients can see when their requests push budget boundaries and make decisions along the way. Something as simple as including standard sized windows versus special order windows can save thousands of dollars without compromising a plan. Based on almost 40 years in the building industry, and my much appreciated focus groups across the country, I suggest that the first step in the custom home process is to assemble the team. This often includes a Realtor, Architect or plan Designer, a professional builder, and in some cases a financial partner to bring the home to life. Starting with a target budget in mind drives the process. It should be noted that often the final project still exceeds the initial “target budget.” However, if handled collaboratively the client will see this occurring during the design process and make new decisions accordingly. Successful custom home projects begin and end this way. The “how much does this house cost” method is almost never as smooth, or fun. Steve Zbranek, Award Winning Austin Custom Home Builder Austin Hall of Fame Builder 2 Time National Master Builder of the Year 3 Time Austin Business Journal Custom Builder of the Year www.zhcustomhomes.com