There is a perception among some home buyers that building a custom home is a stressful, expensive, unpredictable undertaking. All of those things can be true…with the wrong custom home builder. At Solid Rock, building homes exactly suited to the needs and wants of our clients is our passion – and we believe that the process should be as enjoyable as the finished product. We love it when months-long clients turn into lifelong friends, and that wouldn’t happen if building a home were a hassle! Here, we’d like to deconstruct some common complaints and misconceptions about building a custom home.
Myth #1: “Building a custom home is expensive”
Square foot for square foot, is building a custom home more expensive than buying an existing home? Maybe. If you compare the cost per square foot of a custom-built home against a production spec house or a semi-custom home, yes, a custom home will be more expensive. However, if you’re looking for a home with limited or no options for room layout, flooring, countertops, exterior, fixtures, etc. that looks just like the home five houses down, then building a custom home is probably not the best choice for you. But if you want the freedom to pick the size, layout, colors, flooring, fixtures, etc., of your home and build it on the lot of your choice, the cost will only be as expensive as your tastes. You have the freedom to splurge on beautiful, unique flooring for your kitchen but use a more inexpensive material in your bathrooms, if you choose. We can build you an extravagant mansion, or we can build you a conservative home on a beautiful mountain lot. When you build a custom home, the options are endless, but they are not all expensive. Before assuming you can’t afford to build custom, contact us – we’ll discuss your dreams and your budget and help you determine if building a custom home is right for you.
Myth #2: “Builders always go over budget”
At Solid Rock, we are very careful to stick to your budget. We respect the fact that a home is many families’ biggest investment. Once we’ve built you a home with your dream kitchen, we don’t want you to have to limit its use to beanies and weanies because we went over budget! Unfortunately, there are some builders out there who will paint an unrealistic picture of how inexpensively they can build a home. This could result in going over-budget, or worse, leave you with a poor-quality home that will cost you thousands in repairs down the road. Before you entrust your home and pocketbook to a custom home builder, do a LOT of digging – research the company’s history, look at their warranty, and talk to past customers to make sure you know what you’re getting into.
Before moving on to myth #3, we do want to point out that while we won’t go over your budget, that doesn’t mean YOU can’t go over your budget! Keep in mind that if a home is bid on the basis of carpeting the bedrooms and living areas but you later decide you want to do the entire house in Macassar Ebony hardwood, that’s going to result in a [pretty significant] revision to your original bottom line.
Myth #3: “Custom homes are never finished on time”
As with myth #2, some custom home builders over-promise and under-deliver with regard to the timeline. We’ve built a few houses in our time, so we know how long it takes to get you into your new home. Obviously there are things we can’t control or foresee, such as the Waldo Canyon Fire or the Black Forest Fire that wiped out hundreds of homes. Had we been building a home in Waldo Canyon or Black Forest at the time, we would not have been able to finish it on time (or at all!). However, barring “acts of God” such as a wildfire, we make it a priority to get our clients into their custom homes on time, and our track record reflects that. Again, doing extensive digging on your potential builder will reveal whether or not that builder has a reputation for getting homes finished on time.
Myth #4: “Building a custom home is stressful”
Building your dream home should be exciting, not stressful! Most of the stress people report having experienced likely originated from one of the points already discussed: their builder went over-budget, leaving them strapped for cash at move-in, or they didn’t get to move in on schedule. For some, the aspect of having to make all the decisions involved in building a home can be overwhelming. Like many home builders, we have someone to walk you through the selection process to minimize stress. One thing to consider while interviewing home builders, though seemingly trivial, is whether or not you like them! You will spend a good amount of time during the building process interacting with the custom home builder and others on the team, so make sure they’re people you don’t mind spending time with.
Myth #5: “Custom homes are difficult to resell”
By definition, production and semi-custom homes are designed to appeal to the masses, while custom homes are designed specifically for the individual. Therefore, depending on what features you choose to incorporate into your home, it may indeed appeal to a smaller audience should you decide to resell. One of our employees once dreamed of building a house that had tunnels connecting rooms and floor levels – kind of like an elaborate McDonald’s PlayPlace (give her a break – she was young!). A home like that would be very difficult to resell! The thing about myth #5 isn’t that the statement is untrue, but it’s generally irrelevant. At Solid Rock, we not only want to build your dream home, but we also want it to be your last home. Owner Lain Chappell is certified with the National Association of Home Builders as an Aging in Place Specialist. That means he can make sure your home fits your current and future needs so it’s the last home you ever need to build. If you don’t want this home to be your last home (ex. you’d like to downsize after the kids are out of the house), we can take measures during the design process to ensure your home retains resale appeal while still making it uniquely yours.
Myth #6: “All builders are essentially the same – after all, if they didn’t do a good job, they wouldn’t still be in business, right?”
We don’t really think anyone thinks this, but we wanted to say it anyway – all builders are NOT equal! It is important when choosing a custom home builder that you
- make sure they have a good reputation – search for reviews online, read testimonials, and check their BBB rating. Once you’ve narrowed your choice to your preferred builder, get a list of former clients you can contact. Call those clients and ask them what they liked or didn’t like about working with that builder and whether or not they would recommend using that builder.
- find out when the builder went into business, and ask to speak with one of their first clients. This should give you an idea of how that builder’s homes hold up over time, as well as if the client was satisfied with post-construction service.
- reconcile any differences in “construction experience” and the length of time the company has been in business. There are plenty of legitimate reasons for a custom home builder having more experience than his company’s time in business suggests, but there are dishonorable reasons too. A builder who makes a bad name for himself in the community may simply dissolve the company and start over with a new company name. The BBB rating will reflect an A for the new company, but it will also indicate how long the new company has been around. A builder lacking integrity in building is unlikely to have any more integrity while trying to win your business, so do your homework!
- talk with the builder, not just a salesperson. Salespeople can be great at getting your attention and giving you basic information about the builder and the builder process, but once the contract is signed, you probably won’t be working with the salesperson from that point forward. This might not be important (or even feasible) if you’re building a production or semi-custom home, but when you build a custom home, you’ll be working directly with the builder, so it’s important that you feel comfortable working with him.
- go with your gut. If at any point during the interview and consultation process you feel like something is just not right, or you don’t “click” with that builder, trust your gut even if you can’t put a finger on what’s bothering you. You can save yourself a lot of heartache by simply trusting your own intuition.
Truth: Building with Solid Rock is an enjoyable experience!
As much as we might like to think so, we’re not the only great home builder in town. It’s important to consider your options and make sure you pick the home builder that best fits you. But rest assured, if you choose to build a home with Solid Rock Custom Homes, we will make the experience enjoyable. We will be upfront about costs, timeline, and potential challenges. We will keep you updated on progress via our online project management program, Build Tools. We’ll walk you through the selection process to minimize the stress. And at the end, we’ll present you with a beautiful home unlike any other.
Solid Rock Custom Homes has been remodeling and building custom homes in the Colorado Springs, Colorado area and the surrounding El Paso, Douglas and Teller counties since 1995. We would love to sit down with you to discuss or dream with you about your custom home. Please contact us at 719-494-0932 or request a consultation here. Check out some of our beautiful projects at http://www.houzz.com/pro/solid/solid-rock-custom-homes.