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Thinking about bidding on your new future custom home? These 4 tips will help set you up for a successful process.

Maybe you already have been working diligently with an architect, to achieve the perfect design for your brand-new custom home.

Or maybe you are running around the internet late at night on a search… a search for perfection. Custom home perfection.

But wait, have you selected your dream builder yet? Do you have a list started? Or any choices narrowed down?

Are you wondering how to be successful in the bidding phase?

There are so many things to consider when creating a home.

It is best to start looking at potential custom builder candidates once you begin the design phase with an architect, or not long after you have initiated this process.

In the beginning, there are important steps to follow along the path towards actually making your bid. This is a huge long-term investment, and it is important to take the time to do your research!

You will reach your goals before you know it, but you need to take the time to prepare first.

Read these four tips for custom home bidding success to help set you off in the right direction.

Structural Design Specifications Before Bidding

structural design elementsEstablishing your design specifications is the first and most important step in the bidding process.

It is best to create and assemble as many structural design details as possible before bidding. The more design specifications you have laid out with an architect, the more likely you will stay on budget for the project.

This way, a custom builder should be able to use your design to come up with an accurate preliminary estimate, which allows you to sit down and truly evaluate builders and their costs.

You want to address the most expensive areas of your home first so that you can pace your spending. The more design specifications you have for the high-cost categories, the easier it will be to stay on track with your bids.

What specifications should you provide to your top candidates?

  • Type of insulation you would like to use
  • Type of roof whether concrete, metal, shingles, clay tile, or flat
  • Type of foundation for your home
  • Style of interior and exterior doors
  • If you would like to include a generator
  • If you would like a tankless or conventional water heater
  • HVAC equipment and system preferences
  • The type of windows
  • The type of exterior, if brick, stucco, concrete, or siding

Of course, each build is different.  You should always consult with your top builder candidates if more details need to be ironed out.

Make Design Selections Before Bidding

The next step in establishing your readiness for the bidding process is making design selections.

Even if you aren’t quite sure of a color scheme just yet, it will be incredibly helpful to figure out what materials you want to use for the counters and flooring.

You can always decide on the specific details later.

What design specifications should you provide to your top builder candidates?

  1. Tile material (porcelain, ceramic, stone)
  2. Brand and type of appliances
  3. Plumbing fixtures
  4. Countertop material (granite, marble, quartz)
  5. Preferences for trim (window, door, ceiling, baseboards)
  6. Your budget for light fixtures
  7. Your budget for landscaping

Another great approach to choosing design elements is to find or take pictures for inspiration! Take a picture of that exact granite countertop you want, or that perfect mosaic tile for the entryway. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and it’s the perfect visual guide for your builder. Seeing what you want will ensure you get the right materials for your build.

Choosing the Best Company

Now that you have gotten past selecting your design specifications, you can focus on choosing a builder for your custom home.

So how do you find the perfect builders for the job?

A good rule to follow when choosing a builder is to get three bids to compare your options.

Start by interviewing at least five comparable home builders. Make sure these builders are reputable and qualified. A good place to start is reading testimonials, calling past customers, or even asking your architect for a recommendation.

get 3 estimates to compareYou’ll want to invest significant time and research into this step. Your builder is someone you will spend a lot of time talking and collaborating with, and you want this relationship to be a positive one. Ultimately, the success of your build and the future of your home rests on choosing the right partner.

The more time you spend on finding reputable builders, the more likely you will secure three successful bids. Then you can sit down and take the time to consider your options.

To avoid a nightmare homebuilding scenario, it is important to understand what a reasonable and realistic bid looks like.

Easy-to-compare bids have three things in common:

  1. They are from comparable builders
  2. They are structured the same way
  3. They are extremely detailed based on your specifications

Your Architect and Builder – Working Together

When assembling your “dream team” for building your new quality custom home, you want to choose partners who will work well together. You want everyone to be on the same page. Your custom home builder is the centerpiece of your dream team.

One thing you want to avoid is a design that is too “overdone,” which ultimately drives your bids way beyond your budget.

The ideal way to prevent this is to select an architect and builder that can work on the same team, even before starting the design. This allows the builder to create a budget while the plans get drawn, and modifications can be made along the way.

This ensures you will have the home you both can love and afford!

Welcome to Your New Home (Almost)

It may seem intimidating when you first get started, so just stay optimistic, focused, and excited. Research, research, and research some more and find the best builder for your project.

In the not-so-distant future, you will be curled up on the couch of your brand-new custom-designed home.

Don’t worry, you will be there in no time at all!