Is there a big difference between a luxury home builder and other home builders?
Honestly, the main difference is in what they specialize in. A luxury home builder specializes in luxury homes and will often carry fewer project but with a much larger scale than those of a typical home builder.
A more important difference, no matter what type of home you are building, is the difference between an experienced home builder and someone that just calls themselves a builder. You can have a very experienced home builder that doesn’t focus on luxury homes, and regrettably you will find inexperienced home builders who specialize in luxury homes.
Too often in today’s market, you will find guys that call themselves builders, but they don’t have the know how, the years of experience, and preferably the education followed up with years of experience on how to build a home. They depend on the integrity of their subcontracted trade to do the work for them and hopefully, all of it will come together and make the ‘builder’ look good.
What are some key things to look for when choosing a luxury home builder?
As this will be one of your most expensive purchases/investments, take your time to interview several luxury home builders. This includes touring five of their homes… the usual three is not enough to give you a baseline of their quality of workmanship and the variety of homes that they have built, meaning, size, style and complexity of build. It will show you their spectrum of quality in the exterior and interior finishing.
When touring past projects, don’t be concerned if you like the layout or elevations. Each house was built for a specific clients requirements and style so it may not be what you would have picked. What you want to focus on is the workmanship. It is easy to spot faulty workmanship vs. professional workmanship.
Get the names of the owners of these homes and call them, asking questions that are important to you. Some of them should include: What was the attitude of the builder, especially when facing issues or obstacles along the way? How was the builder’s communication? Did he give you enough notice to make decisions? Did he keep you updated with timing, cost, scope of work and address any quality issues you may have had?
If you have two or more builders that have passed all your check boxes from the above, then go with the one you like best. Pending upon the size and complexity of your home, you are going to spend some 12 – 18 months of your life with this builder. It helps if you like him.
Our Luxury Home Builder:
Michal J Cerny is PMP, P.GSC is the President and CEO of multi award winning Ambassador Fine Custom Homes Inc. which has been featured in multiple magazines, newspapers and television