For many home seekers, there's a romantic ideal to new construction. It's exciting to think of starting fresh, in a brand new home. In reality, however, the seemingly simple idea "I want to build new" can become immediately overwhelming without good guidance. We had a chat not long ago with Anthony Requia at Brush and Hammer Builders, Inc of Portland Maine to get his take on the best route to success for the uninitiated. Here is what we learned.
The custom home process can be broken down into five distinct phases. Location, Contract Negotiation, Design, Build, Follow-up. Each of these, managed independently become the collective foundation for turning an area of raw land you love into the home of your dreams.
This part is entirely up to you. But a discussion with a skilled realtor in advance, in coordination with your builder will help you choose based on where you want to be, dream house style and size, and cost of the lot. From the get go, knowing your whole project budget will help you with location, as the builders costs will be on top of the land, just like the house.
This is where you and your builder get to know each other and where the nitty gritty details are defined. Anthony has told us that the focus of the contract negotiation process at Brush and Hammer Builders is about building trust. "We want our clients to be happy and comfortable. We'll take all the time they need to put together a contract that everyone understands."
Hand in hand with contract negotiation is the actual design of the home. From foundation, to studs, to fixtures, to outlet locations, each item of your new home should be considered. Price goes with updated details, siding choices, roof lines and porches, but this is the fun part! From the basics to the beautiful, you get to choose.
The build process takes several months. A quality builder will keep you informed as the build goes along, and will involve you in decisions when things go off plan, suggest new ideas that arise in the moment and keep the momentum going for you. This part is also exciting, even thrilling, as the new home gradually materializes.
Before you take ownership of your new home, be sure to go through the house with the builder for a punch list of details that may still need attention. There is a standard builders guarantee in the State of Maine, that is in place for the first 12 months after you take on the keys, but the best builders will stick with you through the seasons on their own guarantee as well to address settling changes, manufacturing defects, and relevant items that may need attention as the house becomes your home. Pride in craftsmanship is something to look for in a builder, even as you are in the first phase of location search. You want your builder to love your home as much as you do!
"Alot of times, when we first get started, people are very nervous. But we believe the build process should be fun for the client. It's a big investment, and their home! So we work very hard to take the stress out, from day one, until they don't need us anymore."
- Anthony Requia, Brush and Hammer Builders, Inc.