Though builders might generally use similar tools and materials when building homes, not all are alike when it comes to things like technique, training and customer service. Finding the right builder whose business approach aligns well with your personal preferences is essential to a pleasant home-building experience.
When a potential Home Buyer walks in our office we encourage them to talk to several builders. I promote using a builder that is a member of the local trade associations such as the Home Builders Association or the Chamber of Commerce. You want to select a builder that has experience with the type/style of home you want to build. You want to assure the builder is not only licensed and insured but properly licensed and insured. I also think it is important that the builder has experience within the governing municipality as well.
The builder will be asking you plenty of questions during your initial meeting to discuss the home you envision. But the questions you ask the builder are equally important to determine if it’s going to be a positive partnership. Consider asking the builder about the following:
Work Experience – You will want to find a builder with extensive experience building homes similar to the one you want. Ask to see examples of floor plans and designs they’ve done before to ensure their company can deliver what you need. You should also ask if they have or are working toward any professional designations, which show that the builder has advanced training in a particular area. The North Carolina Home Builders Association offers several designations that are recognized by the Licensing Board for General Contractors. The Accredited Master Builder designation requires numerous hours of course work. The National Association of Home Builders also offers many course to achieve designations. A few examples of such designations include a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS), a Graduate Master Builder (CMB), and a Certified Green Professional (CGP).
References – Any high-quality builder should be ready to provide you with several names and phone numbers of satisfied customers. If they can’t, consider that a red flag and walk away. When reaching out to those former clients, ask about how well the builder followed through on the initial plans, and if the builder met their expectations regarding budget and timing. Don’t forget the most telling question of them all: If they could do it all over, would they hire that builder again?
Communication Style – Many builders will do their best to accommodate your communication preferences. But it’s always best to establish expectations as early as possible. The frequency (weekly, monthly, as-needed, etc.) and method (phone, text, email) of how you communicate early on with each other is something that will set the tone throughout the whole building process.
Lastly, visit a current site the builder has under construction. Look around not at the colors or selections of the home but how is the material staged? Is it on the dirt exposed to the elements? Or is the material stacked neat and accounted for? This may be a good indicator of a builders organization skill set. Controlling materials is a must to achieve budget goals.
Chad & Emilee Collins
An unlimited licensed general contractor as well as a licensed home inspector, custom home builder Chad Collins transforms clients’ dreams into elegant, fashionable, timeless homes while maintaining a reputation for skilled craftsmanship, superior quality, and incomparable client service. Collins Design-Build is consistently ranked by the Triangle Business Journal as one of the top custom home builders in the Triangle.
Chad’s commitment to excellence has earned Collins Design-Build numerous top industry awards, including the National Certified Green Professional Builder of the Year. The Durham, Orange & Chatham’s Builder of the Year, and twice awarded the coveted Triangle Sales and Marketing Council’s MAME Building Company of the Year. Chad is one of fewer than 50 Accredited Master Builders in the state of North Carolina.
From the outset of his career, Chad quickly impressed others with his professionalism, integrity, and astute operations management skills. While in high school and college, Chad worked part time with home improvement retailers and building material suppliers, which opened opportunities to work for regional and national home builders throughout much of the 1990s. Chad capitalized on these experiences with local and regional builders to acquire considerable industry knowledge and to forge strong relationships.
Earlier in his career, Chad served as a team leader to local and regional production home builders, distinguishing him by developing processes, tools, and quality-driven teams that improved ROI, cut annual costs, reduced project completion time, and decreased attrition. As a result, Chad advanced to increasingly through management positions. Evidence of his talent for coaching and leading teams is that some of the team members and craftsmen he developed over a decade ago continue to work with him to this day.
Following that success, Chad was recruited by a national builder opening operations in the Triangle, and he played an important role in helping the company establish operations with a market presence in the region. His efforts in closing just under $6,000,000 in custom homes in a single year earned Chad the 2001 Builder of the Year award.
Chad has earned the highest designations available, such as Accredited Master Builder, Master Certified Green Professional, and Aging-in-Place Specialist. Among other industry recognition’s, the company has received multiple Best Green Built Home STARS Awards, Major Renovation Awards and the coveted Parade of Homes GOLD Award.
Prior to being elected as the President of the Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange & Chatham Counties, serving over 600 members, Chad was nominated to a five-year term with the North Carolina Home Builders Association as regional vice president; serving the largest territory region in the nation.
Throughout his career, he has served on various boards of directors and has earned numerous top awards for membership recruitment from the Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange, and Chatham Counties; the North Carolina Home Builders Association; the National Association of Home Builders; the Triangle Community Coalition; and the Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce.
Chad is honored to be an approved speaker for the National Association of Home Builders Chad has written and taught several courses on green building as well as project management to fellow builders across the Southern United States. He is also an instructor for Duke University’s OLLI Continuing Education Program, serving as the Aging-in-Place Specialist.
For more information and how Collins Design-Build may serve you please connect with us through the following:
Collins Design-Build, Inc. www.collinsdesignbuild.com
Emilee Collins, REALTOR www.collinsdesignrealty.com
Planning Tomorrow www.planningtomorrow.com
Acento Painting, LLC www.acentopainting.com
Chad direct line 919-422-2818 | Chad’s Email firstname.lastname@example.org
This post was written by Chad Collins