When building your dream home, a good relationship with your builder matters. And just like any relationship, both parties must work at building it, nurturing it, and maintaining it.
How to Form a Good Relationship with Your Builder
A positive partnership can result in lower costs, less stress, and better result. Here’s how to achieve this trifecta.
1. Find the Right Builder
The first step to a good relationship with your builder is to find the right one for you—research as many builders as possible before making a final decision.
- View their website and portfolios to see their work.
- Arrange a face-to-face meeting to see how you connect.
- Be clear about what you want.
- Make sure they’re reputable and trustworthy.
- Read reviews from their previous clients.
Next, ask the right questions. These might include, but are not limited to:
- Can you achieve what I want?
- What are your credentials, licenses, and insurance details?
- Who will be heading up the job and will they provide updated information?
- Can we lock in start dates?
- What costs are involved?
2. Mutual Respect
All good relationships are built on a foundation of mutual respect. Respect your builder as a professional with years of knowledge and experience. That’s why you chose them, right? Likewise, the builder needs to respect that this is your dream home and money funding the project.
3. Identify the Most Common Pressure Points
Building a home entails a lot of details. There will be points of pressure during the process. Being aware and identifying them will help you maintain a positive working relationship with your builder. Here are three of the most common:
Unclear expectations will make the process more stressful than it needs to be. Be clear about what you expect from your builder to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings or confusion. Have a defined plan and ensure that you share the same vision. Not being on the same page with your builder from the outset can lead to disaster.
Pointing the finger. Nothing sours a relationship with your builder faster than rushing to blame them without knowing all the facts. If something does go wrong, rather than being accusatory, discuss your concerns calmly and maturely.
Delays. No matter how well you plan, unforeseen factors can come into play. Don’t let it unravel your relationship. Delays are a part of every build. Your builder should give you regular updates about how the project is coming along and any schedule changes. Be patient. A quality-built home takes time.
4. Communicate Clearly
Clear and open communication is also key to forming a good relationship with your builder. Share phone numbers and emails. Decide who will be the point of contact for both sides to reduce the chances of conflicting conversations. If you’re unhappy about something, be honest, and communicate it healthily.
5. Don’t Assume Anything
Don’t assume anything in the process. Be clear in your communication about what you expect from the beginning. Where possible, have all communication in writing.
6. Avoid Unplanned Visits
Avoid showing up on-site unplanned and unannounced. For safety reasons, schedule site visits with your builder.
7. Have a Clear Vision
A clear vision will help your project move along much more smoothly. Constantly changing your mind can slow construction time and put a strain on your relationship with your builder. It can also greatly increase the chances for mistakes and affect the final cost. All of which often results in further conflict.
What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments, share this article with others, and join the conversation.
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