Menger Springs Blog

Interviewing and Choosing a Builder – Part Two

If you haven’t already done so, take a few minutes to read “Part One” below before you continue reading this entry.  Then you’ll have a good understanding of the process and hopefully it will help you have a positive experience in choosing your custom builder and building your family’s new dream home. So here we go! 

#5  Budget and pre-qualification
Make sure that you have a clear understanding of your true budget amount and exactly how much you are qualified for. I would suggest that you seek the help of a professional Banker, Mortgage Banker and/or mortgage loan officer to help you determine this crucial information. It’s best that you get pre-qualified so that you know exactly where you stand. This step will save you, your future builder and architect/designer a lot of time and frustration. Most importantly, it will help insure that you and your family and your prospective builder and designer/architect are all on the same page. 

#6  Builder design process
Does the prospective builder(s) you are interviewing have a design process? They should. Here are a few points that the prospective builder should be willing to help you with and guide you through with the design process.

-  Most builders work with several different designers and or architects. They usually choose who they plan to recommend to you. Their choice is based upon the scope of the job, budget and the style of the house that you want to create and to have built. Remember that most designers and architects are like artists in a way and most of them have their own distinctive style of design and what types of homes they prefer to create. Whether the architectural style is Hill Country, Tuscan, Mediterranean, Craftsman, Contemporary or any other distinctive style, make sure that the builder understands what style of house you have in mind. The builder should help you interview the different designers and architects he has recommended. This will help you to make the right choice.

- You and the prospective builder should be fully aware of all of the restrictions and architectural guidelines of the neighborhood or development where you have chosen to build. You and the prospective builder should also be aware of all city and county building codes. The builder should make sure that the designer/architect is fully aware of these items as well, so that everybody is on the same page and not wasting time and resources.

-  And most importantly, the prospective builder needs to make sure the designer/architect is designing your new home within the budget guidelines that have been set at the start of the project. 

#7  Specifications
 The prospective builder should be working closely with the designer/ architect that has been selected. This means the prospective builder should work with the designer/architect to create a very detailed set of specifications based upon the style of house that you want to build, with great attention paid to your budget. Here are some of the key specifications that they should put together for your review: 

Foundation  – Monolithic with steel or post tension  

Lumber PackageSome key examples include: type of fascia board, 2X4 vs. 2X6 exterior wall framing, radiant barrier decking vs. non-radiant decking, web truss vs. TGI system, or other   system. 

Windows – Know the manufacturer, model, type and materials used – wood, vinyl, fiberglass, aluminum, etc. There are many different manufacturers of windows and each offers many different models within each window type. This means that each window will have a purpose,  quality and price point. 

Air and heating systems Brands, SEER rating, recommended size and why these parameters were chosen. 

Roofing – Will your home have a standing seam, tile, or composition roof? There are many manufacturers of roofing materials and most of them offer several different product lines within each type of roofing category each characterized by quality, purpose and value. 

Insulation – Whether the best insulation is Batts, BIBs or open-cell sprayed foam – your  builder should explain which system is best for your project and why. 

Trim packages – What type of material should be used? Will it be wood, particle board, or  another material? Is this material paint grade or stain grade? 

Masonry – Identify the type of masonry material (rock, brick, stucco, etc ) and the applications  of each. 

Doors – How many and what type of doors? Will it be wood, metal or fiberglass? Specify the  exterior and interior needs. 

Cabinets – Will they be stain-grade or paint-grade? Custom built or “in-the-box” 

You can see there are many elements that make up your new home. Each element needs to be specified thoroughly and correctly to help insure that you will have the type of home that you believe is being designed and built for you – and that it is within your budget!  Ask your prospective builder(s) the pros and cons of each specification – for each part of the house. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. In fact, the more questions the better. Because the more information you have, the better informed you will be and this will help insure that you have a quality experience building your new home.  


#8   Bidding with two or more builders
 You may come to the point in the interviewing process in which two different builders seem to be almost equal. You may want to ask both builders to bid on your house. You will want to make sure they both have the same list of your home’s specifications. This will make it much easier to accurately compare each builder’s bid, because they are bidding on the same information. 

#9   Builder programs that could be helpful
 In today’s world of smart phones, tablets and other such tools, some builders offer software programs that will allow you to follow the construction process of your home. You can log on and instantly see the progress on day to day or weekly basis. Just ask the prospective builder if they offer such a service or program.

#10  Experience
What is the building experience of the prospective builder(s) you are considering? I talked about this subject a little bit in Part One, but this is important information to know about each builder. Don’t hesitate to ask the builder(s) why you should be considering them to build your house.

#11  Builder commitment
What type of builder commitment is the prospective builder willing to offer you?  Will the builder and their team be “hands on” during the building of your home? Is the builder fully engaged in the process? Is the builder willing to meet you at the job site to walk and work with you throughout the entire building process?  Is the builder willing to take the time to accurately answer your questions?  If so, then you are probably on the right track to choosing your builder. It gets down to doing your homework, checking the prospective builder’s references and having confidence in your future builder, their team and their company.

In closing, I would tell you that most of the builders that I have come across over the years and/or that I currently work with are all quality professionals. Remember don’t be sold or pressured. Usually the quality builders will stand out because of their high level of professionalism, experience, effort, quality of workmanship and customer service. Remember you will be entering into a working relationship with the builder that you choose, so really think about it. Is this the person and company that you want to work with for 6 months to perhaps one year?  Take your time, do your homework and ask lots of questions. 

Posted by Michael Velasco on 27th August, 2012 | Comments | Trackbacks
Tags: homes for sale in boerne texas, homebuilders in boerne, land for sale in Boerne TX

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For 60 years, Denton Communities (developer of Menger Springs) has been a developer of exclusive planned communities in the San Antonio area. As one of the most experienced development companies in South Texas, Denton Communities utilizes a wide variety of accumulated knowledge and expertise, to plan and construct the finest, most exclusive communities.


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