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Six Questions To Ask Your Florida Custom Home Builder

Apr 27, 2008
If you've been saving for years and you're finally ready to build that retirement home you've been dreaming of, you need to find a really great Florida custom home builder. But there are as many builders in Florida as there are palm trees, and not all of those builders are honest or qualified. Unfortunately, many of them go out of business as quickly as they get their hands on your money. Others will cut corners on labor and materials, building you a house that's lacking in quality details.

To find a top quality Florida custom home builder, be sure you ask the right questions when talking to prospective contractors. The questions below will show them you mean business and that you know what you're doing. If they are evasive answering any of the questions, it could mean they're hiding something. Take any of their answers with a grain of salt.

1: How long have you been in business? A custom builder who has been in business for more than a few decades has had the time to establish a solid reputation. A new company may not be bad, but it's hard to judge the long-term quality of the homes they build if none of them have been standing longer than two years. A home shows its true worth over the long term.

2: May I see some of your model homes? Model homes are an ideal way to gauge craftsmanship and attention to detail. Pay attention to crown moldings, light fixtures, doors, window trimmings and other touches that make a house unique. Also be sure to look at how well carpeting, wood flooring and bathrooms are finished. Does the home builder have several model homes? The more model homes you can see, the better.

3: Does the building offer a variety of floor plans and options? A really good Florida custom home builder knows that people move to this state from all over the country and tastes vary. Cookie-cutter houses won't cut it. A wide array of styles with the option to customize should make it possible for you to get the style of home you love wherever you're planning to build.

4: Do you have references? This may be one of the simplest questions you can ask. If the builder can't offer you several recent references to contact, walk away. There is no decent custom home builder around that can't produce several satisfied customers who are willing to talk to people interested in their experience.

5: Can you help me with design choices? The process of designing your custom built home can be overwhelming. Selecting everything from faucets to doors can be confusing. The guidance of a professional design team can be an immense help, so a custom home builder that is either associated with or owns their own design centers offers one more service that you'll find incredibly helpful.

6: What is included in the quoted prices of a home? Every custom home is based on a base price that will usually include standard fixtures and finishes. Be sure when you compare one custom home builder to another that you are comparing apples to apples. If both have quoted prices for a 2500 square foot house, but one is including granite countertops standard and the other considers granite an upgrade, you could be in for quite a surprise down the road.

The final choice will depend on many things, but if you talk to several Florida custom home builders and start with these questions, you should be able to narrow your choices down to a few excellent builders who can offer you a choice of wonderful options for your dream home.
About the Author
Andy West is a freelance writer for Arthur Rutenberg homes, a Florida custom home builder.
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