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Custom Homes in Atlanta - Choosing a Builder

Sep 2, 2007
If you've decided to build a custom home, choosing the right builder could be the single most important decision that you'll make. Choosing the right builder can cut your costs, reduce construction time, ensure high quality construction and generally make building your custom home a far more pleasant and exciting process. There are many builders of custom homes in Atlanta, and choosing the right one is a matter of research and interviewing until you're satisfied that the builder you choose will deliver your new home complete, on time and within budget.

Finding Builders of Custom Homes in Atlanta
Your first step is to contact your local home builders association for a list of members who work on custom homes. In Atlanta, the Atlanta Home Builders Association is the local arm of the National Association of Home Builders. Working with a member of a home builders association offers you some very clear protections and assurances.

The HBA can provide you with a list of builders of custom homes in Atlanta and its surrounding area, as well as help you with many of the questions and concerns you may have about working with a professional home builder. Getting started is as simple as browsing the directory on the HBA web site for members and certified members.

Check your local real estate listings and with local realtors to find out about new project construction and home building in your area. Looking at listings of new construction and under construction housing will give you an idea of the costs and styles of building common to each builder and give you a head start on finding just the right builder for your new home.

Research Builders of Custom Homes in Atlanta
Once you have a list of custom home builders, it's time to do some homework. Keep in mind that your home is quite possibly the largest and most important purchase that you'll ever make, and the builder that you choose is one that you'll be working closely with for some months to come. Take the time to find out about your prospective builders' reputation, professionalism and quality of work before making a final decision.

One of the best ways to learn about a builder is through the work that they've done. Ask builders you are considering for a list of their recently completed and under construction homes so that you can visit. Many builders will even be willing to provide you with the names of home owners with whom they have worked and who would be willing to talk to you about their experiences with the builder.

The National Association of Home Builders suggests that prospective buyers get the addresses of homes that the builder has completed and drive by on a Saturday morning when the home owners are likely to be outside doing chores or enjoying the day. Be frank with them - tell them that you are considering working with the company that built their home and were hoping they might give you an idea what it was like to work with them.

Most homeowners will be happy to share their experiences with you. You'll get a very balanced view of the builders you're considering this way. A homeowner who's pleased with their experience will be happy to share with you, and those who had problems will be at least as happy to save you from repeating their mistakes.

Some of the questions you might ask include:

Are you happy with your new house?
Were there problems during construction? If so, were they worked out quickly and completely?
Were you happy with the level of communication you had with the builder?
Would you work with this same builder if you were to buy another house?

Contact the local NAHB and ask if there are any outstanding complaints about the builders that you are considering.

Interviewing Builders of Custom Homes in Atlanta
When you interview builders, have a list of questions prepared, and bring along a notebook so that you can take notes. It will help you later if you've recorded your impressions. Some questions you might ask include:

What is your experience and how long have you been in business?
Are you a member of the BHA?
What is your experience building the style of house that I've chosen?
What sort of communication can I expect from you if we work together?
Do you offer any after-sales service?
How will you resolve any problems in my new home?
Do you provide a warranty for our new home?
Can we visit your work site?

Keep in mind that you will be working with the builder that you choose for months, and there will be a lot of contact between the two of you. Choose a builder with whom you feel comfortable and in whom you have confidence.
About the Author
Lake Arrowhead is an exceptional residential lake and golf community so close to the conveniences and attractions of the south's largest urban center, yet so very far away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Visit http://www.lakearrowheadga.com for more information.
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