Buying a home is one of the most important investments you’ll make in your life—which is why it’s crucial to hire the best builders for the job. But it’s not as quick and easy as it sounds. If you were to Google “Austin home builders” right now, you’d see hundred of results pop up. So how do you know that you’re entering a partnership with Austin builders who are trustworthy, affordable and incredibly good at their craft?
We’ll be straightforward here: it does take a bit of homework to find the best suited builder for your needs. But this is the home where you and your family may spend nearly a lifetime, so it’s worth the effort. Here are the top tips you should follow to find the Austin home builder of your dreams.
Finding out how long a builder has been working is the very first step to assessing their experience. A long-time builder will have plenty of experience, but their longevity also gives them a leg up in other ways, too. If a potential builder has been in business for twenty years, they’ll have plenty of connections with other architects, engineers and subcontractors in Austin. You’ll know you’re with a builder who has seen it all and will be able to move the project forward smoothly despite any potential obstacles. It’s also wise to dig a bit deeper and ask questions like these:
- Do you have any specific industry training and what is your educational background?
- Have you or your company ever been sued?
- Have you ever declared bankruptcy?
- Do you own any spec homes or owe money on lots or land? If so, how many, how long have they been sitting unoccupied and what is their status?
These might seem like personal questions, but remember: this is the company that will potentially be responsible for the biggest investment you’ll make in your lifetime. You don’t want to commit to anyone except a builder who’s extremely experienced—and dedicated and honest, too.
Now that you’ve confirmed the builder’s experience, it’s time to see what others have thought. Ask for references and get in touch with a few of the builder’s previous clients. Most people will be happy to help out by answering a few short questions because they remember how it felt to go through the same process. Find out if they were happy with their experience, if the builder finished on time and budget, and how responsive and helpful the builder was throughout the process. If you’re having trouble hearing back from these homeowners, you can also try these steps:
- Check to see if your builder ranks in any local lists and publications—for example, the Austin Business Journal or Porch.
- Look for your potential builder on the Better Business Bureau.
- Once you’ve narrowed your selection down to a few builders, call the Austin Building Inspection Division, who deals with Austin, Texas, construction. Ask for their experience with your potential builders. If they’ve worked with the builders on your list, ask for their opinions on them.
Now comes the fun part, when you get to see the work up close for yourself. Ask the builder if they have any current projects you can tour—and if they do, visit as many as you can. Does the job site appear organized and clean? Are there workers on-site (there should be unless your tour occurs after hours or during inclement weather)?
If they don’t have any current projects, gather a list of the homes they’ve built—especially those closest to the size and style you’re envisioning—and make a trip to visit those homes so you can at least take a good look from the outside.
A well-designed home of superior craftsmanship is an invaluable investment—but money doesn’t grow on trees, so budget is always going to be a deciding factor. When it comes to construction costs, see how transparent a potential builder is with you and how clearly they explain project costs. You’ll also want to stick with someone who is willing to work with you when and if adjustments are needed, since financial surprises are par for the course during a home build.
LOOKING FOR EXCEPTIONAL AUSTIN TEXAS HOME BUILDERS?
At Mangum Builders, we’ve been creating timelessly elegant yet functional homes for Austin-area folks for nearly thirty years. It doesn’t matter whether your dream home style is Texas modern, Mediterranean style, warm contemporary, or something entirely unique—we want to make your vision a reality. Contact us today to learn how our team can help you build the space that you’ll be happy to call home for a lifetime.