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5 Questions Every Custom Home Buyer Needs To Ask Their Builder

You have plenty to think about when you choose to build a custom home. Even if you have just begun the process, you may also have many questions.

Two questions that have likely already crossed your mind are: 

  • How much is building new going to cost me?
  • How long will the process take?


Undoubtedly, these questions make a lot of sense. Price is the determining factor behind everything you’ll do, and a project timeline is an equally legitimate question to ask — it’s fair to wonder when you’ll set foot in your home for the final walkthrough.

At Paul Gray Homes, we get asked all kinds of questions — from pricing, to timelines and everything in-between. You should always ask your home builder any questions you have about the building process. You likely already have some of these questions in mind — and we want to give you five key questions to ask your home builder before you sign on the dotted line.


Question 1: How much can I customize my home?

In home building, custom can mean anything from cosmetic touch-ups to complete, 100% customization, where you pick every detail — big and small — in the home. 

It is important to ask your home builder what their definition of custom really means. Some home builders may claim they are completely custom but only allow cosmetic changes. Check with your builder to see how much you can customize. A clear answer will clarify whether the builder can actually create the home you want.


Question 2: What features are included in the price of my home?

Arguably one of the biggest advantages to building a new home is being able to personalize every detail to your liking, making sure it is reflective of you and your family’s style and lifestyle. And that means deciding what home features you want.

But before you get in the nitty-gritty of picking what features you may wish to upgrade, you need to get a sense of what’s included in the price of your home. Some builders have certain features already included in the base price of your home, with options you can add. Others have only basic features included in the pricing of the home. 

Check with your home builder on what finishes are included in the price. Ask your builder what is standard and what’s an upgrade. Are granite or quartz countertops included in the cost or are they an upgrade? What level of insulation is included? What level of fixtures or finishes are part of a home's base price? These are just a few of the essential questions to ask before you move forward.


Question 3: Great! How do I start the home building process?

Everyone needs a starting point — and while it may sound obvious, you first need to make a list of the features and design elements you would like to have in your new custom home. It is important to create an idea folder of design ideas to show your builder during your first meeting. Pinterest and Houzz are great places to find design inspiration. Your desired budget is also an essential part of this process. 

Once you have these two things knocked out, you should schedule an initial meeting with a home builder. During the initial meeting the home builder will ask about your budget as well as what size, square footage and design features you envision in your new home. They will also ask about your desired location or community where you would like to build. During this meeting, the home builder may also show you different floor plans or discuss the style and design elements you envision in a custom-designed home. 


Question 4: When should I make selections, changes and upgrades?

Much like standard features, you want to know what your upgrade options are. To avoid additional charges and construction delays, it is important to make your selections on-time. Changes and upgrades can be made throughout the building process, but these changes can delay construction and add additional costs.  It’s always good to know up front how much time you have to update your selections.


Question 5: How and when will the final price of my home be determined?

It all boils down to cost. How your builder prices a new home is one of the most important questions you will ask. When analyzing the cost breakdown, ask how much of the budget is an estimate and how much is set.

Your builder may use a fixed price method, where he or she will factor for all costs associated — labor and materials — and present you with a total cost for the project.

Some builders may use the cost-plus pricing method, where the contract will list the builder’s costs and his profits. In this pricing model, costs can increase or decrease based on the real costs of labor and materials.

Trust your home builder to answer any questions about your contract and estimates for your home.


Ready to Get Started Building Your New Home? We Can Help!

Working with the experienced professionals at Paul Gray Homes can make the building process easier. Click here to view our building process.

Have questions about building a new home? Contact Paul Gray Homes at 316-978-9047!