As a custom home builder on Long Beach Island, we get a lot of questions from homebuyers considering buying land, those who have already bought land, and those that own older homes on the island, and are looking to rebuild. Today’s custom home buyers are very savvy about products, materials, and designs, but we have found that when it comes to the logistics of building a new home, most of them have the same questions. So, we thought it would be a handy thing to give you the answers to all of your burning questions about building a custom home on LBI!
Question #1 – What is your experience as a custom home builder?
Answer: Homebuyers have a right to ask about a custom home builder’s experience in building in the area and the home designs they are offering. You always want to work with a builder that is familiar with the town you are building in, because they will have experience working with construction officials, inspectors, and will be able to provide all of the documentation necessary and anticipate any further requirements of the town you are building in. Working with a builder that has extensive experience in building custom homes provides for a smoother process, knowledge of materials and products for your home that are proven reliable and have a track record of performance. Their staff should also be knowledgeable and helpful, as well as communicative. Most builders use sub-contractors for the difference phases of construction. These are critical to the outcome of your finished home, so be sure to ask about their relationship with their subcontractors, as well as their longevity with the builder. Anyone working out of the back of a pickup truck may not have the resources it takes to complete your home in a timely manner, so be aware.
Take a look at our blog about the importance of sub-contractors, as there is more information you should know about this than we can include in this blog. Be assured, Stonehenge has the full time staff to manage our construction projects with the experience and expertise you expect. All aspects of the building experience are covered by our in-house staff so that our homebuyers are confident that their custom home project will exceed their expectations when it is complete.
Question #2 – Do your fees include architectural services?
Answer: The fees that your builder charges will vary from builder to builder. Some do not include the architectural services in their overall price per square foot they quote. If your builder does not include the architectural fees in their price per square foot, it’s possible that they are not expecting to make any customizations to your home, which then begs to question, “Is it a custom home?”. We always include architecture in our price per square foot of all the homes we build. We know that our homebuyers expect to customize their homes to their families’ needs.
Question #3 – What products and materials come with the house as priced?
It’s important that when you meet with your builder you know what products and materials are included in the quoted price for your custom home. There should be a list of features and specifications for your review, which can then spur questions about materials and products that may be considered “upgrades”. We provide a very comprehensive list of included products and features in every home, as well as prices for items that are requested by our buyers that are outside of our included specifications. We also have in-house staff to help with designer selections for every homebuyer.
Question #4 – How can I see homes that you have already built and do you have references?
Because of our extensive experience building custom homes on Long Beach Island, and the mainland, we have a reference list of over 600 people that we can provide to any of our potential homebuyers. We always recommend taking a tour of unfinished homes and occupied homes so that buyers can get a feel for the level of construction and attention to detail on every home we build. If your builder does not have a list of references, or can’t provide addresses or schedule appointments with existing homeowner to tour completed homes, they may not be the builder for you. In addition to the obvious references, we recommend calling local banks, attorneys, inspectors, local and state building associations (like Shore Builders and NJ Builders Association), offices at the county seat, and the Better Business Bureau to check on how your prospective builder conducts business. Our reference list includes these as well.
Our current homeowners are the best asset we have in contracting with new potential homebuyers to build their home. We are proud of the relationships we have forged with our homeowners and work very hard to ensure they take possession of the home of their dreams. Our level of custom service is always beyond our customer’s expectations. Take a look at what our existing homeowners have to say on our website, and on Houzz. We would love to help you build your new custom home on Long Beach Island. Contact us today.