Will you work with a home builder or a designer first?

“Which comes first?” is a question that must be answered before you start the custom home building process. While the answer may seem obvious, it’s important to know the right answer to avoid problems from the beginning. The designer comes before the builder, right?

Wrong! Read on...

Designing a custom home

Sometimes people get the cart before the horse and in the excitement, they get ahead of themselves. Mike and Janine thought they had done it all right. They had a roll of plans tucked under their arms and a sparkle in their eyes because they knew they had something special—they had the plans to their dream home. During the last several months, they had spent countless hours dreaming about their new home and working with their designer. They went through revision after revision pouring over the plans. The couple worked tirelessly to make everything just right—put the den here, move the daughter’s room there, make that closet just a bit wider, add two feet to the kitchen—giving instruction upon instruction to their designer. Their dream home included the newest ideas and trends, layers upon layers of moldings, extra tall ceilings, additional bays in the garage, and a steeper roof that was changed—not twice, but three times. 

Mike and Janine were now ready to find a builder. They were so excited! Janine was bubbling over with her plans—holiday decorations, birthday parties, and dinners with friends and family. They could see it; they could taste it; they could hear the laughter around the table. 

They met with builders about starting their dream house. And from each, they learned the same thing: the actual cost to build this house—the house they had labored over for so many months—would be 40% more than they expected. 

How did this happen? Well—they asked the designer. That’s how they got the estimate and that’s what they based their plans on. The designer’s estimate. 

And that is the problem. The designer is not trained in doing cost estimates. 

Their dreams were shattered and after all their efforts, they couldn’t gather the energy to start the process over again. But it could have been different. If only this enthusiastic couple had known the importance of which comes first: the builder, not the designer.

Working with a design-build firm

At Choice Builders, we work with you from concept to completion. Our designers will work directly with you to translate your dreams into working drawings. If your project requires additional professionals, such as a geotechnical engineer, or civil engineer, we will advise and coordinate those for you. If you have an existing relationship with an architect or designer, we’ll work with them. We’ll help you with the product and material selections, write the project specifications and help establish the project budget.

When we all agree that the design and budget are just right, we will develop the permit-ready construction drawings, a project agreement, and outline the timeline for your home.

We’ll guide you through our 5-step design-build process that’s easy, clear, and highly effective. And, it’s posted online in our secure online portal for you to see at any time. This allows us to efficiently work together to provide you with exactly what you’re dreaming of, and it helps us all stick to your budget and get your home completed by the desired time.