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Using an architect for the design of your new home is not your only choice. A custom builder is another option that you have.

What is a Custom Builder?
A custom builder can be a licensed architect, but does not have to be. A custom builder does not draw up a blue print for your new home. They will design your new house on a computer. Then, once a design is selected, a custom builder will also construct your new living space. Basically, a custom builder is an architect and contractor in one.

What is the Advantage of Using a Custom Builder?
Using a custom builder has a few advantages. Since your builder is also designing your new home, the cost of the design will be factored into the overall price of construction. Using one source for the erection of your new home will likely result in an overall cost that is less than if you were to use an architect and contractor independently.

Since there is one person involved in the overseeing and development of your home, there is less chance for accidental variation from the agreed upon plan and layout.

Are there any Disadvantages to Utilizing the Services of a Custom Builder?
Not really. In general, an architect's strong points are conceptual -- look of the house, traffic movement, etc.. A custom builder's forte is technical. They know which nails work better in which types of wood.

Where Can I Find a Custom Builder?
Ask around. You can also visit the National Association of Home Builders. This website will provide you with a multitude of custom builders in your neighborhood.

How Do I Know if the Custom Builder I am Interested in Using is Competent?
Similar to choosing an architect and a contractor, you want to find out the qualifications of any custom builder before you decide to let them construct your new house. First make sure they show you their builder's license. If they do not have one, you don't want to hire them for your job.

Also, find out how long they have been in business and ask to see some past work that they have done. Ask past clients if they are happy with the end product. You also want to find out if the scheduled time of completion was accurate and if the final cost varied much from the estimated cost.

Any good builder will offer you a home warranty, protecting you from any issues that may arise as a result of their poor craftsmanship.

Learn about custom home construction loans.

Building a New Home:
Selecting an Architect
Choosing a Builder



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