How to Choose a Builder for Your St. George Custom Home

People across the country are choosing the gorgeous locale of southern Utah to build their new custom home, and it’s easy to see why. Drive through scenic St. George, Utah, and you will quickly discover why the city is one of the fastest growing metro areas in the United States. With the juxtaposition of soaring red cliffs against the clear blue skies and pleasant weather year-round, this once sleepy retirement community has grown into a cultural mecca with plenty of outdoor amenities, fine restaurants, and entertainment venues.

St. George is frequently ranked as one of the most secure places to live, is one of the best small cities for careers, and was voted among the Best Places to Live in the United States by CNN. If St. George is your dream destination and it’s your goal to custom-build your new home, there are many Southern Utah home builders to choose from. 

While there are some great home builders out there who can bring your dream home to life, some won't meet the mark. How do you choose the right home builder for you? To help narrow down your choices, Dennis Miller Homes has compiled a list of tips and questions to ask your prospective home builder.

 

Tips to Help You Find Your St. George Home Builder

Search for Client-Builder Compatibility 

A great home builder cares about your vision. Unlike buying a pre-built home, custom builds provide the absolute freedom to create the home you want. This customization process requires transparent communication between both parties. If you can't communicate your vision to your chosen builder clearly, then the entire home building process will be a struggle. 

Look for a home builder who meets your standards and who communicates well. Do you feel confident in their ability to get the job done? Not only that, do they have a proven track record of satisfying their client base? They should provide a clear, well-written contract that outlines their deliverables, testimonies from happy clients, and a portfolio of homes they have built. Once you have vetted your home builder choices through those lenses, it’s time to take a deeper dive into your narrowed list.

 

Ask the Right Questions

Since the custom home building process is more extensive than other home construction projects, you will need to ask your prospective builder questions to understand their capabilities. They should provide clear answers to any questions you may have. 

Remember — you can never ask too many questions. Building a custom home is likely the biggest investment you can make, so you must be continuously informed. Communicate what you need and expect thorough answers.

Here are a few questions that our team at Dennis Miller Homes suggests that you ask any home builder you approach:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • Do you have an active home builder license?
  • What kind of insurance do you have?
  • Do you hire subcontractors?
  • Can you offer a list of references?
  • How long will the project take?
  • Can you meet my expectations within my budget?
  • What makes you the best choice for building my home?

Use these questions as the foundation of an open dialogue that ensures you choose the best custom builder to construct your St. George home. 

 

Do Your Research

In the age of online research, it is up to you to do your due diligence in researching your home builder. You can get a clear idea of how a builder handles the home building process by reading client testimonials posted online. Before meeting with a southern Utah home builder, scan their online reviews. 

Reviews are a great way to get a sense of how a home builder operates. Consider every review, including the good and the bad. Bad reviews aren’t necessarily a deal breaker. Carefully read the review to see how the company handled their response. 

Did they openly respond to the accusations or offer solutions? Assess their response to determine whether you feel comfortable trusting them with your new build. You can also bring up the review to the builder to ask how they rectified the situation. 

Also, ask your prospective builder for a list of references. Contact these references to understand a builder's strengths and weaknesses. A few questions you can ask these references include: 

  1. Did you enjoy working with this builder?
  2. What would you say are their strengths?
  3. Was your project finished on time? If not, what were the reasons for delays?
  4. Did the builder communicate the schedule?
  5. Did the builder ask for decisions on time?
  6. Did you feel your original budget estimate was thorough?
  7. Did the project finish on budget? What were the reasons for overages?
  8. Were your project's finances clear and transparent?
  9. How did the builder react in stressful situations?
  10. What role did the builder take once the project began?
  11. Who specifically worked on your project? Who would you request if you were building again?
  12. Was the project clean and organized?
  13. Were there certain subcontractors on your project that you would strongly recommend or avoid?
  14. How has the builder responded to warranty issues since you moved in?
  15. If you were building another home, would you choose this builder again?

These conversations, along with the online reviews, will give you a better idea of whether you should trust the builder to build your new dream home. 

 

Stay Transparent

As you begin building your custom home, don't be afraid to communicate your concerns. Your custom home builder is there to help you create a home that ticks all the right boxes. If you feel that you are compromising on anything, bring it up with your builder sooner rather than later. 

It’s important that you communicate your budget up front, for example. Let them know at what level you need to approve any expenditures over the project’s final estimate. Find out if you are your builder’s only client, or if the company has multiple projects in the works. Let your builder know if you plan to check on progress in-person, what communication and what rate of communication you expect, the best way to reach you and vice versa.

Finally, make sure you come to an agreement on the scope of the project. If you change your mind about a floor layout mid-way through the project, it may be too late to make significant changes without significant costs. Scope creep is a problem between clients and builders and having a discussion early on about how you will handle any changes to the final design is just as important as establishing your budget. Set expectations of deadlines and provide for small setbacks such as inclement weather.

 

Why You Should Choose Dennis Miller Homes as Your Custom Home Builder

Dennis Miller Homes is a trusted home builder offering the leading custom homes throughout St. George, Utah. Our family name has been synonymous with integrity for more than 35 years. We take pride in the quality of our work and strive to take stress and frustration out of the home building equation.

As a family-owned and business, we care about our clients. We are a passionate team dedicated to creating amazing experiences. When you move in, we want you to be excited about your home, yet sad that the home-building experience is over.

At Dennis Miller Homes, you and your custom home matter. Trust us to deliver home-building services designed to meet your needs. Contact us to schedule a consultation.  

 

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