Being a custom home builder is one of the greatest jobs. We get to create a place where people will create memories for years. We lay the floors where their kids take their first steps and put in the kitchen that will cook Thanksgiving dinners. As custom home builders, it’s our job to construct you a house so that you can make it a home. Even the greatest jobs can be difficult at times though. Social media and reality TV have given clients expectations that aren’t always realistic and this can make the job hard. Very few home builders would ever admit these things aloud, but here are a few things we wish clients knew.
1. This is reality, not reality TV
Look, we love HGTV and all those home-improvement shows as much as everyone else. Those shows don’t capture the reality of the process though. Building a home takes months and more money than you’d think. Even the best home builder can’t give you a custom kitchen worth $100,000 for $20,000. What those shows don’t show you are the months of designing and planning, the processing of permits, the haggling over material prices, and all the other truths that come with home building.
2. This might be your home, but it’s just our job
Home builders love what they do, but at the end of the day, it’s our job. Clients often expect us to be as passionate about their home as they are. We always make sure to give it all the attention and focus it deserves, but it will never take on that personal element to us. Different home builders have varying policies about contacting them, but just remember to be courteous when communicating with us. We have lives, we have families, and having boundaries is important. That means that we’re not available to answer every question 24/7.
3. We’re not out to steal your money
Of course, there will always be people out there in every industry that try to take advantage of people. Most custom home builders truly want to build quality beautiful homes though. People hear horror stories and come in waiting for us to fail. If we try to convince you to go for a more expensive product, it’s not because we want you to throw more money into a project, it’s just because we know it is better quality and will be better in the long run. You have to trust our judgment and opinion.
4. We will try to talk you out of bad ideas
Every home builder has a story about a client that just refused to listen and in the end, it backfired on them. We build homes for a living, so it’s safe to say we know what we’re talking about. If we try to talk you out of a certain idea, there’s a reason for that. Home builders are used to getting blamed for problems out of their control, but there’s nothing worse than a client that blames you for a poor decision you specifically tried to talk them out of. It’s all part of the job though.
5. Yes, we’re used to being the punching bag. No, we don’t enjoy it
We completely understand how stressful building a custom home is. It’s a long and expensive process, full of unknowns and tons of decisions. That’s why home builders expect to take some emotional heat from clients. We’ve been there for tears, screams, and smiles. It’s all part of the job. That being said, it’s never fun to be taking the brunt of someone’s frustration, especially if it’s something that wasn’t our fault or out of our control. We always take it, but we don’t enjoy it.
6. We’re not mind-readers
One of the hardest parts of being a home builder is communicating with clients. Homeowners often can’t articulate what they want. If you don’t know what you want, we don’t know what you want. Clients often leave changes to the last minute and confess only then that they’ve not liked something the entire time. Please make any opinions vocal, even if you think you’re being annoying. We love feedback, and we want to give you what you want!
Even with all the difficulties, being a custom home builder is one of the most rewarding jobs. We love watching people start to plan a life in something we built. If you’re interested in building a custom home please contact us!