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MASONWOODNews & Events
MASONWOODNews & Events
March 26, 2020

Our Guide to the Top Home Builders in Austin

75% of Americans say buying a home is a priority for them this year. However, they’re not just building any home. When you take the time and money to invest in constructing your own home, you want to make sure it’s everything you’ve ever dreamed of.

Are you looking for the best home builder to construct your dream home? If so, you’ll want to make sure you’re choosing the right professional for the job. 

Here are the tips you need for choosing among the top home builders in Austin.

With this guide, you can narrow down your options before finding the right home builder for the job. Start your search for local home contractors with these 10 tips.

1. Make a List of Possibilities

The first step to take when searching for the top home builders in Austin is to know what you want. Determining where to look and what to look for will help you find a contractor who can meet them. 

Some home builders construct a broad range of homes. Other builders are more specialized and focused on specific types of homes, price ranges, or styles.

For example, some firms like to focus on creating starter homes for first‑time buyers. Others create multi‑million dollar homes for the more affluent buyers. Take the time to consider what you’re looking for from your home and the contractor. 

The building materials each contractor has access to can differ as well.

Once you define your needs, get ready to make a few sacrifices. Try to split your list between “wants” and “must‑haves” as this can help narrow down the builders to consider.

Make Your List

After you determine what you need from your new home, you can make a list of possible local home contractors. 

First, contact your local home builders’ association. They can provide a list of builders who have constructed homes in your area.

Next, read through the real estate section of your local newspaper. You can find a few builders and recent projects there. Flip through the ads and read the articles as well.

These resources can help you learn which builders are active in your area. It can also give you a realistic idea of what types of homes they’re building. See if prices are mentioned, too. 

As you work through this process, start creating a list of local builders who can build the type of home you’re looking for. This research phase makes it easier to find someone who fits your price range, too.

You can also ask friends and family members for recommendations. Ask about the home builders they’ve dealt with directly. They might know a local real estate agent you can talk with, too. 

2. Determine Their Experience

Once you create a list of the top home builders in Austin, it’s time to narrow down your list. Consider this your research phase!

First, you’ll want to determine their experience. How long has the home building contractor worked in the industry? Do they have a lot of experience building homes in Austin?

You likely don’t want to choose an amateur to build your dream home. To avoid hiring a contractor who lacks experience, ask about their past projects. Does their work meet your expectations? 

Determining the home builder’s experience will give you peace of mind that they can handle your project.

3. Verify That They’re Licensed and Insured

Before hiring a contractor, you’ll want to make sure they’re properly licensed and insured. 

The law requires home builders to obtain specific licenses. Their licenses prove the builder has the necessary skills for the job. It also indicates they meet the standards set by the construction industry.

As you speak with different home builders, ask about their licensing. 

A licensed home builder is also easier to track down if they fail to deliver on a project. If the builder isn’t able to share proof of their license, keep looking. 

Accidents can occur on any construction project. The contractor is responsible for watching over the crew to make sure your project comes together. Insurance ensures accidents are covered for the entire team. 

When searching for a home builder, make sure they’re insured. Their insurance will protect you if an accident occurs on your property. 

4. Check Their Reputation

You can set the mediocre contractors apart from the top home builders in Austin based on their reputation. Their reputation is built from job practices, previous projects, and reliability. If they leave a project halfway through or don’t deliver on expectations, you’re bound to hear about it. 

A home builder with a strong reputation, on the other hand, will offer satisfactory workmanship. 

Try to learn as much as you can from the home builder’s previous clients. Read online reviews or ask for referrals from people who have hired them before. Again, this is a chance to gain peace of mind that they’re capable of handling your project. 

5. They Understand Your Plan

63% of millennials have regrets about purchasing their current home. Before hiring a contractor, make sure they understand your expectations. Otherwise, you could end up disappointed, too. 

Work with an experienced designer or architect to develop a plan you can show your contractor. That way, they know exactly what you’re expecting from the project. Walk the contractor through the plan before they start working, too.

Otherwise, they might change their pricing as the project progresses. 

It’s important to note that permit drawings aren’t complete plans. In fact, these documents usually offer limited information about the final design. Try to consider as many details as possible (lighting and electrical features, interior architecture, etc.) ahead of time.  

6. Review Your Specifications

Once you have a plan in mind, develop a list of your specifications. That can include your finishes, fixtures, appliances, and accessories. Choosing these details ahead of time will save you and the contractor grief in the future.

You might want to walk through new homes and open houses that are sponsored by builders to get an idea of what they’re capable of. Take photos of the specifications you like and want to see in your own home. These tours will help you determine what the builder is capable of.

Make a note of the carpeting, trim work, paint, and cabinetry. 

If you can’t tour a home, head online and make a list of the items you want in your own home. 

Can the contractor handle all of your specifications? Is there something they refuse to work on or can’t understand?

If they can’t or won’t install your specified items, consider continuing your search. After all, you want to work on someone who can see and achieve your vision.

7. The Price is Right

Working with a designer or architect will help you develop a more realistic cost. Ask those professionals if they can refer you to a builder for pricing. 

The average down payment for a new home is $59,880. Before hiring a contractor to build a house for you, make sure you understand the costs. 

Make sure you’re paying for high‑quality work. Does the home builder you’re interested in produce high‑quality work? Does the price reflect the work they’re able to produce?

If the price doesn’t fit your budget, you have two options. 

Either reevaluate your plan or look for a builder who can work to your budget.

Make sure to get a detailed, itemized list of what you’re paying for. This list can help you reevaluate your specifications if needed. You can review this list with your home builder to develop a more affordable, realistic plan.

8. Check Their Portfolio

In order to understand what a specific home builder is capable of, take a look at their portfolio. What projects are you impressed by? Do any of them meet your expectations?

You can also visit a builder’s recently built homes and subdivisions. Drive over, introduce yourself, and mention you’re interested in buying a home. This is also a great opportunity to speak with other owners.

Are they happy with the home? If there were problems with the project, were they fixed right away?

Would the home buyer purchase another home from the same buyer? If not, ask why.

If the previous home buyers aren’t happy, you might want to keep searching.

Make sure the builder’s design fits your goals as well. For example, you might notice one buyer prefers contemporary designs. Other builders have expertise with a variety of styles and architectural details.

Look for a builder whose portfolio of past projects reflect the style you’re aiming for. 

9. They’re Easy to Communicate With

Ask you speak with the top home builders in Austin, make sure they’re easy to communicate with. You’ll likely work with them a lot throughout your project. If they’re difficult to communicate with, you might find they’re difficult to trust.

Ask how they handle unexpected issues. Will they speak with you throughout the project?

If not, keep searching. 

10. Timing Is Everything

When hiring a contractor, make sure you have a realistic understanding of their timeline. How long will it take for them to finish your project? When will they start?

Add eight weeks to that expected timeline to manage your expectations. 

Unforeseen accidents pop up during any project. Having realistic expectations from the beginning will help you throughout the entire project.

Build Out a Plan: How to Find the Top Home Builders in Austin

Build out the perfect plan with an experienced home builder at your side! With these tips, you can find the top home builders in Austin. Then, you can choose the one best equipped to build your dream home from the ground up!

Your dream home is just around the corner! Contact us to get started with our team today.