Using Custom Home Contractors Brings Incredible Design Possibilities
Custom home contractors are a one-stop-shop for homebuyers wanting to take advantage of the benefits that come with building a custom home. Custom home contractors are experts in the building process from start to finish and working with one can save you money in the long run.
Why Work with a Contractor?
They know products. From fixtures to foundation, custom home contractors work with companies they trust to bring you reliable products, from the cement in your home’s footings to the faucets in its powder room. If you’re working with an ENERGY STAR contractor, the company will be up-to-date on the latest technology in energy-efficiency. Their floor plans will reflect the features highest on the modern homebuyer’s list and they can help you decide which layout works best for you.
They work with lenders. Contractors have often fostered relationships with preferred lenders they trust to take care of their clients. Some contractors will provide partial reimbursement of closing or loan costs when a client works with a preferred lender.
They understand energy-efficiency. Energy-conscious contractors work with ENERGY STARto evaluate which features would lead to maximum-efficiency in a home. Because what energy-efficient features work best depends heavily on climate and location, it pays to work with an expert contractor that works locally and is familiar with the variables determining which features will have the greatest impact on your home’s energy-efficiency.
They’re familiar with rebates. Good contractors even fill out rebate paperwork for you, getting you cash back on your brand new appliances, heating and cooling systems, windows, and doors. Qualifying ENERGY STAR contractors are familiar with rebates granted through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for homes that incorporate green building materials, energy-efficient appliances, above-standard insulation, and water-saving features.
They help you customize your dream home. Contractors build in developments as well as on secluded land. They can help you determine the specific septic, water, and gas needs of your property and will take the lead in securing proper permits to get amenities in place.
What to Expect
From helping you choose a layout to securing financing, here’s what the process of working with a custom home contractor looks looks like:
- Selecting a floor plan—Custom home contractors have dozens to choose from and can help you determine which plan best incorporates your specific customization needs. Blueprints, model homes, and digital models help you picture yourself in each home before choosing the best fit.
- Deciding where to build—If you’ve already found the perfect piece of land, custom home contractors will work with you to choose a floor plan that is both a perfect fit for your lifestyle and that works with a lot’s natural features. If you haven’t picked a location yet, it’s OK, they’re experts. Custom home contractors are often developing multiple neighborhoods in a city or region. They can assess your needs and priorities and recommend a neighborhood you’ll like best.
- Determining your budget—Financing a home can be a daunting task in which custom home contractors are experts. Contractors typically work with a handful of preferred lenders they trust and can help you find the right lender for your financial situation. The money you have to put towards a down payment, credit history, and the requested loan amount all determine which lending option is best for you.
- Assessing your site-specific needs—Does your home site require a septic system? Will it use city water or will your property need a well? Contractors determine your site’s specific needs and estimate the associated costs.
- Customizing your home—This is the fun part! If you work with a custom home contractor, you’ll have a professional designer to help bring your dream home to life. Designers not only have a flare for what looks best, they’re experts in materials and products and can help you find options that suit both your taste and your price range.
- Breaking ground—Your custom home contractor secures all necessary permits and your dream home begins to take shape! Your home’s structural integrity and energy-efficiency is being tested throughout months of construction and you’ll receive weekly updates on the status from start to finish.
- Making it yours—Moving in makes the space feel like yours and since you worked with a custom home contractor, you don’t have to worry about fixing problems homeowners inherit when buying pre-owned homes. Everything in your home is tailored to your liking—down to the door handles—so there aren’t any looming remod projects, either.
ENERGY STAR Partner Contractors
Nearly 70,000 homes built last year were certified through ENERGY STAR’s energy-efficiency standards. A division of the EPA, ENERGY STAR outlines efficiency standards and provides financial incentives to homeowners who improve the way their home consumes energy and water.
ENERGY STAR certified contractors are experts in home efficiency. They choose to have their homes evaluated by a third party to ensure they’re doing their best to create homes that consume less water, electricity, and natural gas. Contractors have staple efficiency features that come standard in every home and can recommend additional features for clients wanting to take an extra step toward maximum green living. ENERGY STAR homes use 15-30% less energy than a standard home by incorporating:
- Heating and cooling systems such as high-efficiency furnaces, air conditioners, and heat pumps that consume less energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions; ductwork that is properly sealed to prevent energy loss through leakage and heat recovery ventilation systems that pre-treat air so traditional HVAC systems expend less energy while effectively heating and cooling.
- Thermal enclosure systems that work together to effectively insulate a home. Wall and ceiling insulation must reach a certain R-value and certified windows and doors undergo additional third-party energy-efficiency testing. Special attention is paid to properly insulating attic space because it’s such a common contributor to poor overall home insulation.
- Water management systems that prevent mildew build-up from hindering indoor air quality. Contractors use moisture barriers and drainage systems to prevent water damage from compromising roofs, walls, and foundations.
- Lighting, fans, and appliances that last longer and consume less energy than conventional products. ENERGY STAR dishwashers, refrigerators, washing machines, fans, and LED lights are engineered to cut energy and water consumption without sacrificing quality.