Have you ever envisioned what you wanted your dream home to look like?

Maybe you’ve always wanted a large kitchen island with a granite top. Or how about vaulted ceilings? Hey, exposed brick looks pretty cool, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Can’t forget about the outside. You know, decks and patios make for great gathering spots, especially in Austin. In fact, Austin is filled with plenty of custom home builders who are eager to turn your dream into reality. So, if you’re ready to bring your custom home to life, consider these five tips on how to find the perfect builder.

1. Know What You Want

This is your home. Only you know what size, type, and price you want and can afford. That’s important because, even though some builders construct a broad range of homes, there are many builders who also specialize in a specific type and style of home.

RisherMartin Fine Homes in Austin, for example, have built custom craftsman bungalows, cottages, Tuscan mansions, 5-star green homes and hip urban dwellings, as well as others. Also, have a plan. Even if it’s a few rough sketches on a piece of paper. Give the design team something to work with and understand.

2. Let the Resume Speak for Itself

Much like job hunting, employers seek candidates with experience. Although it’s not the end of the world, having experience helps. The same goes for choosing a builder. The more experience they have, the better. In addition, check and see what other clients have said and are saying about a particular builder. The testimonials page on their website is a great reference. Awards count, too. It adds credibility. RisherMartin has won many awards over the years. In 2012, the company was named the Gran MAX Custom Builder of the Year by the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin.

3. License and Regulation, Please

In a 2014 article, it was stated that 22 states have rules that legislate contractor licensing or regulation either at the state or local government levels. There are some states that have no licensing, but require a contractor to register their business with the state. Texas doesn’t require either. For your own sake, make sure you work with a licensed builder and ask about the insurance they carry so you’re both covered during the building process. You can search for licensed contractors online at the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

4. HBA Member?

Not only is it a good idea to go with a licensed contractor, but it also doesn’t hurt if the builder is a member of the local Home Builders Association. Not that it’s a total deal-breaker – and not every good builder is associated with their local Home Builders Association – but such membership shows the commitment of the builder. It shows that they’re committed to the area for a long period of time. RisherMartin Fine Homes is linked to the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin, as well as many others.

5. “The Grand Tour”

Like the late great George Jones – a Texas native – sang in his 1974 hit, “Step right up, come on in, if you’d like to take the grand tour.” Once you’ve narrowed down a list of potential builders, tour some model homes or customer homes a prospective builder built. Photos don’t always do a home justice, so there’s no better substitute than seeing a home in person. If visiting a customer’s home, ask them a few key questions. Ask them if they’re satisfied with their home and if they would buy another home from this builder. Also, ask them if they would recommend this builder to a family member or friend.

Don’t forget …

A dumpster! You’re probably saying, ‘I’m looking for a builder, not a dumpster.’ That’s true, but you should be. And eventually, you’ll need one. Building a home from the ground up produces a lot of debris. A roll off dumpster is a great way to get rid of all that debris. Budget Dumpster has the best deals in Austin and has a large inventory of dumpster sizes to choose from. Give us a call at 1-866-284-6164 Monday-Friday and save between $25 and $100 over the competition!

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