Interview only those builders who have strong reputations in the marketplace. You can get recommendations from friends or business colleagues who have recently built new homes in Georgetown or Victoria, TX. You can also drive through new home neighborhoods and talk to buyers of homes you especially like. Finally, you can also often get recommendations from realtors, mortgage bankers or the local chamber of commerce.
Ask each builder for a professional reference list of current suppliers and subcontractors. Contact several of these references to inquire about how the builder operates. Ask about project scheduling, job site organization/housekeeping, and bill payments. Watch for recent changes in labor forces, suppliers or product types. Listen for words like "trustworthy," "professional," and "dependable."
Check the builder's banking and insurance references. Although privacy laws limit what you can learn, you can still get a feel for the current financial stability of the builder. Again, watch for recent or sudden changes in the builder's supplier and labor relationships. Make sure each builder has the necessary insurance coverages, including Workers Compensation on both workers and subcontractors, General Liability and Builder Risk, which protects you from additional costs to rebuild if your home is damaged during construction.
Ask for a list of clients for at least the past 2 years. Any builder can give you a selected list of satisfied clients, but to get a true picture of a builder's customer service you have to have access to the full spectrum of clients. Call several at random, or select them by the type of home or neighborhood. In talking with these clients, ask about the builder's performance through all phases of the design and construction of their home.
Visit as many current jobsites and completed custom homes in Victoria and Georgetown as possible to examine the structural integrity, fit and finish, and detail of each builder's homes.
Recent homes will give you the best picture of the builder's current performance. You don't need to be an expert in engineering, architecture or interior design to recognize excellence. It is simply something you sense when you walk through the front door of a quality residence.
The quality of your home building experience will be directly proportional to the collective attitudes and abilities of all the people who will be working on your home. Ask them about the builder. Is the builder honest? Straightforward? A good manager? These people may wish to be anonymous, but they will normally be honest with you.
At the end of all these steps, you will probably have worked your way down to one good, professional builder.
You can feel confident that this builder will do an excellent job working with you to design and build your new custom home. If two or more builders remain in the running, ask yourself how you feel about working with each of them. You will be spending many hours together over the coming months, so you want to make sure that you like the builder and can have an effective and enjoyable working relationship.