Stillwater Newsletter – July 2017

View from Stillwater Dwellings home on Whidbey Island, Washington.

Tips for Selecting the Right Builder

We are often asked for tips on selecting a builder. The duties of a general contractor are many and varied. Subsequently, not everyone in the industry has the mix of technical skills and business expertise to assure a successful building experience. A fair amount of due diligence is necessary to find the right builder for your project. But where do you start?

We’ve assembled a short list of the key elements in a successful builder search.

  • Ask for Referrals and Recommendations – Ask friends, relatives and other trusted sources for names of builders with whom they have personal experience.
  • Visit Homes – Visit homes completed within the last two years. Examine the quality of the build, finishing work and fixtures. If possible, see a home under construction to assess how they manage the building process–including worksite neatness and safety.
  • Talk with Past Customers – This is one of the most important steps. Ask about the quality of communications, the management of the budget, the quality of materials and their ability to manage problems and correct mistakes.
  • Check Builder’s Credentials – Is he/she licensed and bonded in the state? Are there any liens on past projects?  Are they members of the local builders association?
  • Be Prepared When Asking for Bids – When requesting a quote, supply a set of preliminary house plans and as much material specification detail as you can. Stillwater Dwellings supplies these materials as part of Phase One of its Three Phase Process.
  • Interview the Builder – Assess the builder’s qualifications and experience. Have they built many contemporary custom homes? Can they manage the project? What is their communication style and philosophy? Do you think you can work with them successfully?

Stillwater Dwellings understands building a custom home is often a once in a lifetime project. We know you have questions and our professional staff is waiting to help answer them.

Call us at 800-691-7302 or contact:

Stillwater Dwellings plans and photos

Aging In Place

This term wasn’t around ten years ago, but now it seems to be everywhere. It simply means designing a home to meet your needs both today and tomorrow. It generally refers to making doorways and halls wider and minimizing steps and stairs. If added in the design stage, “aging in place” considerations are simple and inexpensive.

(The Stillwater home pictured here was designed to be barrier free)

View Stillwater Plans

More on Selecting a Builder

There has been considerable study done on the subject of selecting a builder. Below are links to several pieces you might find helpful.

7 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Builder

How to Choose a Homebuilder (from NAHB)

Guide to Hiring a Custom Home Builder

Stillwater Plans Gallery and Planning Guide

Visit our photo gallery