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Finding the Right Builder – how much will it cost?

At Wescraft we know that it is essential to do your due diligence in researching your potential builder.

Out of everything that you will ask, it often comes down to that one crucial question – Price – What is this going to cost us?

As not all builders have the same style of budgeting.  You need to establish a strategy and how it may effect your budget.  You need to know what works for your personal preferences, your schedule and your finances.

One common way some builders use of handling a construction budget is called  “cost plus basic pricing”.

A simple explanation of this method is that they apply a percentage mark up to the cost.  It takes the fixed and variable costs associated with building (materials, labour, overhead etc.) and adds a profit margin.  It is considered a simple pricing strategy that can be used to boost profits in almost any business. This sounds great for the builder but is it great for you the client?  This formula removes any incentive for the builder to keep a watchful eye on pricing, timelines or material costs.  In fact it often ends up working in the builder’s favour if the costs end up higher. The framework of the budget can be considerably looser than might be to your benefit.

The method offered at Wescraft is to set a firm contract price.

How does this work?  I sat down with Scott and he explained his process.

“First the customer approaches me to talk about the land they have purchased or plan to purchase.  I’ll happily meet with them on site and look at the possibilities.  We will discuss their wishes and ideas and get an approximate budget.  It’s an exciting process to be able to guide them to craft a home plan that is designed to suit their wishes, needs and budget. Once the plans are completed I put together a firm contract price for the project. We create a set of specifications of what exactly will be used in the constructing of the home. The emphasis is on a strong communication as to what can be expected and what will be delivered.  The goal is to achieve clarity between both parties and peace of mind for the client”

building costsWhat about if I want changes once we’ve started? Is that possible?

“As a custom home builder we can alter those specifications at any time.  Most importantly we all know what we started with, so the contract and specs can be always be accessed.  Once again we can discuss any changes, review the options and agree on a firm price.”

How do I monitor the budget?

“At Wescraft, you always know where you are financially.  The payment is in draws.  There is a deposit at the beginning and then approximately five or six draws spaced out after that.  As we progress at each stage you can see what you are getting for your investment.  This combined with the flexibility to upgrade, or simply make a change makes this process as client centered as possible.

At Wescraft we believe that the firm contract price is in the best interest of our clients and believe the key to a successful job is great communication.  We pride ourselves on delivering on our promises. On time and on budget.

We think that the answer to the question “What will it cost?” is something that you should have right from the start, and we’re very happy to talk.

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The Wescraft Difference

What makes Wescraft different?

If you go to almost any of the websites for the handful of high end construction companies in the lower mainland you will see promises of quality and excellence.  You will see glossy photos and attractive finishes.  These are things you should expect.

wescraftThe Wescraft difference is the personal attention you will receive at each stage of the design and build.  From the footings and foundation to framing and finishing you are working with the Wescraft team.

Based in Langley British Columbia, and family owned. When you choose Wescraft you get not only a high level of craftsmanship but also intelligent and innovative design.  Wescraft will work with you to create a home that reflects you lifestyle and needs.  We are current on the latest in home technology and energy efficiency.  We will work with your ideas and offer options to enhance your vision.

At Wescraft what we believe allows us to deliver on our promises is our own team of craftsmen.  Scott has gathered a strong core of people some of whom have been with Wescraft for 15-20 years.  One of the greatest strengths of the company is the constant communication between the different areas of expertise.  Everyone takes responsibility for the project and works towards the goal of producing a home that meets Wescraft’s exacting standards.

At Wescraft we work with you to take create your dream home, starting with a budget and a plan and make it a reality.

 

Finding the Right Custom Home Builder in Langley?

How do you go about finding the right Custom Home Builder?

Construction costsYou have decided you want to build your own custom home.  Maybe you are starting with a plot of land or you are rebuilding an existing structure.

You have an idea of a style and several “must haves” that will help it become the home that is right for you.

How do you find the right builder?  You have spoken to friends about their experiences,  you have walked through the open houses. You have gone online to check out builder’s web pages and looked through their galleries.  You want to find the builder that matches your needs as a future owner. This house needs to reflect you.

One of the first things you need is a process to narrow down the field of candidates.  Some of this you can do with just a little research.

Does he build in my area?   Does he build custom homes?

Does he build large scale developments that are profitable due to limited choices? Is the builder accessible or do you have to work through a sales team?  Remember that a sales team may have little or no experience with actual construction.

Is his reputation built on quality or high marketing visibility?

If you are a client who prefers personal attention and a greater range of input into the crafting of your home then eliminating anyone who isn’t a custom builder is a good place to start.

Once you have a select number of custom home builders one of the best things you can do is to interview them and ask key questions.

One of the nightmares most potential buyers fear is who is actually going to be doing the work on their house. What are their qualifications? Are they highly experienced trades and respected in their field? How long have they been associated with the company?  Is the work subcontracted out to the lowest bid? Is there ongoing onsite supervision?

Things to note: Saying that a company builds to code doesn’t mean it is good.  It means they do the minimum to pass inspection.  You need to know that they build beyond code and are willing to give examples of how they do so on a regular basis.  A great builder is proud of his work and nothing makes him happier than to explain what goes into the house long before the finishing stage.

A builder will show you photos of his past work.  A great builder will give you referrals to people who have bought from him in the past and will talk about their experience with the builder and his team.

Chances are you have design ideas of your own but how does it all comes together?  How would the builder enhance your ideas?  What does he provide in terms of design for the aesthetics as well as sound building technologies?  The layout needs to meet your personal requirements while being feasible. Who is responsible for this and is their any flexibility?  Who is responsible for making sure that look and function of the home works together?  What if you are not sure what materials work best for certain areas? Can he provide you of an overview of the final look of a space?

Next you will need to discuss timelinesWhat is realistic to complete your project your way?  What are the factors that might influence that timeline?  Who is responsible for keeping things running according to projections?

If you are happy with the answers so far you would then sit down to discuss the financial aspect of the build and we cover that in another post.

scott fosterScott Foster is the Owner of Wescraft. A Langley BC based Custom Home Builder with over 20 years experience.