Why did we pick our builder?

by Ryan Wed, May 30 2012 08:15

There's a lot of home builders out there. What's special about ours that we decide to purchase their product instead of someone else? This is a question I've been asked by a few people so I figure I should address it.

  1. Attention to detail: Our builder still uses framing crews. Our house was framed by one crew over the course of a week. That's right, a week. Our walls were not prefabbed and trucked in, lifted with a crane. It was all done on site. Does this translate to a better build? Not necessarily. Does it make us feel better about the framing and structure? Definitely yes! Jenny and I stopped by on a couple nights during framing and had a chance to talk to the crew. They were friendly, more than willing to pose for pictures (even though we didn't ask for it), and were willing to talk about the process. One got the sense that they like what they do.There were other things too. Back in 2010 and 2011, Jenny and I did the typical show home tours. With every show home, I take a stroll into the basement to take a look at things. Do they tape their ductwork? Are they bending copper or using rubberized line to feed the furnace and hot water heater? Are they including an HRV as part of their standard package? What type of patch panels are they using for their structured cabling? Of our builder's homes we've looked at over the past year had many of these features as a standard. One other builder did, most did not.
  2. They didn't say no...right away: Friends and colleagues of mine told me they had a hard time getting what they wanted out of their builder. In some cases, the builder refused to entertain an idea, citing things such as cost. When dealing with Mark and Carla, their answer was that they would look into it. They looked into everything I asked for that wasn't a typical a la carte option and they made it happen. They do this because it becomes an education for them as well. They know that Jenny and I are looking at this home as a base for some sweat equity. Getting them to run structured cabling to each of the bedrooms would cost us $300/room. I could wire the whole house for the cost of a single room, as long as I had a conduit going from the basement up to the attic. They didn't know if this was an option. They looked into it, it turned out to be less than the cost of a single room. Everybody's happy. There were a few round trips with them regarding upgraded electrical in the garage, but at no point was I led to believe that my requests were unreasonable. I truly got a sense from them that their first priority was our satisfaction, and second was how much money they could make for the company.
  3. They have a sense of humour: I'll say it right now. Mark's a smartass. In a good way. We developed a quick rapport with Mark and Carla. Signing paperwork is an arduous task at best. We managed to keep it entertaining. Were there a few occasions where Mark was late sending an email I was waiting for? Sure. Did this bother me? No. I got to know the people who work there. They made it easy to form a relationship with them and because of that, you can forgive a few things without getting frustrated. I can't speak for every sales centre with our builder, but our location knows how to connect with their customers.

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