When determining which company will build your home, you have a lot of legwork to do before making that decision. Here are a few things you should consider when you begin your quest to find the perfect partner.
Research is Key in Choosing Your Timber Frame Company
Before you do anything else, learn about timber frame homes, the construction, styles and methods used to build them. Understand the difference between a log home, a timber frame home and a standard construction house.
Stock Plans vs Custom Design
If you’re looking for a basic design, there are a vast number of companies from which to choose. These companies have stock plans, so you will save on the cost of custom design.
However, if you want a unique, custom home, you will need the services of a company that can provide an architect to design your home. This service doesn’t come cheap, but you will truly have the house of your dreams.
Narrow The Field Of Potential Companies
There are so many timber frame construction companies out there, and there are many levels of company involvement. Some companies only provide plans. At the other end of the spectrum, there are turnkey companies that are with you from the design stage to your house warming party.
Narrow your search to a few companies. Contact them and see how things go. Ask questions, and be prepared to answer a few as well.
Determine A Realistic Budget Early On
Don’t have a pie-in-the-sky attitude about your budget. Even if your dream home is still a few years in the future, you should set a realistic budget to see just how far it will take you.
The companies you contact will probably inquire about your budget. They’re checking you out as much as you are checking on them. An honest discussion about your budget will help both of you get a handle on what you can afford as opposed to what you want.
Chemistry Plays A Part In Your Choice
You’ll be working closely with this group of people, so make sure you can get along personally with them. There’s going to be lots of decisions and stressful situations, so the last thing you need is a less-than-cordial relationship.
Check Out A Company’s Resume
You’re hiring a company to work for you, so check into their history and business system.
Do they have a communication system to share plans with you and the builder? This could be through email, conference calls, phone calls or web-based meetings.
How long have they been in business and do they have a history of quality projects you can check?
Compare Construction Methods
Even though you’ll find many similarities in the construction methods used by most companies, there are differences you should consider.
Timbers can be machine cut or hand-hewn. If the company uses SIPs, do they have in-house manufacturing or do they order them from a third party? Do they use blown-in foam insulation? Do they have their own contractors or hire from a local pool?
A company that is a turnkey operation is the most effective building model and can be far more efficient in their turnaround time.
There’s a lot of research and many decisions to make while on your quest for your perfect dream house. The hours you invest in educating yourself will pay off in the long run with decisions based on knowledge instead of a hunch. Your familiarity with all stages of the timber frame home design and construction allows you to be an active participant in your project, instead of a curious bystander who merely writes the check.