Data from the Survey of Construction found that the custom home share increased to 20.2% of all single-family homes that were started in 2019. This includes both contractor-built homes and owner-built homes. 

Because the market for custom home designs is increasingly growing, there are many different custom home designers and builders to choose from. Do you want to learn more about choosing the best home design company for your needs? 

Keep reading this guide for the top things to consider when you hire a home designer. 

Ask About Design Experience

One of the most important factors to consider when hiring a custom home designer is their design experience! This will help you find a company with all the proper qualifications and knowledge. 

How long have they been in business? How many projects have they completed in the past? What are their credentials? 

Finding the answers to each of these questions can help you find the most experienced designer to work with. 

Prioritizes Your Needs and Wants

Next, you need a designer that prioritizes your needs and wants when building your custom home. When you are designing a home, you should have a say in every element of the final product. 

To make sure your contractor prioritizes your needs and wants, you must work together and have frequent discussions about your ideas for your custom home. When your design company understands you and involves you in each stage of the process, you will be much more likely to create a home that you love. 

Make sure you are able to provide input from the design stages up until you are given the keys to your new home. 

Offers Pricing Estimates 

Pricing estimates are an important factor to consider when you are building a new home. While the prices for homes will change depending on the real estate market and material costs, you should still find a builder that will offer you a preliminary pricing estimate for your project. 

This is important as it will help you find a home that fits your budget. 

When you get these estimates, you should also learn more about hidden fees. For example, some builders will charge you an extra fee if you make changes to the design after it is finalized. 

Has Great Communication

Finding a designer with great communication is essential when you are building a custom home. Whether you have questions about your design or need updates on the status of your home, you need to feel confident that your designer will communicate with you every step of the way. 

How responsive are they during business hours? Do they answer your questions clearly and effectively? 

Speed and Efficiency

Speed and efficiency are other important aspects to consider when hiring a home design company. Studies show that 85% of new construction buyers deal with some type of delay during their home build. This results in buyers waiting several months for their homes to be completed. 

While there may be some delays out of your builder’s control, you need to find a designer that prioritizes speed and efficiency. 

One way to learn more about a designer’s speed and efficiency is by learning how many projects they have at one time. For example, if your builder has 50 new houses to build, you may find that your home gets pushed to the back burner. 

You must make sure your builder prioritizes your home build so you can stay on track to finish your home. 

Set and Meet Your Deadlines

Not only do you need to find a builder that can finish your project quickly, but you also need to trust that they will set and meet your deadlines. You should have an accurate estimate of how long the project will take to complete before you even get started!

Your custom home designer should have deadlines for each phase of the project. For example, when will the designs be finalized? When will the framing be completed? 

Make sure your builder prioritizes meeting these deadlines to ensure that your home is completed in a timely manner. 

Helps You Stay on Budget

Building a new home is often more expensive than you might think. In fact, many new buyers are told to expect to go at least 10% to 20% over the estimated budget. 

One reason why building a home can be so expensive is that building materials, like lumber, have skyrocketed in price. As these prices climb, it will take much more money to build your new home. 

Not only will this increase the final cost of your home build, but there are also many hidden costs when building a home. For example, many contractors will give you a tour of a model home that has all the upgrades. 

This often convinces new home builders to pay extra for these upgrades and will add thousands of dollars to the price of the base model of your home. 

Finding a contractor that helps you stay on a budget can help you avoid many of these costs! Does your contractor offer cost-saving options for your home? Do they offer advice that will help you decide where to splurge and where to save? 

Look at Past Projects 

Looking at past projects is something you can do to find a home design company that matches your design style. 

Often, designers and builders will have an online portfolio on their website to showcase their current projects and previous designs. Looking at these portfolios can help you learn more about the types of projects they have completed and may even provide you with inspiration for your own home design!

You can also visit other local homes that your builder has completed. If a builder has completed many homes in a subdivision, you can drive by and look at the projects that they are currently working on. 

Many builders who design complete subdivisions will also have a model home. This way, you can tour the home and look at the completed design to see if they match your needs. 

Get Recommendations

One of the easiest ways you can find a high-quality custom home designer is for recommendations. This will allow you to make a list of potential builders that you can narrow down over time. There are many places you can turn to for recommendations. 

First, you may want to ask your local friends or family members if they have worked with a designer in the past. If they have dealt with a builder directly, they can provide you with many beneficial insights about the building process!

You can also ask a local real estate agent. Often, they will have professional connections to home designers and can provide you with great recommendations. 

If you are still unable to find a reliable builder, you can contact a local home builder’s association. They can provide you with a list of local home designers that serve your area. 

Check Online Reviews

Another simple way to learn more about a home design company before hiring them is by checking online reviews. This can help you learn more about their past clients and their experience working with the builder. It will also provide you with valuable insights into the company’s reputation. 

While many builders will offer client testimonials on their website, these can be biased and only show positive reviews. Instead, it is best to check an independent source, like Google Reviews to learn about a company. 

It is completely normal for every company to have a handful of negative reviews. Still, you must make sure that they don’t have any serious complaints or red flags in the reviews. 

Ask About Subcontracting

Finally, it is important that you ask your home designer or builder about subcontracting. Often, contractors are not able to complete home design and build projects on their own. 

To lessen the load, they will hire subcontractors. These subcontractors specialize in individual pieces of the construction process and often perform most of the labor when building your home. 

While many companies rely on subcontractors, you need to learn more about the quality of subcontractors that they hire. Because you are paying the contractor for the experience and expertise, you need to make sure their subcontractors will provide you with the same quality. 

Make sure they hire the right types of subcontractors for the job and guarantee that they will provide the same quality of work. 

Looking for the Best Home Design Company? 

When you are building a custom home, it can be difficult to choose a designer that meets your exact needs. Still, you need to do plenty of research to find a reliable and high-quality home builder. Following each of these tips can help you find a designer to build your dream home!

Are you looking for the best home design company in Florida? MJS Designers Group can help! We design custom homes and can help you get the most out of your design experience. 

Contact us today to get started with your project!