In an ideal world, you and your builder will become lifelong friends. You’ve spent hours researching their floorplans and communities, have made all of your design decisions, and they’re eager to get started. By the time that first nail is hammered home, you two are a hurricane force and nothing will stand in your way!
Then, during building, an unexpected rainstorm – foundation issues, a shortage on supplies, a literal rainstorm that ruins materials. When your builder delivers these pieces of bad news, it’s easy to blame them for your dream home inching out of reach. Aren’t you supposed to be on the same team?
Pause. Take a deep breath. Your builder is the messenger; they’re still on your side. Building a home is a huge project, and some stress is to be expected, but anxiety and suffering don’t have to take over. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the relationship with your builder to ensure a productive and positive connection.
Communication is Key
Remember your kindergarten teacher’s advice: Use your words. Effective communication is necessary for success in every type of relationship, including that between homebuyer and builder. Confused about why you can’t have a certain design feature? Ask. Worried about the rain in the forecast? Ask your builder what the inclement weather plan is.
Your builder isn’t the only one you should be talking to, either. Include your entire family in conversations to ensure you’re all on the same page as each other, and presenting a unified front to the builder should something come up when you’re not there to answer questions.
Do Some Research
While you don’t need to memorize the entire building process, knowing what to expect in each phase will help ease your anxieties. If you’re convinced that pouring the foundation gets is the last step, it might alarm you to hear they’re actually doing it first. Take to the internet, or ask friends or family who have purchased a new-build home for all your questions!
Trust your Gut …
Throughout the process, you might discover upgrades and options you’d never considered; or maybe what you had once brushed aside as unimportant has a newfound value. Being faced with so many options is overwhelming, but don’t panic – and don’t leave it in the builder’s hands!
Have a clearly defined priority list to guide you throughout the entire process. For example, is the aesthetic of quartz countertops more important than the cost? This list will help keep the big picture in mind while you make these smaller decisions, and your builder will definitely appreciate your consistency and conviction.
… But be Open-Minded!
You know what you want in a home, so the builder just needs to follow your directions perfectly, right?
While you know yourself and your family best, builders bring years of experience and knowledge to the table. You don’t have to agree to every suggestion your builder makes (after all, it’s your home) but their advice is valuable. Don’t forget that you hired a professional for a reason; your builder is there to lean on when you need help.
Remember: It’ll Work Out
It’s difficult to see the forest for the trees, especially when all of those trees are major obstacles keeping you from your home. Try not to take your panic out on your builder. Talk with a family member or friend about your concerns (and vent when you need to), but by keeping a cool demeanor around your builder, you ensure that your relationship stays intact, allowing them to focus on what matters most – building your dream home.
Mia Zozobrado joined Builders Digital Experience (BDX) in 2019 as a content writer. A graduate of Southwestern University with a degree in English, Mia is passionate about the written word and making connections. Outside of work, Mia also serves on the Board of Directors for the Writers’ League of Texas.