The “Perfect” Colorado Homebuilding Experience

In an ideal world, what would the perfect Colorado home building experience be, from the customer’s perspective? This article describes the Colorado building process in substantial detail, from pre-contract to completion.

First of all we understand that there is no such thing as ideal.  However,  it is reasonable to expect an experience and a final product as close to ideal as is humanly possible.  Excuses on what went wrong? A consumer investing a great deal of money in building a new home in Colorado does not want excuses, they want the best possible chance of a smooth progression from contract to move-in.  Quite simply, you have a better chance of a positive building experience with knowledgable representation on your side.  That is where we come in.  No matter what kind of home you have in mind, the first step towards becoming a happy homeowner is developing a foundation of knowledge from which to compare everything from floor plans to builders.  Helping you develop that foundation is a responsibility we take seriously at Colorado New Home Specialists.  Therefore, we want to present this article to you.  Here is quality information on understanding the home building process in Colorado, freely presented to you.

We know that this information is unique. Just like all of our other articles on this site, we have written it ourselves and in our own words – no ghost writer, no editor.  The facts below are based upon our experiences in representing clients over the years, in a comprehensive range of price points and scenarios.

Building in Metro Denver, Colorado Springs or Castle Rock?

We have observed that there are certain traits and practices that all quality builders share:  we describe those “most important” traits and practices below. From custom to production builders – from large homes to smaller ones, we’ve seen it done correctly by Colorado home builders and we’ve seen it done poorly.  Without further adieu, these are the things that you deserve when working with any Colorado home builder:

Let’s start with your initial meeting continuing through the planning and price quoting process:

  • The home builder or person on site is a professional from the first impression.
  • Builder has financial stability: able to fund the project, see it through and stand behind the finished product.
  • Can present a portfolio of completed projects with testimonials from satisfied customers.
  • Knows how to set proper expectations early and accurately for both customer and builder.
  • Possesses the ability to listen to the customer and offers guidance to yield the best result.
  • Consults with the customer on house plans and alterations in order to meet specific needs/wants.
  • Has knowledge and experience in addressing specific types of customization that the customer wants to make.
  • Has experts close at hand to assist with complex designs and technology. (controls cost overruns)
  • Has the know-how to budget for and comply with local governmental and community requirements. (controls cost overruns)
  • Advises the customer on lots and suitability of that lot for the particular home plan. In rural areas, can advise the customer on septic and well considerations. (controls cost overruns)
  • Meets with and advises customer in order to maximize home placement on lot for energy conservation, functionality, view and other preferences. (controls cost overruns)
  • Updates architect in a timely manner on revisions and changes to the home as the design is refined.
  • Provides good turnaround time on quotes for the project as well as changes requested by the customer.
  • Delivers fair and open dialogue regarding Colorado’s swelling soils, and has a reputable soils testing business partner. Reviews soils report with the customer. (controls cost overruns)
  • Is reasonable on pricing and profit. Does not “pad profit” into every area of price uncertainty, but rather, invests the time to find out the true cost of a given item. Makes a fair profit, but creates a win-win by providing strong value to the customer.

It’s almost time to sign documents: (a matter of days)

  • Provides fixed pricing and allowances: a “real number” for pricing on the home to be constructed. If the quote contains an escalator clause for material price increases, it must be discussed in the open as part of the quote process. Also addresses who has responsibility for unforeseen costs in various areas.
  • Provides a strong warranty program
  • Insists for the benefit of all parties on completing a detailed purchase agreement with all allowances and payments specified. All applicable design elements are in place, and a complete set of plans are thoroughly reviewed by builder and buyer together. Everyone is on the same page!

OK, the documents are complete, the building begins!

  • The builder wants to have continued availability and interaction with the customer.
  • The builder possesses attention to detail with a strict eye on quality.
  • Utilizes experienced subcontractors who communicate effectively with the builder.
  • Is receptive to reasonable change orders requested by the customer.
  • The builder values and does walkthroughs with the customer at numerous critical phases of construction, ensuring a smooth project.
  • At last – closing and beyond: (final week of build and well into the future)
  • Provides a final walkthrough with correction of all issues before closing. If an item can’t be completed before closing, the builder has good reason (ex. cracked light fixture on backorder) and corrects soon thereafter.
  • The builder gives the customer an orientation to the home and its systems. Also recaps warranty.
  • Includes at no cost a 1 year complete inspection, follow up and correction program.
  • And of course, the builder honors all warranty issues beyond the first year, as defined in the warranty package.

And there we have it: A verbal picture of what a quality home builder “looks” like. In our experience great builders do indeed exist. However, not every home-builder operates in a manner as outlined above. Everyone has heard the horror stories. So now, please allow us to ask a question or two:

  1. How do you really know that a particular home builder you may be considering possesses the desirable traits detailed above? The truth is that you really can’t know. Not knowing is one of the many reasons that we feel working with a Realtor from the start of your home building process is so critically important. Put us to work. Leverage our experience and let the seller pay for our services. For most people, when presented with these facts, the decision to be represented by Colorado New Home Specialists in their new home construction is an easy one. Why not work with the best?
  2. Does anyone actually think building a home ever goes as smoothly as described above? Even with the best home builder, there can often be bumps in the road.  However, great builders tend to respond better to these “bumps” than their lower quality counterparts.  If there is a serious issue, having a Realtor on your side with extensive experience in new construction can be extremely valuable to you as a consumer. The great outcome outlined above is FAR more likely to happen if there is an agent involved on your side. The process goes more smoothly.  We take care of the details and help you stay faithful to your dream: what your new home can and should be.

Working with Home Builders in Metro Denver, Colorado Springs and Castle Rock.

Unlike some agents, we don’t necessarily see this responsibility of representing you as confrontational to the builder. Yes, we negotiate and fight for the best value for our clients, yes we advocate all the way through the process. However, we also see our role as a partnership: facilitating and therefore ensuring that the builder has the best chance of achieving all of items above and more. This rare skill in new construction buyer representation is simply not something most Realtors have had the opportunity to refine. We have. We have 20 combined years of working with home builders.

We all know that the real world is chaotic.  Critical details from discussions and good intentions sometimes don’t find their way into the contract.  You need someone on your side who understands the process. We make the complex understandable by explaining things in everyday terms.  Rarely do we hear a client saying, “No, we want less information!”  These days what we all need is more usable information. More usable information is what we are all about at Colorado New Home Specialists.

No Fees to Our New Home Buyer Clients

Finally, we might even have some fun along the way.  Experience says that you are a much happier person when you have confidence as a homebuyer. What’s the price on that kind of happiness and confidence these days? Actually, it’s free! Because there’s never a fee to our home buyer clients at Colorado New Home Specialists.