Mr. Builder, We Want REAL CHOICES!

Building a new home or remodeling your existing one should be an exciting time. You will probably spend lots of time putting together great inspiration photos of ideas you would like to incorporate into your new space: how the exterior looks (the elevation), how the house is laid out (the floor plan), how the kitchen looks (nice cabinets, cool back splash, funky hardware)…all that fun stuff! You’ve got it all figured out. And you have the money to pay for it (or at least you have a bank that is willing to loan it to you).
But, low and behold, you start working with the “Custom” home builder or contractor and they show you “your choices” of elevations, floor plans, flooring, cabinets, hardware, lighting, etc. These are their “standard selections” that THEY have decided will look “just fine” in your home. They’ve already figured out where to purchase these items, how much to charge you for them and how much money they can make on them. They don’t want to be bothered pricing out and acquiring all the great elements you want to use.

And watch out for what tract (oops, I meant Custom) builders call “options”. These are over-priced items that should be “standard”, but they call them “options” so they can charge you entirely too much for them. You know, like recessed lighting, floor outlets, a granite selection that not everyone in the neighborhood already has.

So, what do you wind up with? A house that looks remarkably similar to your neighbor’s house. Is that what you had in mind? Is that why you are taking out a 30 year mortgage? I doubt it.

Too bad home buyers have to be in the truly custom market (which is usually at the $1 Million++ price point) to actually get what they want in their new homes.

Remodeling contractors often do the same thing to their clients. They seem to only have accounts with certain vendors (flooring stores, granite yards, cabinet companies, etc.), and they insist you pick your new finishes from these places. There’s 20 tile stores in this city, but you have to make your selection from ACME TILE because the contractor doesn’t want to be bothered with accommodating YOUR vision.

Hey Builders! Step up your game! Stop only offering cookie-cutter homes! It’s our money, give us REAL CHOICES!

If you aren’t letting your clients have what they REALLY want in their new homes, YOU AREN’T A CUSTOM BUILDER.

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