Good builders, architects and general contractors will prove invaluable when building a custom home. If you are new to the custom construction process, hiring a well-respected expert is well worth the extra money. Depending on their individual skill-set, they can help you determine your budget, draw up your plans, make informed design decisions and oversee construction.
The following is an excerpt from the second chapter of our eBook, Building a Custom Home: What you need to know about custom construction financing.
We hope that you find this information useful in helping you to better understand the roles of each expert you may need to hire for your project. If so, please download your free copy of our eBook to learn more about the custom construction process.
Hire Respected Experts
Depending on the project and the experts you choose, there may be some overlap between titles and job responsibilities. In some cases you may be able to find one company that has its own experts and can handle everything. In other instances, you may want to hire each of them yourself to pick your own individual team members.
Architects are responsible for planning and designing buildings. A good architect will work with their client to get a good understanding of how the structure will be used and any design features the client would like to include. With this knowledge, they develop all of the structural, mechanical and electrical requirements.
They will also help oversee the process by getting frequent updates from the builder or general contractor. In addition, architects will often help you get your construction permits by helping you submit your plans to the city for approval. In most cases, architects are paid through commissions from their client based on the total project budget.
Builders are responsible for coordinating and building your home. Some builders may design completely custom homes using in-house architects or designers while others may work with architects hired by their clients.
Builders will often have their own in-house teams that handle most aspects of construction without as much need to subcontract. In most cases, you will work with your architect and builders to determine the costs of your home. The fees you pay to the builder will cover these costs, including materials and subcontractors plus any fees the builder charges for their services.
Your general contractor will be involved in all of the day-to-day management during the construction process. They are responsible for keeping the project on target, on time and on budget.
A general contractor will hire all of the subcontractors needed for your job. In most cases they are paid by charging a percentage on top of the total fees charged by the subcontractors.
Interior designers are multi-talented, artistic professionals responsible for designing and coordinating the use of interior space. This can include everything from layout and furnishings to paint and carpet colors.
Some interior designers are self-employed while others work for design firms or retail stores. There are different ways your interior designer can be paid depending on how they’re employed. Self-employed designers can be paid by the hour, by the project, by the square foot or based on the cost of materials. Designers working for design firms or retail stores are usually paid yearly salaries or by the hour.
Soil Engineer/Geo Tech
Soil engineers are responsible for inspecting and analyzing a site’s soil and geotechnical characteristics. Through observation and testing they are able to determine things like drainage, erosion patterns and weight-bearing capacity. This will help to know whether any special accommodations need to be made to the foundation or other aspects of the home.
Soil engineers can charge hourly for their services including the time they are drilling or inspecting a property, but may charge flat fees for testing or writing up reports.