While it is possible for a builder to complete your home relying solely on subcontractors, it’s likely not the best solution if you’re looking for a luxury custom home.
To ensure a quality home, you need to work with a builder you trust who uses a mix of both subcontractors and in-house employees. When you do this, you won’t have to worry about your builder putting your dream home into the hands of the trades that are just there to get the job done as quickly as possible.
The National Association of Home Builders found that most builders are subcontracting out over 75% of the construction of their projects. Professional custom home builders use both in-house employees as well as subcontractors when building a new home. The employees focus on the key elements of your home, like framing and finishes, to ensure the final product is exactly what you expect.
Production builders rely solely on subcontractors to complete the entire project. This process works fine if you’re looking for a cookie-cutter home. They mass produce these homes on a budget, relying completely on subcontractors to get the job done.
But professional custom home builders know what your home means to you, so they have dedicated employees that ensure your new home meets your expectations. But they also know that some things are better left to the experts of the field, so they have a team of trusted subcontractors that specialize in particular elements of the build.
You might think that by using subcontractors that your builder is just taking your money without actually doing any of the work. But the truth is, even while using some in-house employees, choosing and managing subcontractors is a big job. While the subcontractors might do the physical labor, it’s your builder that needs to ensure they are the right fit for your project and that their work is the quality that is expected.
When building a new home, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the what, why, and how when it comes to your builder subcontracting parts of the build.
First, you need to have an open and honest conversation with your builder to find out what elements of the build are going to be subcontracted out. It’s during this conversation that you’ll get a clear understanding of what is the responsibility of the builder's employees versus their subcontractors.
Then you’ll want to ask why those elements are being subcontracted out. Professional builders will have in-house employees to take care of the key elements of the build, like putting up the framing of your home and installing the finishes.
While your builder may be capable of completing other elements, like drywall, it might not be the most quality or cost-effective option for your new home. So, they’ll contract that phase to a trusted subcontractor who is a craftsman at that particular element.
Finally, you should ask your builder what their process is when choosing and managing their subcontractors.
Professional builders will have a list of subcontractors that they have worked with before and trust their ability to provide a quality product. Rather than just signing up the subcontractor with the lowest price. Their systems will also allow for streamlined management of each subcontractor. So you don’t have to worry about the timeline or work stopping completely because a subcontractor goes unpaid.
It doesn’t matter if you are building your first home or if you have built many times before… Building a new home can be very overwhelming, and when you hear new things for the first time, it's not easy to remember everything.
So I’ve put together a guide for you to download. It’s completely free, and it will help you to keep your design on budget and avoid any nasty surprises that can sneak up on you when building a custom home.