Diamond Certified Companies are Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

  • Why this rating is the most accurate.
  • Our editors gather deep company info.
  • Performance is Guaranteed.

Diamond certified companies are top rated and guaranteed

Why Trust Diamond Certified Custom Home Builders Rated Highest in Quality?

A custom builder and homeowner discuss construction plans.

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose a custom home builder that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified custom home contractor. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated custom home building company and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you’ll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS IN THE Santa Clara County – Contractors – Custom Home Builders CATEGORY

Hung Tu is president of An Ky Construction Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2010. He can be reached at (408) 840-3993 or by email.

Hung Tu

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Hung Tu: Building a New Livelihood

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN JOSE — When Hung Tu agreed to help his sister build her new house, he didn’t realize he’d also be building a new livelihood for himself. “My sister hired a contractor to build a house, but after problems arose, she asked if I could help with getting it finished,” he remembers. “At the time, I was working as an electrician. Once I was on the job, I found I had a talent for construction—I was a fast learner and I really enjoyed the work. After my sister’s house was finished, I got a job with one of the contractors I’d been working with. A few year later, I attended trade school to get a more formal education, and soon after that I earned my contractor’s license and started my own business.”

Today, as president of An Ky Construction Inc. (which he named after his father), Hung says he enjoys all aspects of his construction career. “I have a lot of fun doing what I do. I like talking with my clients and employees, and sometimes I’ll put on my tool belt and get in on the work. After finishing a project, I like to sit there and enjoy the beauty of it.”

Originally from Vietnam, Hung came to the United States in 1983 and today resides in South San Jose. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with family. “All my family is here in South San Jose, including my wife and daughters, brothers, and cousins. We’re very close and do everything from birthday get-togethers to family camping trips.” Hung also likes to pursue aquatic hobbies like boating and fishing. “I love the water,” he affirms. “I like taking my boat out and going wakeboarding, water skiing, and fishing on the San Francisco Bay.”

When asked his secret to keeping customers satisfied, Hung says it’s all about relationships. “I make a point of getting to know my clients and learning about their expectations for their building projects. By asking plenty of questions and listening to their needs, I’m able to get a clear idea of what they want and perform the job accordingly. This leads to a high level of customer satisfaction as well as customer referrals, which make up a good portion of my business.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Hung says he’d travel. “I haven’t thought about retirement much because I love my job and don’t really want to retire. However, I do love to travel, so if I did retire, I’d buy an RV and drive all over the U.S. with my wife.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What kinds of movies do you like?
A: Action movies.

Q: Pancakes or waffles?
A: Pancakes.

Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
A: It’s a tie between Thanksgiving and Christmas, because both are opportunities for the whole family to get together.

Q: Would you rather live in the city or the country?
A: The city.

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3 Reasons to Move Out During a Remodeling Project


SAN JOSE — If you’re a Bay Area homeowner looking to upgrade to a nicer house, you may find yourself in a predicament. After all, due to the high cost of housing, even if you sell your current home, you may not… Read more

Nate Missildine is president of Legacy Construction, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (408) 692-5918 or by email.

Nate Missildine

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Nate Missildine: Expanding Horizons

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

CAMPBELL — After nearly a decade working in the HVAC field, Nate Missildine was ready to expand his professional horizons. Ironically, this meant returning to the field where he’d originally started his career. “My first job in the trades was doing remodels with one of my friend’s brothers right out of high school,” he remembers. “After I turned 20, I went to school for heating and air conditioning, where I earned my certification. I worked in the HVAC field for about nine years but eventually felt I wanted to do something with a little more variety, so I got back into building and remodeling. After working as a foreman for a while, I got my license and started my own construction company.”

Today, as owner of Legacy Construction, Inc., Nate says his favorite part of his job is overcoming challenges. “My favorite part is also my least favorite part,” he laughs. “Challenges can certainly be frustrating, but in the end it’s rewarding to find the right solution. We often run into things that other companies say can’t be done, but we find a way to make them happen.”

A resident of San Jose (where he lives with his wife, Rachael, and their son), Nate spends most of his time outside of work relaxing. “My wife and I don’t go out a whole lot—we enjoy our own company and are happy just hanging out at home with our son. However, we do like to go up to Tahoe at least once a year. I also enjoy golf. I don’t play as much as I used to, but it’s probably my number one hobby.”

In regard to his life and career, Nate says he’s motivated by a drive to excel. “I want to be known as someone who works harder than everyone else, and I want everything my company does to stand out from the average. I think my work ethic was instilled in part by my mom. She raised me and my brother all on her own, worked full-time, and always did her best to provide a good life for us. She has been a big inspiration for me. After all, if she could raise two boys by herself, certainly I can get the job done.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Nate says he’d take a tropical trip. “I haven’t done a whole lot of traveling—I’ve been busy running companies since I was 29 and didn’t have much money to travel before that. I’m more of a tropical kind of guy, so maybe I’d kick off retirement with a trip to Hawaii. I’ve only been there once and my wife hasn’t been at all, so that seems like a good starting point.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What was your first job?
A: I was a busboy at Boston Market.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Beef jerky.

Q: Music or talk radio?
A: I like sports talk radio.

Q: What are your favorite sports teams?
A: The San Francisco Giants and the San Francisco 49ers.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: If I’m not working, I like to stay in and relax.

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Avoiding Budget Oversights With Building Proposal Allowances


CAMPBELL — Any large-scale building or remodeling project starts with a written proposal, the thoroughness of which can greatly impact the final result. A building proposal generally consists of two aspects: 1) specifications or specific services needed to complete the job  (such… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Avoiding Budget Oversights in Construction

Complete Video Transcription:

CAMPBELL — Host, Sarah Rutan: The best way to avoid budget issues midway through a building project is to ensure accuracy with the initial proposal. Today we’re in… Read more




custom log homes
custom high-end homes
custom vacation homes
chalet-style custom homes
custom beach homes
custom A-frame homes
custom green homes
custom craftsman homes
luxury homes
custom modular homes
split-level custom homes

home design-build services
custom home additions
custom home remodeling
custom new homes
custom home design
custom home floor plans
custom kitchen designs
luxury home renovations
custom tenant improvements
custom commercial building construction
custom bathroom renovations

Blossom Valley
East Palo Alto
Holy City
Los Altos
Los Altos Hills
Los Gatos
Monte Sereno
Monte Vista
Morgan Hill
Mountain View
Mt Hamilton
New Almaden
Palo Alto
Redwood Estates
San Jose
San Martin
Santa Clara


ABC Associated Builders and Contractors (http://www.abc.org/)
AGC of America Associated General Contractors of America (http://www.agc.org/)
ASA American Subcontractors Association (http://www.assaonline.com/)
BBB Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.com)
CBIA California Building Industry Association (http://www.cbia.org/)

CSLB Contractors State License Board (http://www.cslb.ca.gov/)
DCA California Department of Consumer Affairs (www.dca.ca.gov)
HBANC Home Builders Association of Northern California (http://www.hbanc.org/)
NAHB National Association of Home Builders (http://www.nahb.org/)
NCBE North Coast Builders Exchange (http://www.ncbeonline.com/)
NSCA National Systems Contractors Association (http://www.nsca.org/)
NUCA National Utility Contractors Association (http://www.nuca.com/)

Know What You Want
Know What You Want Before You Hire a Santa Clara County Custom Home Builder Contractor

Many factors should be thought about before selecting a custom home builder contractor in Santa Clara County, including the smaller cities Blossom Valley, Monte Vista, Mt. Hamilton, Los Gatos, Permanente, and Stanford, that will meet your needs the most successfully. Write down everything that you’re searching for before you begin your research. Consider the following questions before making your final selection of a custom home builder contractor.

  • Do I want a Diamond Certified company that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee?
  • What is my budget?
  • What is the time frame for completing the custom home construction project?
  • What personal and professional characteristics would I like my Santa Clara County custom home builder contractor to have? (These may include good communication skills, honesty, reliability, cleanliness, etc.)
  • Are there any changes I’d like to make personally before to the custom home construction team begins construction in order to offset costs?
  • What characteristics do I want my custom home to have?
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What To Ask In Person
Things to Ask in Person When Speaking to a Custom Home Builder Contractor in Santa Clara County

The next step is to interview custom home builder contractors in Santa Clara County, including the larger cities of San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Mountain View, and Milpitas. Questions you may want to ask include the following.

  • How do you perform your work-what time do you start, how will you protect my carpets, how will you handle trash and debris, etc.
  • How and when do the Santa Clara County general contractors clean up the construction site?
  • What professional organizations are you a member of?
  • Does the general contractor carry workers’ compensation and liability insurance?
  • How do the residential general contractors in Santa Clara County price building construction?
  • Do the general contractors specialize in the type of work you need? If so, ask the builders to provide some examples of similar work in Santa Clara County they have completed.
  • What will the construction companies’ timing be on bidding and completing the home construction?
  • Do the construction firms hire subcontractors or do the general contractors and their employees perform the work?
  • What type of warranty does each of the construction companies provide and what are the terms?
  • Will construction permits be needed? If so, will the general contractors be responsible for getting them?
  • How many projects that are similar to mine have you completed in the last year?
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  • What To Ask References
    Interview Questions for Previous Customers of a Custom Home Builder Contractor in Santa Clara County

    It’s best to select a Diamond Certified custom home builder contractor because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality contractor work in Santa Clara County and the greater Bay Area, you can feel confident about choosing a Diamond Certified company. Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews. That’s because all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers.

    If you can’t find a Diamond Certified custom home builder contractor within reach, you’ll have to do some research on your own. If you do, it’s wise to call some references provided by your custom home builder contractor. Keep in mind, though, that references provided to you by the custom home builder contractor are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process. That’s because references given to customers from companies are cherry-picked instead of randomly selected from all their customers. So the contractors will likely give you a few customers to call that they know are satisfied.

    If you do phone references on your own, specifically ask for a list of the company’s 10 most recent customers. This will help avoid them giving you the names of only customers they know were satisfied.

    1. Would you recommend this custom home builder contractor to your family and friends?
    2. Were you satisfied with the service from the (custom home builder contractor name)?
    3. Did the contractor seem receptive to your input?
    4. If you need a custom home builder contractor in the future, will you consider hiring this general contractor?
    5. What type of custom home builder project did you hire the general contractor to complete?
    6. Did the contractor provide answers to questions to your satisfaction?
    7. Did the custom home builder contractor show up on time?
    8. Do you feel like the general contractor charged a fair price for the quality of the work?
    9. Did they finish the job on time?
    10. Did the general contractor clean up after completing the job?
    11. Were there any unexpected costs? If so, what?
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  • Review Your Options
    Consider Your Options for a Santa Clara County Custom Home Builder Contractor

    The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

    Your choice of custom home builder contractor is important to you and your family. So before deciding on the best custom home builder contractor in Santa Clara County for you, it’s important to consider the following questions.

    1. Is my custom home builder contractor of choice well-established in the community?
    2. Does my general contractor of choice have good references that I have checked?
    3. Is my custom home builder contractor of choice listed in the Better Business Bureau as having complaints filed against him? If so, were they valid complaints that required disciplinary action?
    4. Is my custom home builder contractor of choice charging a reasonable price for quality work on my custom home construction project?
    5. What is my time frame for this custom home construction project: when do I intend to start it and when do I need to have it accomplished?
    6. Which general contractors in Santa Clara County offer the better warranty for the overall cost?
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  • How To Work With
    Hiring a Santa Clara County Custom Home Builder Contractor

    Once you’ve hired a custom home builder company in Santa Clara County, including the smaller cities San Martin, East Palo Alto, Holy City, Los Altos Hills, Saratoga, and Alviso, you will have an initial meeting between you and the contractor to discuss the contractor’s qualifications and your requirements. An estimate of the custom home construction project and its feasibility is drawn out. Furthermore, you will discuss the budget and design of the project as well as any restrictions and permissions that will be needed. The contractor will provide you with an estimate based on the design specifications. He will also offer choices in terms of designs and construction. Once the final contract has been written, the next step will be applying for permission. Last of all, the construction and financing process will begin.

    Be Contract Specific

    Once the contract is drawn up, it should be signed by both parties: you, the project owner, and the contractor. If any sub-contractors will be involved, they should sign the contract as well. The contract should protect the interests of both you and the contractor. As a result, it should include the following:

    • Contractor’s name, physical address, mailing address and phone.
    • Quote of the project.
    • A clear, concise, and complete description of the project, including start and completion dates. It should also include who will be responsible for each aspect of the project.
    • Terms of payment schedule as well as the payment schedule for the contractor, subcontractor(s) and suppliers.
    • How “change orders” will be handled. Any changes or additions to the project should be written up in the contract so that the conditions for change are pre-determined. Furthermore, the contract should list how and when payment will be made for adjustments. Because change orders are common aspects of most remodeling jobs, it is common for remodelers to require payment before the work actually begins.
    • Detailed materials list: product, size, color, type, model, and brand name. Any additional or alternate materials that may be used if necessary should also be listed.
    • Who will be responsible for obtaining necessary permits (this is usually the contractor).
    • Any oral promises made.
    • Warranties should be written and the length of time as well as limitations should be covered. Warranties should cover materials and workmanship, and names and addresses of the warrantor. This may include the contractor, manufacturer, and distributor.

    Take Precautions to Protect Yourself
    Taking precautions will help protect you and your custom home project investment. It will also increase your chances of success. Consider the following guidelines:

    • Do not sign a contract or any document until you have thoroughly read through it and filled in any blank spaces.
    • Do not sign a contract that uses vague terms. Make sure that all terms are specific regarding project requirements and the work that will be performed.
    • Do not make final payment until the work completed meets agreed upon specifications, building code requirements, and that subcontractors and suppliers have all been paid.
    • Don’t agree to finance your project through your contractor. Shop around for better loan terms.
    • Before deeding your property, be sure to first consult an attorney or knowledgeable friend or family member.
    • Agree to make payments as the project progresses, contingent upon completion of a determined amount of work. This way, if work on the project is delayed, payment will be delayed as well.
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  • Be a Good Customer
    Be a Successful and Good Custom Home Builder Contractor in Santa Clara County Customer

    It’s the custom home builder contractor’s responsibility to complete a successful custom home builder project for you according to your specifications. But you play a big part in the success of your custom home builder contractor, too. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring a Santa Clara County custom home builder contractor.

    • Before you hire a custom home builder contractor in Santa Clara County, including the larger cities of Palo Alto, Cupertino, Gilroy, Campbell, and Morgan Hill, restate your expectations and goals, and reiterate to the custom home builder contractor your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with local custom home builder contractors occur because of a breakdown in communication. By being clear about your expectations and theirs, you can avoid most conflicts.
    • Be clear and upfront with the custom home builder contractor. Let them know what you want from your custom home builder contractor, the long-term outcome you’re expecting and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.
    • Be sure your custom home builder contractor has a phone number where they can reach you at all times while they’re completing your design and build project. The work will move along more smoothly if your custom home builder contractor can reach you for any necessary updates, questions or work authorizations.
    • Ask your custom home builder contractor if you should call to check on the progress or if he will call you with updates.
    • When your custom home builder contractor contacts you, return calls promptly to keep the custom home builder contract work on schedule.
    • Pay for the custom home builder contractor’s work promptly.
    • Remember, a friendly smile goes a long way!

    Why would you want to be a good customer? Custom home builder contractors in Santa Clara County appreciate customers who are straightforward, truthful and easy to work with. Your good customer behavior sets the tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship. Things may very well go smoother and any problems may be more easily resolved.

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Check The Work
Use the Invoice to Check the Completed Custom Home Builder Contractor in Santa Clara County Work

When the custom home builder contract work is completed, your custom home builder contractor is required to give you a written invoice. This must include:

  • The name and physical address of the custom home builder contractor
  • A list of all work performed, including the warranty
  • An itemized list of all merchandise purchased or included
  • The total custom home builder project cost, including the amount charged for labor, if any
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Written Warranties
Request Warranties in Writing from Custom Home Builder Contractors in Santa Clara County

Before the custom home builder contractor leaves, confirm any warranties offered by the custom home builder contractor in Santa Clara County, including the larger cities of San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Mountain View, and Milpitas. The written warranty document must detail the following:

The custom home builder contractor’s name and physical address
  • Your responsibility in the case of a problem with the building project and what you need to do in order to redeem the warranty.
  • If the custom home builder contractor warranty coverage is transferrable to the new owner in the event that you sell the home or building in which the contractor has designed and built.
The length of time as well as limitations should be covered. Warranties should cover materials and workmanship, and names and addresses of the warrantor. This may include the contractor, manufacturer, and distributor.
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Top 10 Requests
Top Service Requests from Custom Home Builder Contractors

Custom home builder contractors in Santa Clara County, including the larger cities of San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Mountain View, and Milpitas, provide all types of custom home projects. Following is a list of the most popular requests.

Custom green homes
Green homes are built using a process that is environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout the building’s life-cycle. This “green” process includes design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition. The purpose of a “green” home is to reduce the overall impact of the home on the human health and natural environment.

Custom modular homes
These are buildings used for commercial purposes that are portable and cost-effective. Modular buildings are pre-constructed in a factory or other manufacturing site and then transported to the assembly site.

Custom A-frame homes
A-frame houses feature steeply-angled sides that usually begin at or near the foundation line and meet at the top, creating a home that looks like the letter A.

Custom Luxury homes
Luxury homes are high-end homes in affluent communities. The high-end status is determined by location, property entry, architecture, decor, decadent amenities, entertainment capability, grounds, etc.

Custom log homes
Log homes are structurally identical to log cabins because they are made from logs that have not been milled into conventional lumber.

Custom vacation homes
This is a home that is used seasonally as a vacation residence rather than being lived in year round.

Split-level custom homes
A split-level home is similar to a ranch home. It features three levels of living space on a floor plan that makes economical use of the building lot.

Chalet-style custom homes
Reminiscent of homes on alpine ski slopes, chalet style homes are rustic homes based on Swiss alpine cottages. They have a rectangular shape, big lofts, large windows, and steep gabled roofs.

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Glossary Of Terms
Glossary of Terms for Custom Home Builders

Below are key custom home building terms and descriptions that will help you navigate your way through your custom home construction project.

When designing a new home or business project, the architect is in charge of creating a draft of the actual design of the home, addition, remodeling, or building project.

Also known as: architect jobs, architect, shop architects, interior architects

A blueprint is a paper reproduction of an architectural design. Usually these paper drawings are on white paper with blue lines but it is a generic term for any detailed architectural design.

Also known as: the blueprint, blueprints, half pipe blueprints, hosue blue prints, blue print maker

change order
A written order to the contractor that details changes to the specified work quantities or modifications that are in the original contract.

Also known as: construction change order form, change order request form, change order form template

custom bathroom renovations
This is a reference to improving a home by remodeling a bathroom in order to make it more modern and up to date.

custom home designs
Custom home designs are designs for home that are modern and unique.

Also known as: custom home plans, home designs, custom designed homes, luxury home designs, custom design homes, small home designs, new custom homes, custom home construction, contemporary home designs

custom home floor plans
These are not stock floor plans that have been modified by a builder by making simple changes such as adding or changing a doorway. These are, rather, unique plans that have been drawn up by an architect or professional designer after they have meet with the client and viewed the property where the home will be built in order to more effectively design a home specifically constructed for the client.

Designers have expertise in certain areas of home remodeling and decor, such as kitchens or bathrooms.

dry wall construction
This is a type of construction in which the interior wall finish is applied in a dry condition. This is generally in the form of sheet materials or wood paneling.

Also known as: construction dry wall, dry wall, drywall contractors, dry stone wall construction, drywall installation, drywall contractors

General contractors manage all aspects of a project. This includes hiring and supervising subcontractors, obtaining materials and building permits, and scheduling inspections.

Also known as: certified general contractors, association of general contractors

home design-build services
This is a reference to a project delivery system used in the construction industry. In this method, the design and construction services are contracted by a single contractor or business known as the design-build contractor to build a home.

home floor plans
This is the blueprint or design for a home that is typically drawn up by an architect.

Also known as: luxury home floor plans, log home floor plans, ranch home floor plans, small home floor plans, home floor plans free, modular home floor plans

Architects who have met the standards for licensing by the California Architects Board are licensed. This includes completion of the two state-run intern development programs known as CIDP and IDP; completion of the Architect Registration Examination; and completion of the oral examination known as the CSE.

specialty contractors
Specialty contractors install particular aspects of a project such as the plumbing or electrical work.

standard bid
The traditional cost that is associated with the materials and labor needed to construct the project.

Any constructor who contracts to perform parts of the work of a project that the original contractor contacted to do.

Also known as: subcontractor agreement template, subcontractor agreement, subcontractor agreement form, sample subcontractor agreement, subcontractor agreement, subcontractor agreement construction, subcontractors insurance, insurance for subcontractors

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Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ for Custom Home Contracting Clients

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified custom home builder contractor?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a custom home builder with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only custom home builder contractors rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified custom home builder contractor.

Q: How long will it take to build my new custom built home?
A: Building times vary based on lot conditions, the complexity of the home, location and many factors that arise at times. Most custom home builder contractors are able to complete the majority of homes in a timely manner. Typically, it takes 3-6 months to build a new home once the footing is poured.

Q: Is it possible to use a specific custom home builder contractor yet retain competitive prices?
A: The answer is yes because typically contractors agree to provide a complete custom home construction project on a guaranteed maximum basis. They will agree to charge a set amount for a project and no more, assuming the scope does not change. If the costs are less than originally estimated, savings are passed on to the client on a pre-agreed basis.

Q: Once my home is under construction, can I make changes?
A: Chances that are made during the construction process can have a negative impact on the construction of your home. It is strongly encouraged that you design your home exactly how you want it at the point of sale. However, change orders may be accepted on a case by case basis during the actual construction. Be aware that these change orders may increase the overall cost of your home considerably.

Q: Why do so many people have home construction nightmares?
A: If you analyze most home construction nightmares, you will find a single common theme: the client was seduced by the lowest bid. If you are shopping for a television and you accurately compare the same model, size, and features, not much will go wrong if you buy the less expensive television. However, this is not the case when comparing construction builders. Every builder builds differently. For this reason, you should always do your homework and make sure you research any custom home builder contractor before you sign the final contract.

Q: What effect does the weather have on my home’s building materials?
A: Most every home that is being built is rained on or snowed on during construction. These weather conditions will not affect the quality or strength of your home.

Q: How long will my construction project take to complete?
A: That depends on the job. When you meet with your contractor, they should be able to fairly accurately determine an estimated end date.

Q: Do custom home builder contractors operate a clean worksite?
A: It is a good idea to check the work of a design/build contractor before hiring to see if, in fact, they operate clean worksite. Check to see if they use floor protectors and put plastic sheets for dust containment. Note if there is a line item in the contract that includes jobsite setup, cleanup, and portable facilities.

Q: What are the benefits of owning my own home?
A: The benefits include paying toward your own home rather than paying for someone else’s home ownership. Over time, houses usually increase in value, thus increasing your net worth. If your new home is financed, then the finance charges are tax deductible.

Q: How can I minimize the problems associated with a custom home construction project?
A: The first step is to recognize that all construction problems can be reduced to issues of communication or money. Money is an issue regardless of your budget or wealth. Before the project begins, know what your contractor is charging you for overhead, markup, profit, and extras. Get a list of hourly rates. Know how his subcontractors charge him. Understand fully who pays if something goes wrong. Understand your warranties and guarantees. Write everything down in the contract. Regarding communication, never trust verbal communication on a construction project. Document every conversation that involves something being done to your custom built home.

Q: How do I know that a custom home builder contractor is not marking up your credit allowances?
A: A quality custom home construction firm will have open and transparent paperwork. They should be able to show you receipts for what has been purchased, including contractor discounts.

Q: Are estimates of custom home construction companies negotiable?
A: Generally they are not. A quality custom home builder contractor will give a fair estimate based on current market prices for your community. They may be able to work with you in lowering the overall cost by using different materials or coming up with a more efficient design.

Q: What is involved in preparing a site for building my custom home?
A: In order to be prepared for your home to be built on site, you will need to research any environmental and building ordinances and codes that may apply, clear the home site of trees and other debris, design septic/sewer issues, install a driveway and culvert, determine whether your lot has any shrink/swell soil conditions, and excavate if you are building a basement home.

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