Top 10 Ways to Choose a Custom Home Builder

Quality Custom Homes since 1958.

Just imagine custom designing your home from scratch, having the freedom to choose virtually every aspect of your new home and then, at the end of it all, living in the home of your dreams! Contact the experts at L. Patten & Sons Limited to learn more about what a trust custom home builder can do for you.

As you begin the process, consider top 10 ways to choose a custom home builder:

1. Do Your Research

One of the first things to do prior to choosing a custom home builder is explore the available options in your area.

This could involve everything from an online search to driving around the neighbourhood, as well as simply asking around.

The best people to talk to would be those for whom prospective builders have done work, and an added bonus would be the ability to step inside previous projects to get a firsthand view.

2. Know What You Want A Custom Home Builder To Do

It's also important to have a list of things you want to have in your new home, as well as a budget for the building project to ensure as many of those wants can be met as possible.  Most people can’t have it all, so be sure you prioritize. 

Even the most experienced custom home builder can’t make your dream home pop up if you aren’t able to define just what that dream is!

 Custom home galleries are a valuable reference point, and Houzz is also an excellent resource wherein you can create an online portfolio to share with your builder.

3. Find Out If Custom Home Builder Can Help With Design

Having a custom home builder who can be involved in the design stage has real advantages, as they can provide information about the logistics and costs of specific design elements. Ask if your builder will work with you to create a design, as this can really streamline the process.

Here's an example of how the principles outlined so far can be put in practice:

4. Ensure Financial Transparency

Let's be real: A custom home is a big commitment, and since you already have a budget in place, It’s critical that you know what your costs will be before you begin, so you don’t find out halfway through that you can no longer afford to finish. 

A good custom home builder will wait until the plans are fully in place before providing you with pricing.

This can be a frustrating endeavour, as gathering full pricing details can take weeks of steady work. But it's worth it in the end as both parties will know exactly where they stand. If possible, talk to previous clients and ask if their homes were on-budget and if there were any surprises. 

5.  Ensure The Custom Home Builder Bills Regularly

Along those same lines, and seeing as the costs of a custom home are significant, it is generally beneficial to have the expense spaced out over the course of the build.  

A good custom home builder will provide regular statements, usually monthly. They should cover all work done to date, and be well laid out and clear. 

Have your builder be clear on their billing policies, and be comfortable with their system.

6. Communication Is Key

Building a house is an extremely complex task, with hundreds of hours, tons of material, numerous different trades, and unpredictable weather all playing a part.  Ask if your custom home can provide regular updates, including pictures as well if you are not able to get to the site regularly.   

You should be able to meet the builder on site at different stages of the process, so there will be many opportunities to see for yourself how it's going.

When you first interview a builder, ask if they provide regular  reports, and be sure you both agree on the time you want to spend on site during the build. Establishing a good rapport and routine early will help things run smoothly.  

7. Assess How The Builder Manages Change

Despite everyone's best efforts, there will likely be some changes made during the building process. For example, you may decide you want more space in one room, or windows moved in another; your choice of finishing materials may change; your kitchen design may evolve. 

All of these things will likely mean a change in costs and prospective timelines, and you should agree up front as to how this will be handled. 

If your builder can't or doesn't want to deal with these changes, it's best to go in a different direction.

8. Avoid Builders That Don't Guarantee Quality

One of the advantages of a new, custom build is that your home itself and most of the products, systems and components it contains will be brand-new and under warranty.

For example, the peace of mind that comes with knowing that major repairs or a new roof are likely years away is important.

A reputable custom home builder will provide a structural warranty of ten years or longer on the home itself, ideally transferable to a new owner should you sell. Also look for a builder who provides prompt and courteous service under warranty and who takes time to explain the proper maintenance and care that any home needs.

9. Grade Resale Value

Speaking of selling, you may not be in this custom home forever, and it's important to look for builders whose homes tend to hold or maintain their value.

It's advisable to check Realtor ads that specifically mention the name of a builder for a home for sale that’s now five or seven years old. 

10. Trust The Process

It won't always be easy, but building your dream home should be incredibly rewarding. Again, it’s important that you do your research and choose the best custom home builder for you and your project. 

Skill and experience are critical, and personality matters as well.  If you have done your due diligence, you should have peace of mind knowing that your builder is on your side. 

With the right preparation and the right builder, the entire process should be life-giving.  Enjoy the build, and the years of happiness your dream home will bring.

L. Patten & Sons Limited brings over fifty years of custom home building experience to every project we undertake. We take pride in building custom homes that are as beautiful to look at as they are comfortable to live in.


We were thrilled with the hard work and attention to detail from the team at L. Patten and Sons. Their guidance for us, first time home builders, was so helpful in building our dream home.

Our family is so pleased with all the details, Jerry and his team were able to find us the perfect craftsmen to perfect all the wow features throughout the house. 

Many thanks - The Horan Family

We make it our goal to help all our clients realize their dreams. Quality craftsmanship, attention to detail and complete customer satisfaction are what sets L. Patten and Sons apart in the Collingwood, Blue Mountain and Georgian Triangle home building community. Our home owners can rest assured that their new home will be a source of pride and satisfaction for many years to come.

CONTACT US today to get started


2. Houzz