3 Red Flags of Bad Custom Homebuilders

3 Red Flags of Bad Custom Homebuilders

Building a custom home is a unique experience to create the home of your dreams that will be enjoyed by your family for decades. A well-built custom home is a legacy you can leave your family to be cherished for generations to come. But building a custom home is a huge investment and involves a lot of important decisions—the most important one being which home builder you use. With such a significant decision it’s best to keep your eye out for red flags and ensure that you’re working with a reputable, well-trusted custom home builder. Over our 50+ years in business we’ve heard horror stories about people who have trusted new companies with fantastic claims, only to end up left high and dry a few months later.

As you begin looking for the right custom homebuilder to meet your family’s needs, keep an eye out for these 3 red flags:


Lack of Experience

Many new builders will advertise their combined years of experience instead of how many years they’ve been in business. Check with the Better Business Bureau to verify how long a prospective builder has been in operation. You’ll want a builder that won’t just be in business for the duration of your build, but also will be around for years to come to back up their home warranty. Custom homebuilding is a competitive environment and builders without experience or have frequent changes in leadership are likely to fail.


Too Small

too small custom home builder with unfinished custom home red flags to look for build on your lotToo small homebuilders have the highest rate of failure among construction companies (ConstructionBusinessOwner.com). Although you may be tempted to support a small upstart or local business, be wary of working with a company that is too small. If they don’t have a permanent place of business, lack experts at every level of the business, or their operation is only one or two people, you’ll probably want to take your business elsewhere. Your custom home should not be a small business’ learning experience. Small home builders can also lack the capital, credit, and experience that is required to build a custom home. If your builder experiences financial hardship during your build and files bankruptcy, the builder is not obligated to honor your contract. Even worse, you’re unlikely to be able to recover any monies you’ve already invested into the project, leaving you with a partially finished house that is over-budget and over-schedule.


Not Flexible

For the money and time involved in building a custom home, your custom home builder should meet all of your desires (within your budget, of course). Building a custom home is a unique process that is unlike building a spec home. If your custom home builder pushes back on the features, finishes, or design that you want they may lack the experience it takes to build a truly custom home.


Building a custom home should be one of the most exciting things you ever do—but it shouldn’t be nerve-wracking. Selecting the right custom home builder can help make the process of designing and building a custom home pleasant. Take your time to look for the right builder for you that will be there to support you through the home building process and for years to come.


Contact Us


Putnam Builders has been building custom homes on the Gulf Coast of Texas and surrounding areas since 1963. We would love the opportunity to discuss your custom home ideas in our design studio in Bacliff, TX or in the comfort of your own home. Please contact us at 281-339-0838 or request a free consultation.





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