Hiring a builder is probably the most important part of building a home. This is a person that you are going to be spending a lot of time with over the months it takes to construct a house. We came to a decision very easily when choosing a builder... because he is my dad. =) My dad has been a licensed general contractor for many years, but nearly all of his work in recent years has been commercial construction.
We did talk with a few different residential builders, but using one of them would have drastically increased our construction cost. Having my dad help us with this huge project was such a blessing.
We quickly learned that banks were still very uneasy to loan money for construction loans. Every bank that we talked to had very strict qualifications for the builder we planned to use. One bank had to get the approval from their entire executive board. It would have paid of tremendously to do this homework ahead of time before we wasted a lot of precious time.
Even though my dad is a licensed GC in the State of Georgia, we were denied at a few banks because he hadn't built 10 houses in the last 3 years. Honestly, I don't think many builders had built that many houses due to the housing market crash. I understand why the banks had to put such stringent requirements in place, but it nearly made it impossible for us to even get a loan. We had nearly lost all hope about the possibility of being able to build and decided to try one more bank. THANKFULLY, that bank was more than willing to work with us and our builder!
Building this house has been a huge team effort. Brad and I have done a majority of the quoting with subcontractors, vendors, materials, etc; while my dad was busy with the actual construction and making sure everything stayed on track. We hired sub contractors for everything such as: framing, foundation, siding, drywall, plumbing, and electrical. Most builders do this unless they are a huge builder working on many houses at a time.
One of the perks/stressful parts of doing this ourselves, is that we have made every single decision along the way. Building a home requires decisions I had never even thought about before. "Where will we put the septic tank?" "Which way should the door swing?" "How important is this wall and can we get rid of it without the house falling down??" Just to name a few!
Tomorrow I will go in to how we found our land and made the purchase. Please keep asking questions in the comments! It is giving me ideas to write about!