For most people, building a custom home is a dream come true. While you probably have an idea of how you want your home to look, to get the process started, a plan must be created. The planning and designing phase requires the assistance of a skilled custom home designer. This professional will work to develop a blueprint of your custom home that covers all of the details, large and small, that a builder will need to make your dream a reality.

While you are likely excited to get started, it is important to choose an experienced designer that understands your needs as well as your personal style. To ensure the best designing experience when it comes to your custom home, be sure to ask your designer these five crucial questions:

  1. How long have you been designing homes in the Houston, Texas area?

Experience is important, but area-specific experience is just as important. A designer who typically designs homes in cool climates, for instance, may not be as savvy with implementing features to combat the warm Texas climate. Similarly, designers with experience in the area you are building in will be more in tune with the local building codes and permit processes.

  1. Do you anticipate any challenges or difficulties in designing my vision?

A skilled and experienced designer will work diligently to ensure that your vision is accurately reflected in the design of your custom home. It is important, however, that the designer can honestly relay any potential challenges or difficulties that they may anticipate with achieving this feat. Asking about any challenges ahead of time will give you an idea of what to expect as you work through the process. It may also be a good indicator of their level of adaptability and creativity. If you discover that your designer cannot meet your needs, it may be wise to opt for a different designer.

  1. Can I see examples of your past work?

Most designers tend to have a signature style. By asking to see examples of their work, you can identify this style and discover if it fits your own personal preferences. This is also a good opportunity to determine if the designer has worked on similar projects. If so, seeing examples may help you to better visualize your final outcome. A glimpse into their portfolio also presents an organic opportunity to ask for references.

  1. How do you calculate your rates?

Many designers will require a significant deposit before beginning a project. For the remainder of the project, they may opt to charge hourly or they may have a set price for each completed process. By understanding how your designer will charge, you will be able to have a better idea of the final cost without any unwelcome surprises. This is also beneficial if you have yet to make a final decision regarding who will design your custom home as the price difference resulting from alternative rate calculations may be significant.

  1. Do you have any recommendations for a custom home builder?

Custom home designers have likely worked with a number of clients who have gone on to work with builders in the area. If you have not yet hired your builder, it may be wise to ask for a recommendation. Your designer will be able to recommend builders who are local, experienced and respected in the custom home industry.