Builders have more experience building homes than clients and architects. Seems pretty obvious. So why say it? While builders have the experience, their experience is not always recognized or trusted. And when a builder is trying to convince you to hire them, that experience is often overstated.
If a builder truly wants to serve clients, make them happy, and create value, they have to navigate the market and connect with clients. And if they are sincere about these goals, they aren't afraid to share their experience with other builders. If the best keep getting better, the value they deliver relative to the rest is ever more apparent to the clients.
We have shared our thoughts with other builders in both formal and informal ways to try to make us all better
The Builders Guild
You are trying to select your builder and everyone is using words like "transparency" and "quality" and "value." You don't have enough time to truly get to know each builder. The references the builders gave all say great things (who points you to an unhappy client for a reference!?). The builders have a good sense of how they stack up, but nobody says "They're much better than we are. Definitely worth the price!" and most good builders aren't comfortable openly criticizing others.
So how do you decide? You are uncomfortable with a subjective decision and imperfect information. You look to the numbers, numbers don't lie. But they can mislead...
Around 2004 a group of local builders formed a guild. The hope was that membership in the guild would send a signal to the market that the builders were different and would provide a simple way to communicate value to clients: "If you are comparing us to another guild member, you're safe comparing price. If you're comparing us to someone outside the guild, you may pay less, but you'll also get less." While the guild has been inactive for quite some time, we still feel they represent a higher level of quality than other builders claiming to be "as good as thoughtforms"
F.H. Perry Builder http://www.fhperry.com/
Gallagher Home Builders http://www.gallagherhomebuilders.com/index.html
Ken Vona Construction http://www.kenvona.com/
Fantastic Builders - Other Markets
We have developed relationships with two particular builders in two other markets who do outstanding work. They do outstanding work because they are passionate about their work and because they care about serving their clients. if this osunds like an endorsement, it is. If you ever consider building a home in Seattle/Bainbridge Island or in Stowe, look these folks up:
Fairbank Construction, Bainbridge Island & Seattle, Washington http://www.fairbankconstruction.com/
Sisler Builders, Stowe, Vermont http://www.sislerbuilders.com/