What to Expect During Your First Meeting with Your Builder

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Deciding to build a home is exciting, and the long process from decision to finished product begins by meeting with one or more potential builders.

Since you may have a few of these meetings – and should if you’re hoping to find the right fit for your project – it’s important to know what to expect when going into that meeting.

Here are 4 things you can likely expect from every first builder meeting when designing and constructing a home:


Like any first meeting, your first meeting with a builder will begin with introductions.

This portion may differ from firm to firm, but often will include some discussion of the individual builder’s history and experience, and can include viewing some examples of their previous work. If you are given the opportunity to see some of their work, this is a good time to ask for a few references that you’ll want to reach out to later.

At this point, it’s good to ask about how they handle items such as the design process and sub-contracting. These answers give you a good feel for how the builder operates, and whether your project will be reliant upon multiple other groups or if most of the tasks will be taken care of in-house.

Your builder also will take this time to get to know you a little better, including any experience you have with custom building, some of your general preferences, and anything else they feel is helpful to their working relationship with you.

Process Outline

Once the introductions have been completed, your builder will walk you through a general outline of the building process, what happens during each step, and an approximate timeline.

In this section of your meeting, you’ll learn more about how your builder handles the design phase, and how late in the process you’re able to make changes to the design. You also may get more information on what portions of the build take place simultaneously, and when you will begin picking the smaller details, such as fixtures and trim.

If you didn’t discuss subcontractors during the introduction phase, you can ask more about what types of subcontractors your builder uses and how they find the people they work with during the outline stage.


Next comes the big thing many homeowners always want answered: Will our budget line up with the builder’s typical projects?

At this point in the meeting, you and your builder can begin to have a discussion about your ballpark budget and whether that dollar amount is realistic for what you’re wanting. It can be shocking for homeowners to learn that the number they had in mind won’t even begin to touch the project they’ve envisioned, but having this conversation early on with someone who can properly scope out your plans gives you the opportunity to either re-think your budget or re-think all those must-haves that will cost a lot of money.

Early Planning

Once you’ve got all the scary numbers talk out of the way and, if you and the builder are still on the same page, you can begin discussing the early steps of your project.

If you’ve already got plans in your head, or even on paper, you and your builder can discuss your next steps and a timeline. If you don’t yet have plans, don’t worry! Your builder can help you make some preliminary decisions so you can begin the planning phase.

Experienced Custom Home Builders in MD & PA

For more than 35 years, Irvine Construction has been an in-demand custom home builder throughout Maryland and Virginia. We can handle everything necessary to give you the home you’ve always wanted, backed by our exceptional customer service. Call today for a consultation!

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