3 Tips for Negotiating with Home Builders in Northern Virginia


Can you put a price on a dream? How about on your dream home?

The fact is your 360 Home dream home will come with a price tag, but if you approach the process using the tips and strategies I’m about to share with you, you will not only get the home of your dreams, you’ll get the best value for every dollar you spend!

1. Know What You Want and Who You are Dealing With

As the client, you should have as much information in front of you as possible when comparing different contractors. To make a wise choice, make sure you are comparing apples to apples. One way to do this is to have a drawn out plan in hand. Asking each potential contractor about the same project in the same way will help you stay within your budget and make good choices when creating your 360 Home team.

2. Choose An Architect-Builder

We often see homeowners work directly with a builder who may provide designers and architects to work with. This is called Builder Driven Design. Others will go straight to an architect and then find a builder and designer to bring that vision to life. Neither may be the most cost effective or the most likely to result in the true home of your dreams.

We encourage you to consider choosing an Architect-Builder or Design Build firm like AV Architects & Builders. An Architect-Builder will look for the most aesthetically pleasing solution – not the fastest, cheapest or easiest – based on your unique needs and desires for your dream home. This approach is value driven on the overall impact of the home. There is also greater value because there is one point of accountability for the builder and the designer in a design build company. Your entire home will be designed with construction and budget in mind and carried through – from start to finish – by one team focused on one goal – your dream home that meets your budget.

3. Insist on Open Communication

Don’t design in the dark! Be open with your designers and your architects from the beginning, especially regarding the budget. When working with different contractors and designers there can be a disconnect between the design plans and what you can actually afford to build. Communicate any budget concerns openly and from the very start. To stay on budget throughout your project, make sure your team is working together and efficiently. This requires open communication.

And one last tip: Beware the flat rate! You should never look for a flat rate – even in square foot price. You want the outcome to be specific to your needs, so the pricing should be, as well. A custom home or custom remodel requires custom prices that meets your budget and your needs. You don’t want a cookie cutter house or a cookie cutter price!