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5 Ways to Spot Good Home Building Companies

5 Ways to Spot Good Home Building Companies

Choosing between home building companies can be a project in and of itself. Luckily, there are a handful of things you can be on the lookout for that should help streamline the process and match you with the builder of your dreams.

A brick home with a navy blue sign that says "Corinthian Fine Homes."

5 Things to Look for in Good Home Building Companies

As much as we LOVE to show off stunning home exterior photos, savvy buyers know that a great home isn’t just about the glitz and glamor. Here are five important things to pay attention to when working with home building companies.

Quality of Craftsmen

Craftsmen are the key to good house construction companies. Period. Hiring only the most technically evolved professionals pays dividends in the long run: both in terms of homeowner happiness and reputational longevity.

That’s why one of the things we make clear to our homeowners is that our team works with only the very best craftsmen in Central Ohio. This is not an area for cutting corners. Especially if you’re considering a higher-end home, study that builder’s portfolio. See how the homes they built twenty years ago are doing today. Do they still look sturdy and prepared for the long haul? Some of this comes down to maintenance, of course, but if you notice a trend of homeowners shelling out for structural repairs (check the BBB, Houzz, etc.) within this time period, look elsewhere for a builder.

Our own company continues to reach out to past homeowners — not just for references but also to take referrals and stay in communication.

Material Quality

Finding the top construction and building materials is a crucial part of the build process for luxury house construction companies. But as we first mentioned in 5 Perks of Building a House vs Buying, this industry moves at a speed that just might make your head spin. Homes built 10+ years ago are no longer at the top of the game in terms of building and construction materials.

Unfortunately, not all house construction companies have the resources and/or drive to work with the best of the best when it comes to building supply distributors either. In short, some builders just aren’t prepared, for one reason or another, to get the latest and greatest construction and building materials when they plan a new build.

Why Are Building Materials So Expensive in 2022?

The skeleton of a wooden staircase under construction.

As an aside, if your’e wondering why building materials are so absurdly expensive, you’re not alone. It’s a common point of interest — especially regarding lumber.

In the case of lumber, Fortune explains that it’s because the demand has been so high for so long that much of the current supply ends up going to backlogged orders.

“The backlog is just too strong…. I got customers in the Caribbean screaming for more; I got China customers screaming for more. Everybody is under a squeeze.”

Chip Setzer of Mickey Group

as reported in Lance Lambert’s Fortune article.

With material prices rising, now is definitely a time when the best builders refuse to cut quality workmanship.

Relationship with Home Tech

If your iPhone isn’t proof enough, just take a look at any given laptop to see how quickly modern tech gets replaced with the next best thing. Much like construction and building materials, 21st century home tech is moving at an astonishingly rapid rate. After all, weren’t we once blown away to be able to open a garage door with the press of a button? Today we have smart homes that connect every room in the whole house! Where will tomorrow take us? Who knows, but you should have a home built with that future growth in mind.

Choosing house building companies that strive to acquire and implement the very latest in home tech will make your home that much more valuable and enjoyable to live in. Does the builder have experience with building and installing home tech that can stand the test of time? What specific tech needs do they envision inside the home? This can be a weak point for even good builders.

To explore our company’s history with tech and the award-winning home automation system we copyrighted, check out our About page.

A home that a house construction company is building on the other side of a large pond.

Experience & Background

Some home construction companies simply don’t have the years under their belt yet. That doesn’t mean they’re bad builders — they just haven’t gone through all the paces quite yet. There’s a level of intuition one develops when they’ve strung together multiple decades of experience building custom homes with a top-tier team.

Of course, all house building companies have to start sometime. But over time, one’s ability to balance a variety of decisions along with a client’s wishlist continues to grow. Will investing in a custom kitchen hold its value for the homeowner, or would they be better off with more landscaping? How can we make the client’s preference happen in this space, even if it doesn’t fit the predominant style in the adjacent rooms? What kind of doors, windows, and trim details can we use to combine farmhouse and modern styles on this lot?

Learning to find efficient answers to these questions is a product of experience. It comes from working your way through dozens and dozens of projects with a team you trust.

So, as a general rule of thumb, if you want the best of the best, talk to professionals who have been working in the industry since before the turn of the century.

Technical Prowess

This is similar to the question of hiring craftsmen, but here we’re talking specifically about architectural design and planning. This is an area that simply cannot be faked, and it goes back to what we said at the top: Building great homes isn’t just about the glitz and glamor. But… it is a little bit about those things.

Hoping to build a colonial mansion? Perhaps an English cottage is more your speed? Spend some time looking over previous builds of prospective home building companies within the architectural style that interests you. Check out some blueprints if you can get ahold of them. This can help in comparing an architect’s eye with the craftsmen’s hands. Try to get a sense of the architect’s aesthetic trajectory.

Have their builds within the style you like stayed consistent over the years? Or does the builder’s understanding of it seem to have evolved? Do you like the direction they’re headed in? Many of our own clients choose to combine architectural styles. If this idea appeals to you, you may or may not be able to find a previous build that exemplifies exactly what you’re looking for in someone’s portfolio. That’s okay. Pay attention to the breadth of their designs. Are they versatile? Adaptable? Do they have a creative eye that inspires you?

Questions?

Taking a little extra time to attend to each of these five overarching considerations can be extraordinarily useful in choosing between house building companies. And you deserve to choose right when it comes to your forever home.

As always, we wish you the very best in choosing your house construction company. Should you have any questions at all, please feel free to reach out to our team.

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An open floor plan with a white box containg the words "Discover the Benefits of Rightsizing Your Living Space" inside it.

5 Benefits of Rightsizing Your Home

From empty nesters to the recipients of inherited homes, rightsizing makes a lot of sense for a lot of people. In a time when the downsides of excess are becoming more and more clear, many are realizing the benefits that moving to a smaller but more intentional space can have on their finances, home quality, and upkeep efforts.

So what could YOU stand to gain from rightsizing your home? Let’s explore that.

A nice, medium-sized home with pumpkins decorating the walkway..
Rightsizing your home does NOT mean downgrading.

Rightsizing vs Downsizing

While it might be more common to hear a friend say they’ve decided to “downsize” their home, we don’t love that term as a description. Why? Well, it’s the implication… The way we see it, a homeowner is making an exciting decision about their spatial needs and lifestyle goals. That’s the transition they’re looking at with this process. “Downsizing” feels somehow negative — there’s a suggestion of loss when, in fact, there are great gains to be made.

Moving into a home that fits you better shouldn’t feel like a step down. You simply have the opportunity to take your current investment and funnel it into something better that actually fits your current size needs. That’s why we tend to talk about “rightsizing” with our clients. Rightsizing is a luxury lifestyle decision that gives homeowners back their control over the value of a home and how they use it.

It’s a ticket to ENJOY your space again! And that ticket is often worth the price of admission, particularly for many empty nesters.

5 Ways Rightsizing a Home Can Pay Off

Cut Down On Exterior Maintenance

Whether you pay someone else to maintain your home’s exterior, try to handle upkeep yourself, or do some combination of the two, taking care of a home that’s way too big is no fun for anyone. If you’re struggling to get these things done, it may feel like every time you get one issue settled, another comes up. Neglect can begin to creep in taking the form of damaged roof shingles, broken gutters, leaky skylights, unplowed snow, unmowed grass, etc. Because let’s not fool ourselves here… it takes a lot of work to do proper upkeep on a large home.

But the extra effort isn’t the only downside to owning an oversized home…

Stop Overpaying

Of course, you’re also paying for all that excess space you no longer enjoy. Personally, I see this as one of the best reasons to rightsize. Show me a better argument than getting more for my money and you’re going to see a very confused look on my face.

Still, one obstacle to folks making the decision to rightsize can simply be recognizing the opportunity for it.

Becoming resigned to living in too big of a house can be a lot like that story of the slowly boiling frog in the kettle. This is especially true for empty nesters. Like the frog that initially views the kettle as a free jacuzzi, empty nesters originally had a perfectly good reason for the amount of house they have. But with all the kids gone, that once-useful space has suddenly become a lot.

Moving into a smaller, more intentional space can be a wonderful gift for empty nesters and anyone else feels like they aren’t getting their money’s worth out of their home.

The head of a bullfrog peaking out of greenish water.

Lower Your Energy Cost & Footprint

Energy efficiency is on everyone’s minds these days. From energy-efficient windows to energy-efficient roofing materials, gone are the days of Old Man Winter stealing all of our warmth through little cracks around the home. But outdated and inefficient building materials aren’t the only way to lose energy efficiency.

We all know that more house means more space to heat and cool. While strategies like supplementing with space heaters may be a potential option in the winter for smaller homes, that gets pretty cumbersome across a 5,000+ sq. ft. McMansion. Bottom line: having a bigger home is not ideal for your energy efficiency, which is not good for your wallet.

It’s also not ideal for the planet since, as The New York Times points out, many air conditioner aren’t exactly the most environmentally friendly or up-to-date technologies ever invented.

Which brings us our next point.

Benefit From New Techniques & Materials

As we talked about in the 5 Perks of Building Vs Buying, the world of building and construction moves quickly. Techniques and materials that were used ten, fifteen, or twenty years ago to build your current home are no longer the industry standards of today. Rightsizing a home today means you get to benefit from all the progress that’s been made in that time.

“Sounds great, but won’t I just be in the same spot in another ten years?”

Yes and no. While progress is an unstoppable beast, it’s hard to deny that we’re moving at an unprecedented rate these days. Consider the difference in humanity’s developed technologies in general between 1960 and 1990. Now think about all that’s changed between 1990 and 2021. Both gaps are approximately thirty years long, but the technological strides made in the second period are exponentially greater.

In other words, while moving out of a home from a more recent era will also lend itself to the benefits of massive advancements in build quality, homes from before the turn of the century are likely to provide a particularly nice bang for your buck.

A dining room table in a rightsized home.
Ready for a fresh start with new possibilities? Rightsizing could be right for you.

Make New Memories & Start Entertaining Again

The older the home, the more memories made within its walls. The desire to hang onto those cherished memories can be another obstacle to rightsizing for empty nesters. But it’s worth mentioning that an oversized house may actually become less inviting in the present. If structural maintenance, cleaning, etc. have fallen by the wayside, that may be affecting the warmth and pride of your environment when you look to entertain, have the kids home from school, etc.

A smaller space that you can throw all of your energy into may just become a more exciting spot for get-togethers than a sprawling mansion with doors that never shut quite right and layers of dust, right? If that sounds like an exaggeration, just ask yourself this: in which scenario do you see yourself excited to host Christmas next year?

Interested in Rightsizing?

The Corinthian Fine Homes team has been building homes and serving families in Central Ohio since 1994. Our luxury Dublin community, The Hamlet on Jerome, offers customizable floor plans in one of the state’s most desirable zip codes.

Please feel free to contact us for information or with any other questions you may have.

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How to Decide on Building a House vs Buying

5 Perks of Building a House vs Buying

Moving to a new home is one of the biggest transitions we make in life. The process involves a vast array of decisions — from choosing where you want to live to picking out flooring and paint colors. Before one gets to that level of detail, however, there’s a bigger internal debate to have: building a house vs buying.

A sunroom with a white, wraparound couch, hand-built table, and mounted flat screen television.

Advantages of Building a Custom Home

If you’re considering which route you want to go, you’re probably wondering whether the upsides of a custom home are worth it. Truth be told, in addition to the obvious perks of building a house vs buying one, there are several that may not be immediately obvious.

Customizability

When folks do decide in favor of building a house vs buying one, customizability is often the reason why. While you can certainly renovate a home after you purchase it, this has obvious disadvantages when compared to simply paying for what you want in the first place.

Are you preparing to host family and friends over the fast-approaching holidays? Where buying a home can lead to compromise, building one allows you to create a space specifically for your family’s needs — giving you the perfect amount of room and extra features to make your home feel cozy and inviting for the holidays.

Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that even if one decides to buy a pre-owned home and renovate to their taste, not everything can be renovated. Corinthian Fine Homes employs some of the midwest’s top home building professionals, but even they can’t suddenly renovate a 50-year-old Colonial style home into a mid-century modern.

Latest & Greatest Building Materials

While lack of customizability is one of the more obvious disadvantages of buying a home, many homeowners-to-be don’t consider the inherent difference in quality. Building materials are constantly evolving, and what’s top-of-the-line today probably didn’t exist in 1975 when that luxury ranch-style home on Zillow was built.

For example, quite a few groundbreaking new building materials are currently expected to change the industry in the coming years. Rental equipment company BigRentz elaborates on their list which includes prospective advancements like modular bamboo and light-generating concrete saying, “Buildings crafted with the most modern materials will be more equipped to solve ongoing challenges, reduce their carbon footprint, and make an impact in the industry.” From more cost-effective builds to enhanced sustainability and beyond, the benefits of using the latest materials instead of what was used decades before can be vast.

Exposed wood beams on the ceiling above the entryway to a home with a big white couch.
Building a custom home means modern technology is on your side.

Budget Efficiency

Have you ever visited an all-inclusive resort or gone on a cruise? The “all-inclusive” business model is predicated on an understanding that enough people will pay for more in buying the package than they will actually consume during their stay. Likewise, when buying a pre-owned home, we will sometimes acquiesce to paying for things we don’t actually want and won’t get to fully enjoy. I.e. two extra bedrooms. “But hey,” we tell ourselves. “I suppose we could make use of them when we decide to start entertaining, right?”

Key Takeaway: Buying a house almost always means the buyer will either (a) pay for extra space, features, and/or land they don’t really want, or (b) settle for the opposite: not getting as much house as they want.

Choose Your Location

Location, location, location. That phrase carries a lot of weight in the building and real estate industries because at the end of the day, a beautiful mansion in the middle of the Sahara Desert won’t do anyone much good. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice where you want to live because your dream home happens to be 50 minutes away. When you build a custom home, what you’re really building is a future — a future inside any school district or zip code you like.

Sense of Ownership

There’s just something about knowing that no one else has ever set foot in a house without your invitation; that it’s all yours and always has been. This perk may be intangible and a tad decadent, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel pretty great. Building a custom home means you are truly the king or queen of your castle.

A slate grey entertainment center with a mounted flatscreen in front of a large, brown leather couch.
A good question for deciding on building a house vs buying one is this: Can I live without X, Y, and Z?

Questions to Ask When Building a Custom Home

If you choose to build your home, you may wonder about the process of engaging and brainstorming with your builder. While the best home builders are good at explaining their processes, working within your budget/timeline, and providing recommendations without overstepping, it’s a good idea to ensure you get a few questions answered up front.


What is your estimated timeline and availability?

How do you communicate delays or obstacles with clients?

May I see some examples of similar homes you’ve built?

Can you recommend an architect, or should I engage someone?


A project can only succeed when buyer and builder are on the same page. Establishing a line of communication and some agreed upon benchmarks when building a custom home will help set the stage for consistent progress as you tie up any loose ends with your old house and prepare to move in to the custom home of your dreams.