Yes, you should first talk with a reputable builder in your area that is currently ACTIVE in the business! Look at some of the houses he has built--are they "cookie cutter" or custom? I think custom home builders are the best at their craft. The ones who "mass produce" tend to cut corners to save money on materials, and build so quickly their subcontractors often do shoddy workmanship. Talk to recent buyers of those homes...are they happy with them?
In building a home you also need to consider your location...are you prone to adverse weather conditions--extreme heat/cold, hurricanes, tornadoes, brush fires? Those factors may determine which materials your home is made of--be it brick, concrete, or wood. What kind of upgrades do you want? Do you want the latest in "green" technology? Are you in a rural area that is dependent on well/septic as opposed to suburban with city infrastructure systems in place?
at 9:46 AM on Feb. 15, 2009