The Right Home Starts with the Right Builder.
Featured in Boyd Street Magazine August 2019 by Heide Brandes
Building a dream home is exciting, but if buyers don’t have the right builder, it can be a source of unyielding stress and sleepless nights. Horror stories are filled with problems with builders, budgets spiraling out of control and sites left half-finished.
Thankfully, most builders are both professional and capable. David Armstrong, of Armstrong Homes, is one of those Norman-based builders, and with 27 years of homebuilding experience behind him, he said homebuyers can avoid bad experiences simply by the way they choose, manage and communicate with their builders.
Once a perspective homeowner has done the due diligence to research building companies in their area, the choice of how to find the right builder usually comes down to style, personality and price, Armstrong said.
“A lot of building companies do a great job, but I always caution people to compare apples to apples,” he said. “Talk to several builders and see the specific features of each house. It’s easy to get caught up in the things you see like pretty light fixtures, but look at the guts of the house too, like the windows, the insulation packages, what kind of foundation is used, the heating and air. It’s a lot of work, but it’s important.”
While Norman has many good builders, Armstrong says the personality of the homeowner and the builder must mesh.
“You’ve got to compare personalities too. You have to be able to get along with your builder and have to be able to trust and talk to them,” Armstrong said.
Checking with a local builders’ association is an easy place to start your search, and, Armstrong said, you should look for builders with ties to the community.
“The builders’ associations can give you a list of builders in the area, but you should also look for builders who live in and support your local community,” he said. “We’ve done stuff for Mary Abbott House, for Folds of Honor and with local animal shelters. I live next door to some clients.”
When it comes down to choosing from a short list of perspective builders, price is often the deciding factor, but Armstrong said personality and confidence really should be at the top.
“The relationship should be based on clear communication,” Armstrong said. “In fact, I give you my mobile phone number so that if you have a question, before, during or even after you move in, you’ll be able to talk to me. I visit each home we build just about every day. It’s part of the quality control that sets Armstrong Homes apart from the rest, and allows us to say, ‘We are your personal builder.’”
ArmstrongHomes.com has even more tips as well as blogs, news articles and galleries that can help homeowners find their perfect home and builder.
A graduate of Norman High, David Armstrong grew up in Norman and has raised his family in Norman. After years in the construction industry, he started Armstrong Homes in 1992.
“I love Norman,” he said. “We do everything from starter homes to million-dollar mansions, but we really specialize in custom homes.”
While Armstrong does have a few “inventory” homes, he said he averages anywhere from eight to 12 homes a year that he personally builds and the “personal” in “personally” is the key to his success, he said.
“I like to say, ‘I’m your personal builder.’ I only do a few homes a year, and because of that, I’m
The importance he puts on the attention to detail is why he limits how many homes he builds a year.
“That’s my philosophy,” he said. “My boys used to tease me and call me OCD. I’m really hands-on, and I have a hard time letting a project go without me being there. I want each home to be built right, and