The steps in building a new home include:
At the first meeting, clients bring information including pictures, drawings, sketches, brochures, or magazine articles that speak to their design tastes. Bringing a “must have” list for your home is also helpful in establishing what it will take to meet your needs. Those that already own a lot should supply the lot’s address as well as any other information about the property such as the elevation certificate or survey data. We’ll discuss all aspects of your desired new home, and establish the budget. We will also refer you to a financing entity if needed.
For those that have not yet purchased a lot, it’s important to determine if you prefer a waterfront or dry lot. Buyers that want a home on the water, must consider several important aspects that help determine the value of the lot, including the lot’s distance from open water and location of any bridges, bridge height, etc. Lots located in an area without bridges are on what is known as “sailboat water.” It’s also important to determine how many feet of water frontage the lot has and confirm if the lot has an existing seawall, dock, and/or boat lift. The view, and whether or not it is obstructed, also contributes to a lot’s value. In addition, lots situated near intersecting canals are often considered more valuable.
Along with location, buyers must consider the lot’s elevation. It’s likely that we can provide buyers with an educated estimate of the lot’s height by reviewing county maps, but the actual elevation confirmation is provided on the elevation certificate. Fill dirt is currently very expense (approx. $5K per sq. foot). Knowing how much fill dirt will be needed can be useful in understanding a lot’s value and negotiating a fair price. When the lot is officially inspected, any necessary environmental or building surveys will also be ordered.
After the initial meeting, the planning stage begins for both custom home and traditional floor plan clients.
In this phase the home drawings have been completed, the final price is set, and financing is ready. It’s now time to execute the contract and choose components such as appliances, colors, cabinets, and flooring as the permitting process begins.
During this phase, the home’s design details are confirmed and the plan is completed. During this phase, clients participate by:
At this point, the permits for your new home are submitted to the various building departments or governmental agencies required.
It should come as no surprise that this is the most exciting stage as the actual building takes place. During the construction phase, clients are kept apprised of the building progress through regular digital progress photos and correspondence. Homeowner involvement is required to address the following:
At this point the home is completely finished and the local building department has issued the certificate of occupancy. Your homeowner’s insurance policy should be in place, and your lender will have completed their final inspection and disbursed funds. Once the closing paperwork is signed, you are ready to move in to your new home!
We know that building a new home is exciting, but your safety and that of our contractors is our first priority. Clients should schedule site visits with the Site Coordinator to ensure it is safe to visit the property. In addition, as a safety measure, all work is required to halt during your visit.
We utilize a program called Builder Trend where we will upload all progress photos, notes, subcontractor information, inspections so that owners can follow the process remotely.
When building custom homes, we include realistic allowance amounts in the contract for:
Contract allowances give you the greatest amount of freedom to choose, while balancing direct involvement with impacts to the home’s final cost. These allowances help guide your selections in alignment with the home’s total price. If your desired selection costs more than your contract allowance clients may choose to:
Your contract will include addendums that specify everything included in your home. The specification sheet, model, and floor plan will outline which plan you chose and what comes with a specific floor plan as contracted. The upgrade addendum will outline any upgrades chosen. This addendum overrides anything on the specification sheet. Any final items added at the time the contract is signed are included on the upgrades sheet.
In all honesty, it depends. It can be difficult to understand how home costs are calculated, leading clients to incorrectly assume that taking a small portion of the work off the contractor’s list will result in significant cost savings. In reality, the kind of work the average home buyer is able to do, results in minimal savings.
In addition, clients should also remember that the builder must ensure that everything is properly constructed in order to warranty the work. If a homebuyer were to make a mistake, the assumed cost savings are immediately lost because the homebuyer must pay to remedy the error. It’s also common for homeowners to offer to handle a task like painting, not realizing that almost all subcontractors or trades come into contact with or are waiting on the painter.
When considering doing work yourself, homeowners should also consider the motive for doing so. If the primary driver is cost savings, you may be surprised by the value our contractors offer when compared to doing the work yourself.