Before this meeting, we will need a survey with lot number and address and directions to your property. If possible, we would like to inspect your property prior to meeting. Each lot has its own character and will affect the ultimate floor plan and elevation of your home. Saving trees and preserving views are paramount in the custom home building process. Gather together your design ideas, website images, pad sketches – anything that you want to include in your new home. Like he pieces to a jigsaw puzzle, each element of your new home needs to fit together harmoniously to ensure the quality of the finished product. We will then meet with you to discuss your thoughts and ideas about what you want in your new custom home or addition and what areas of the home are the most important to you and your family.
Based on the information gathered at the initial meeting, we will complete a preliminary drawing. Once this is done, we will contact you and set another appointment to go over this drawing. Occasionally, we may require more than two meetings in order to achieve the design and look you want. Once we have arrived at a preliminary drawing that meets with your approval, we can then move on the step 3.
Plans, Pricing and Specifications
At this time, we will have a set of “Specifications” (This is an itemized list of what is included in the estimated cost of your home) which will be reviewed in detail. You will be given an estimated price range for the home, based on the preliminary drawing and the Specifications. If you are in agreement on the estimated price range, the next step is the “Plan Stage”. At this time, you will pay for your plans, based on square footage. This plan fee is paid up front but it is part of the investment in your home and will be credited to you at closing.
“Redline” and Final Plans
This step includes creating a “check set” which will include floor plans and elevations. We will then meet to “redline” the plans. Any last minute changes will be made before the full set of plans are completed. The full set will include floor, elevations, structural, electrical, and plumbing pages. These will then be signed and sealed by an engineer and ready to submit for permit. After your plan has been finalized, we will provide a firm written proposal that does not change unless changes are made to the plan. The proposal typically takes two to three weeks, depending on the size of your home and the degree of customization. Once all the details in the proposal have been discussed, we will prepare your contract with detailed specifications.
The construction process is divided into eight phases. The process is methodical, but moves along briskly, aimed at getting your home move-in ready as soon as possible.
- Pre-Construction – This phase starts off with submitting for all permits required by city and county building departments and health departments. This proces varys between different communities and counties but may take upwards to 2 months. Once city and county permits are cleared, construction can begin.
- Foundation – Your lot is surveyed, staked, cleared and excavated. The foundation of the home is put in next. This includes the concrete footings and slab on which the home will sit. This usually doesn’t take too long, depending on complexity of the plan.
- Shell – The shell is the skeleton of your home. This will include building the masonry walls. We then set roof trusses and install roof sheathing. Drying-in the roof sheathing and interior framing are then completed. Windows, doors and fireplaces are placed in the shell.
- Rough Mechanicals – If the shell is the skeleton, then the rough mechanicals are the internal organs of your home. During this phase, air-conditioning, heating, plumbing, and electrical wiring are introduced to the structure. Bathtubs and shower units and other large items are installed. If you’ve opted for any special security systems, central vacuum, or pre-wiring for your stereo and entertainment centers, installation takes place at this point. Exterior sewer lines, water lines and septic system will be installed.
- Finishes – This is the midway point of the building process. The finish is the skin of your home, including drywall, stucco, roofing, siding, and all major interior and exterior surfaces. All of these finishing touches really help your house start to look like home. Countertops and cabinets are installed; the house is painted and stained. Also, driveway and sidewalk will be installed.
- Trim – During this phase, the electrician will install the light fixtures and switches, plumber will install all faucets and sinks, and A/C contractor will install all the HVAC equipment and registers. Towel bars, doorknobs and all of the small hardware you’ll be using on a daily basis go in at this time.
- Final – We wait until this final phase to install the flooring in the interest of protecting your carpets and hardwood from boots, nails and dust. Any minor adjustments take place now, like window screens, drywall and paint touchups. Final grading and landscaping are installed at this time. The house is given a thorough cleaning and is ready for the final orientation.
- Final Orientation – After weeks of hard work and patience, it’s time to do the final walk through. The builder will meet with you to inspect the premises. He will explain the mechanicals and demonstrate the operation of the appliances. You may ask questions about how your new home operates, as well as make note of any items needing attention (such as paint touch-ups). Usually within 1 week of this meeting, you will sign closing papers, officially transferring ownership of the home into your name.