Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to FAQs About Our Home Building Services
How much do you charge per square foot?
There are many factors that go into pricing a new home, such as roof pitch, exterior cladding, on slab or built up, ceiling height, quality of finishes, etc. A final price cannot be given without a set of plans and the questions, such as those listed above, answered. Once the plans are selected, and some of the variables are determined, a price within 10% can be determined. If you are given a solid price without all of the variables answered, it most likely means you are being overcharged.
Is it cheaper to build up, or on a slab?
Almost always, the answer is a slab. Certain situations can change this answer, such as when a lot of fill needs to be brought in. But generally, a raised house is more expensive, because it also requires concrete plus additional masonry work (or driven pilings), and a subfloor, insulation and framing.
Can I save money and buy my own fixtures?
While occasionally I have had customers do so, it is something I do not recommend. The first concern is quality. You will likely get your fixtures from a big box store. These fixtures are built to the specifications of the retailer. So the store is selling what appears to be the same fixture at a 50% discount, but in reality, it may be 10% of the quality, as the fittings, etc. are of inferior quality materials. This is compared to the suppliers for plumbers, electricians, etc. who offer the higher quality fixtures and parts.
An additional concern for you is accountability. If we install a fixture that turns out to be defective, who is responsible for replacing it? Additionally, many fixtures or parts are needed at a certain time. You would need to have all of these fixtures/parts available upfront, or else it would cause delays. Generally, the plumber or electrician, for instance, would call their supplier for the fixture/part as needed, and get almost immediate delivery. This keeps things on track.
Is it more expensive to build a custom home?
It should not be. When a builder is building a home on speculation, he must factor in costs such as interest he is paying on his loans while they are sitting on the market. A custom home can actually be cheaper, depending upon the choices made by the customer. The allowance items will have a great deal of impact on the overall cost, such as flooring, cabinets, counter-tops, etc. When your plans are selected, you will be able to get an exact price on your home, with allowances for certain items included. If you spend more on these items, you will pay more, but if you go with something cheaper than the allowance calls for, then you will put that money in your pocket.
In a custom home, you also choose not only what goes in it, but where it’s built. Some builders give a very small per square foot price, but by the time the final price is given, they have added considerable money to the total price because you are being charged for “extras” which should have been known from the get go.
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Can I save money by building it myself?
In general, no. If you have a lot of time and some experience in the field, then perhaps you can, but that is not the norm. Also, some banks will not lend money to build without a licensed contractor on the project. The discounts on materials (and labor) for one shot builders will usually not equal those for builders with ongoing relationships and steady accounts. It will usually take much longer which will eat up more dollars in financing. And almost all who have done this will tell you that it was extremely stressful.
Where can we get plans?
The best place is to look at local plan developers. Contact us for a list of who to call in the area. Local plan developers have already accounted for the local ordinances and environmental factors, therefore the tweaking on the plan that must be done for your particular site should be minimal.
You can look online to get an idea of what you would like. But it would then be best to take those ideas and get a plan from a local house plan developer. A plan bought online can still be used, but the modifications to it would be more extensive, and hence more expensive.
How long will it take to build?
There are a lot of factors that go into this answer. The size of the home, the location, the time of year, the weather, lot preparation, and more, are all factors. The range can be anywhere from 2 to 9 months. The larger the home, the longer the construction time. Weather is a big factor, so periods of rain will definitely slow things down, as will soil conditions. Once the foundation is in, things speed up. And once the roof is on, things will move even faster.