Choosing your builder

Picking your builder will be one of the most important things you do when building you new dream home. Your builder can make the process of building your house one of the most fulfilling and happy times in your life or a complete nightmare. We will give you some tips to help you avoid the latter. The most important thing you can do when selecting your builder is to gather as much information as you can. This can be done multiple ways:

1. Speak to their previous buyers. Ideally, you want to talk to people that have closed on and live in their homes as well as buyers who are currently building with them. You need to gauge how they handle current customers, their quality of work, and the warranty process.

2. Go to one of the builders’ current job sites. Walk around and look at the site. Is it clean of trash and debris? Is it easy to access? Are safety measures taken into consideration (ex-railing on stairs)? Are the subcontractors smoking and/or eating in the house? If they are, this can be a red flag that he is not effectively supervising his subcontractors.

3. When you are at the job site, talk to the subcontractors and see what they say about the builder. Do they like working for him? How does he handle paying them? How long have they been working for him? If they have just started working for him, dislike him, or he is very slow to pay, then these can also be red flags.

4. Google the builder. You would be amazed what can be found online. When you search for the builder, search both the building company and the actual owner name(s). We had one client that took this advice and was relieved to find out that the builder was in 10+ lawsuits before he signed a contract with that builder.

5. Is the builder a member of a local builders association? If he is a member, then this is a plus because he is openly involved with a well respected association. The professional associations try to keep their ranks clean with good builders.

6. Look the builder up on the Better Business Bureau. If they have a bad score, then this is an obvious red flag as well.

Cost Of a New House

“How much does it cost to build a new house?”

I get asked this question all the time by my clients. My answer is always, “It depends”. I know this might be a non answer but the costs of building a house can be so varied and so different a stock answer would not do the person asking the question any good. So I have put together an infographic of the breakdown of the costs of building a new home. These numbers are just general guidelines and will vary based on location, finish out, and time frame. I hope you enjoy what I have put together and I hope it will answer your question of what it costs to build a new house.


 Click on Infographic to Enlarge



House design tips

From our years of experience designing homes, we would like to share some helpful tips when designing your dream home. We hope the following will help you in the quest for your perfect home.

1. The most important tip is to design your house for how you live in it and how you will use it. I have clients ask my opinion and input about what they are designing. I always answer that you are the one living in the house and you need to make work it for your lifestyle. For example, an empty nest couple may not need 5 bedrooms to live in, but they may have specific uses in mind for those spaces such as hobby room, exercise room, guest room, Christmas room, etc. It just depends on your needs and wants.

2. Go out and look at different styles of houses. You need to decide what type of house you like. Do you want a one-story house or a two-story house? Do you want a Craftsman with a big front porch or would you like a Federal style with a smaller front porch with more symmetry? Perhaps take pictures of the design elements that you find attractive.

3. Make a list of your wants and needs. This includes kitchen size, bedroom and bath count, additional rooms like a study or game room. When it comes time to create the design, you can decide which rooms are critical and which are not as important. Sometimes in the design process a few things need to be sacrificed due to cost or lot size.

4. Verify your prospective home site’s size including all easement and building lines. This is a very important criteria because your home design must fit within the confines of the lot you choose. When selecting your lot, think about the style of house and if the lot will accommodate the plan design.

5. As part of your research, tour open houses, model homes, and home design stores in order to get ideas on how you want your new home to be finished out.

6. Don’t forget about the sun. When designing your house, think about the placement of the house on the lot and which windows are facing south and west. The amount of energy lost in windows is very high and some of this can be reduced if it is addressed at the design stage.