Every home I build is unique. Every homeowner I work with is different. Therefore I have learned over the years that there is no true one way to go through the building process of a truly custom home. Some clients come to me with a full set of plans and a lot to build on. Others come with nothing more than a few ideas scribbled on a napkin. Either way I know that the key to a successful end product starts with great communication from day 1.
I try to stay with 4 main steps throughout the home building process, Listen, Design, Estimate, and Fulfill:
Every project for me is different but the one thing that stays the same is the need for constant and open communication between myself and my clients. I always make myself available as much as possible which includes my personal cell number for calls, texts, and emails. Early in the process I take in as much information as I can on the client’s expectations, timelines, and budgets. Also their amount of involvement in the daily process, as everyone’s schedules either permit or prohibit them from daily activity in the building process. Some clients are on site daily and want to be involved in every decision made and some don’t have the same availability so only want to do weekly or biweekly check ins and meetings. Either way I am open to each individual’s involvement and amount of participation.
I have clients that come to me with plans, lots, sketches, or just ideas. It is my job to put it all together and give them exactly what they are dreaming. I have designers and architects that I work with that aid in that journey and together we can get to the final plans desired. If someone comes to me with plans but no lot, I usually have multiple lots in inventory, but also work closely with a local realtor so we can find a lot in the desired area that meets the owners criteria.
Once the plans and lot are selected, I will have multiple meetings to go over desired finish levels, materials, vendors, etc. in order to come up with acceptable allowances for materials and finishes in the home. This gives me the ability to get estimates from my many trusted venders/subcontractors to come up with a detailed budget/estimate for the project. Again, these numbers are based solely on the client’s ideas and expectations for details in the home. After my numbers are together, I organize everything in a detailed excel spread sheet so that all parties can see exactly what is estimated and at exactly what costs.
Once the details are agreed upon and financing is in place (either through me or through the client), a simple contract is drawn up by a third party and construction can begin. Throughout the entire process I stay in constant contact with my clients through phone calls, texts, and emails, along with providing detailed timelines, on site and in home meetings, and in person meetings with venders and subcontractors. I always make myself available for all meetings as I believe face to face contact is always better than over the phone. Monthly draws are done with attached updated spreadsheets/cost analysis reports to give the owners the ability to follow along with the budget through the process.
Once the project is complete and final inspections have been fulfilled, I do a final walkthrough with the homeowners to go over any final questions/concerns and to also explain the mechanicals and inner workings of the home. After move in, I am always available to address any items that pop up (and there is always something), and also for the one year post move in walk through. In that walk through we will go through any final warranty items that may need addressed.
Throughout the entire process of a homeowner selecting me to build their dream home, I feel the deep responsibility that they have chosen me to make this once in a lifetime experience an enjoyable and rewarding one. I take that responsibility very seriously and strive to give them the level of satisfaction that the would want to recommend me to their close family and friends.