Designing Your Custom Home

One of the biggest challenges custom home buyers face is how to select the right design for their new home. Creating a list that prioritizes your need is a good starting point. The following criteria are essential when selecting a home design.


Do you entertain frequently? Do you have plans to grow your family? Do you need rooms to which you can retreat for privacy? Think about the time you presently spend in rooms and why. For Example, do you find your kitchen has become the family gathering place? If so, you may want to consider a hearth room as part of the kitchen and/or provide for a wide open concept.


Square footage does not always equal usable space. When designing room sizes, carefully consider the seating areas and how furniture placement will affect the overall feel of the room. Do you want two separate seating areas or one larger conversation area? How will the room flow into other rooms? In many instances, volume ceilings provide spaciousness to a room that floor square footage doesn't.


The openness of a floor plan creates a special feeling in itself, especially when volume ceilings are added. When natural light is shared from room to room and dramatic views are maximized, a sense of airiness is achieved. Open plans work well with traffic flow, but also channel noise from one room to another. Therefore, you may want to allow for a private room such as a library, study or garden room.


Consider the views from each room of the home. Important factors to consider include the location of neighboring homes, extended view corridors, special landscaping, and natural sunlight. Recording this information will help ensure that your home's windows maximize the lot's view potential.


Planning and prioritizing are key elements when narrowing down the search for a new custom home design. Keeping these criteria, as well as others, in mind should help you reach your goals.


Trust Building (very important)

In todays marketplace, the competition for a customer to build for is intense. Every Builder has their own way of doing things. The most important thing is to have a good working relationship between the parties and to have things spelled out up front and on the back side as to who is responsible for what. Always know the Who, What, Where, When, How, and Why about your particular building process.

The best approach is to have meetings to discuss the next and prior stage or stages of the construction process as it relates to your specific situation. This is a very important issue that should be monitored on a continual basis. Now that does not mean stand there while the Builder hammers in every nail, it merely means that you and the Builder should be on the same page and in the same frame of mind when it comes to building your home.

Keep in mind that omissions and or mistakes can happen, by both parties. How they are addressed is the important aspect of the relationship, no one wants to waste time or money and still get nothing accomplished.

Make sure that all warranty manuals and policies are received at the appropriate time and all meetings are attended as needed to ensure a smooth and enjoyable building process.
Let us take the hassle out of the building process for you!


Finding The Right Lot For Your Custom Home    Build On Your Lot (BOYL)

What do you need to know to buy just the right lot for your custom home? Before you go to settlement on that "perfect lot", you need to know the answers to several important questions.

Your purchase contract for the lot may include a 60 or 90 day "study period" in which you can review the lot to make sure it meets your needs. Find a reputable building industry professional to work with - either an architect or home builder. During the study period, get answers to the following questions:

What is the zoning of the property under contract?
What are the side, rear, and front setback restrictions under this zoning classification?
Are there any utilities? If electric, gas, cable, and phone are not "at the lot line", do easements exist to bring them to your lot?
Does the lot have access to public water and sewer service? Do easements exist? If "yes", what are the tap fees? If "no", you will need some answers regarding wells and septic systems/fields.
Is there any existing flood plain or Resource Protection Area restrictions on your lot? Local jurisdictions have become much more restrictive in their interpretations of your rights with these areas. If your lot slopes significantly, you may want to obtain field run topography survey, as most of the aerial topography surveys at government jurisdictions are inaccurate.

You will need a preliminary grading showing the location of the house, septic field, well, utilities, and driveway. All of the proposed improvements must meet zoning, setback, and health department requirements of your jurisdiction. You will now be able to determine if there is any specific site problem. These could include:

A significant need for fill dirt (or an excess) - most custom homes require an engineered foundation for the exact location of the structure. This can only be achieved by a soil report from the actual lot. Some "inexperienced" or "low ball" builders still just scrape the dirt level and start to build - this is NEVER a good idea.

Insufficient area for the required improvements (including house, pool, driveway, well, septic system, easements, etc.)
The need for extensive retaining walls.
Extensive vegetation (heavily treed) - these lots are usually a premium price. But they can also be a premium price to prepare them for construction and may require removal of a significant amount of vegetation that you originally paid a premium for.

The process may sound daunting, but if you can work through the issues, building a custom home can be a truly rewarding experience.


Steps to BOYL

Six Simple Steps to Build on Your Lot

1. Select Your Lot
In town or out, we'll build almost anywhere you like! Once you've purchased your perfect lot, just bring us the survey to begin!

2. Select Your Plan
The hardest part may be selecting which of the many plans you'd most like to live in! We have tried to provide links to assist you in selecting your new home. Upon selection, we will draw up your construction agreement and begin the next step in completing the design process.

3. Arrange for Financing
Arranging for a Construction loan with your bank based upon the estimate for construction provided by us.

4. Make Your Selections
You'll be happy to choose from among the hundreds of custom options at your fingertips!

5. Commence Construction
It is a unique experience working with your own Personal Builder. You are encouraged to ask questions and provide ongoing input during the construction process. After all, it is your home!

6. Move-In and Warranties
Prior to move in you will be afforded a warranty orientation and manufacturer information packet . This will help assure future quality if a warranty issue should arise. Your typical warranty is an all inclusive1-year limited warranty, backed by any additional manufacturer warranties.