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Home Price Reality Check

Consulting with a builder before drawing the plans will save expense and headaches. Most custom builders have had clients show up at their office with a set of finished plans that, in reality, will cost 25% to 30% more than the clients’ target budget. Fortunately, this problem is easily avoided. Working with the builder on […] Read More »

A Home for All Ages

The best accessible features are really just good design By some estimates, the decade from 2011 to 2021 saw a quadrupling of households with parents and grown children. Last year’s increase was especially sharp—the National Association of Realtors reported 15% growth in demand for multigenerational homes between April and June of 2020. As home prices […] Read More »

The Problem with Competitive Bidding

Some big obstacles stand in the way of the three-bid advice Folk wisdom, online articles, and basic instincts advise homeowners to solicit bids from several qualified contractors. But three major obstacles get in the way of making those bids realistic and useful: the need for detailed plans and job specifications, the need for comparable bidders, […] Read More »

What Drives a Home’s Price?

Builders need a lot of information to arrive at an accurate number Every now and then a homeowner will call to ask how much our new homes cost per square foot. The answer, of course, depends on a range of variables. Some of these are obvious, and others less so. The differences everyone grasps have […] Read More »

Why Builders Must Be Learners

Continuing education is no longer optional. What do today’s best builders have in common? Although the answer includes many items, there’s a common thread running through each of them: commitment to ongoing learning. The know-how needed to build high-performance, durable homes is evolving faster than ever. That’s why top builders commit to continuing education in […] Read More »

Managing the Great Supply Crunch

In the future, you can tell friends and family what things were like during the Great Supply Crunch If you’re contemplating a new custom home, you’re no doubt aware of rising costs for lumber and other building materials. That problem has gotten plenty of media coverage. But price isn’t the only challenge. There’s another issue […] Read More »

Minimize Stress When Building Your New Home

Building a home can be stressful. Savvy homeowners choose a builder who will make it less so. But beyond making certain the company is licensed and insured and has provided detailed pricing and a professional contract, how do owners determine whether a company will deliver on its promises and not tax their sanity? The answers […] Read More »

Battery Powered Homes

This cutting-edge technology is growing fast. Is it right for you? With solar panels sprouting on roofs from sea to shining sea, their big weakness is hitting more homeowners where it hurts—in the wallet. New technology aims to cure that weakness and to make solar a more profitable investment. Solar has become practical in nearly […] Read More »

Controlling Allowances

Strict allowance policies benefit homeowners as much as builders. Why do builders prefer that the homeowners choose every single item that will go into the house before they break ground? It’s not just for the builder’s convenience. A choice postponed may end up being made at a time when the homeowners are feeling a lot […] Read More »

It is Your Choice

The Professional Builder walks a fine line. It is our job to balance a new home’s cost and construction efficiencies while customizing our home design and specifications. We work closely with our clients to develop the ultimate look and feel of their new home so that it meets their needs and reflects their unique taste. […] Read More »

How to Fight Escalating Lumber Prices

The essential skill of value engineering Lumber continues to be THE big issue in homebuilding. As we write this in May 2021, costs for framing lumber and plywood are three times what they were a year ago. That’s right—they’ve tripled. It’s insane. They might go even higher. An April 14 Business Insider article predicted a further 12% […] Read More »

The Finishing Touch

We’ve compared a home’s framing to its skeleton, wiring to its nerves and insulation to its muscle. Now it’s time to talk about exterior finishes—a home’s “skin”. We’re very fortunate to be designing and building homes in a time that offers a vast array of exterior finishes, including siding (or cladding), roofing, trim, and hardscapes. […] Read More »

Is the Customer Always Right?

The short answer is no, and here’s why that’s a good thing. Some builders are what one might call ‘order takers.’ They do anything the homeowners want within the constraints of budget, timetable, and zoning or code regulations. That’s understandable: everyone wants happy customers and positive reviews. But the best builders understand that an anything-you-want […] Read More »

Develop your Building Team: Earlier is Better

Traditionally, people have been conditioned to follow a certain, linear path to building a new home. That is, hire an architect or designer to create the plans, select a builder and then maybe bring in a stylist or interior designer to apply the finishing touches. But the reality is that this step-by-step approach to getting […] Read More »

The New Science of Building

Creating a durable and efficient home is no job for amateurs. There’s a common but flawed perception that older homes are more durable than contemporary housing, with fewer mold and moisture problems. While it’s true that some newer homes have had well-publicized mold issues, they are by no means the rule. These moldy homes do […] Read More »

Wasting Water and Flushing Dollars

Most “green building” conversations emphasize energy efficiency. By contrast, the issue of water — its scarcity, purity, and significance to sustainability — is often overlooked or discounted. That’s because, in North America, we take water for granted; not only is it cheap, it is relatively abundant and clean. But while an average bathtub may hold […] Read More »

Why Builders Must Be Learners

Continuing education is no longer optional. What do today’s best builders have in common? Although the answer includes many items, there’s a common thread running through each of them: a commitment to ongoing learning. The know-how needed to build high-performance, durable homes is evolving faster than ever. That’s why top builders commit to continuing education […] Read More »

Managing Change

Building a new home is a dynamic and exciting process. As professional homebuilders, our goal is to make the process smooth and transparent for our clients. Once the job is underway, things happen quickly, so we work with clients to make decisions well ahead of time to help ensure they get their new home on […] Read More »

What Makes a Project a Success?

It’s as much about the experience as the result. Some homeowners have asked: How does a builder know when a project has been a success? Well, there’s good news—the answer to this question is one of the things that define a great builder. To a pro, every successful project crosses the finish line with three […] Read More »

Stylish or Trendy?

Want to make sure your new home doesn’t feel dated in a few years? Then you need a good interior designer. One great thing about a new custom home is that you get to create a space perfectly tailored to your needs. Once that’s done, however, your satisfaction with the space will depend largely on […] Read More »

What Your Builder Can’t Control

Homebuilding is a highly specialized and complex process. And like builders themselves, no two clients are exactly the same. Some homeowners are very interested in the home building process, while others are more content to follow the lead of the builder and be available only when needed. Most clients fall somewhere in between. Regardless of […] Read More »

Future-Proofing Made Simple

A few key devices and some basic wiring will make your home ready for just about anything Homebuilders are sometimes accused of resistance to digital home technologies. That’s not quite the case, but we have seen many high-tech devices hit the market with great hype, only to quietly disappear two years later. The best service […] Read More »

Clearing The Air

How a new custom home helps you breathe easy This article is more technical than most, but it addresses an important issue for today’s homebuyers: how healthy their new home will be. That concern is no surprise, given that we’re getting outside less often than ever. A 2018 YouGov survey of 16,000 people in North […] Read More »

What Quality Looks Like

Builders are always talking about “quality,” but few can explain what that means to their new-home clients. This should not be a mystery; construction quality is easy to see when you know what to look for. As a professional builder, we not only take pride in creating high-quality homes, but also in making sure that […] Read More »

Little Room for Error

Stricter code requirements and modern materials have raised the stakes for today’s builders Today’s homes are engineered for comfort and health. Their walls are sealed to eliminate drafts, and they include thick thermal insulation as well as high-performance heating, cooling and fresh-air ventilation systems. They’re a far cry from older homes. They’re about to become […] Read More »

Foundations of Quality

The word “foundation” evokes thoughts of strength, permanence, and solidity—the basis for everything that follows. A home’s foundation is simply the most important part of its construction and overall performance, if not top of mind among homebuyers and owners. The reason there are different types of residential foundations has to do with the soil and […] Read More »

Why Changes Are Costly

Even small changes made after work begins can have surprising effects on the budget. Here’s why. Minimizing change orders is one of the most effective things homeowners can do to control costs. The reason is that seemingly small changes can have cost impacts beyond the builder’s control—costs that ultimately are borne by the customer. We’re […] Read More »