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Phases in Designing and Building Your Custom Home

Go to Top 10 Questions

Phase 1

  • Interview and choose your builder
  • Create a budget
  • Identify a lot that fits your budget and needs
  • Put your lot under contract with feasibility study period

Phase 2

  • Apply for permanent loan and secure loan commitment
  • Interview and select your architect
  • Develop preliminary plans and specifications
  • Initiation of selections by owner
  • Prepare preliminary budget
  • Prepare final construction drawings and specifications
  • Completion of most selections by owner
  • Prepare construction schedule
  • Sign construction agreement

Phase 3

  • Close into interim loans
  • Construction begins
  • Final Decisions on Selections
  • Weekly project communication with periodic summaries on selections and allowances
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Top Ten Questions Our Prospective Clients Ask

Number 10: How do I get started?
Call us! Arrange a time at your convenience. We would be happy to meet and discuss your plans. We will then customize an action plan for you.
Number 9: How long does the building process take?
Tough question! When we can asses the variables, i.e. architectural time, permit time, construction time, all which is based on the size and complexity of your home, then we will provide you with a construction schedule.
The quick answer is: a 5,000 sq. ft. house takes about 8 months of actual construction time.
Number 8: How do we start on the design process?
There are many paths to a complete design. The most common paths are:
An existing plan is used as a base plan, and modifications are made to fit you.
Photos of existing homes, usually from magazines, are brought in indicating a particular feel or design you want. We may design a complete home around the photos or find a similar match to your photos and then make modifications. We like to see all of the photos you clip from the magazines!
You may have original sketches. We will design your home with your sketches as a starting point.
Number 7: How do you proceed with the design work?
We have a strong working relationship with several leading architectural firms in the Austin area. However, we are still actively involved in the process as a secondary designer.
Just a note… design does not stop when the blueprints are done. The kitchen and bath design, special rooms such as a media room or home/office, shop areas, outdoor living extended spaces, and landscape design are still waiting to be done. Not to worry, the Tom Hobbs team specializes in these areas and is at your service!
Number 6: There are so many things to decide � the whole process is so overwhelming, how can you help?
You are absolutely right. You will need a tested plan to follow and an experienced builder to get you though the process where the end product is a home you are proud of and is what you want. Our experience and expertise are a major part of the services we offer to you.
Our goal is to make the building process easy for you, and to provide a finished product worth your time and effort.
Number 5: How do we find a lot?
Where do you want to live? You probably know the area, but finding a lot can be difficult. We recommend you make the purchase of your lot contingent upon a review by us, your builder. We will make sure your proposed design will fit the lot. Our clients generally have two or three lots in mind before we are involved and come to us for our view to assist in making the final decision.
Number 4: We want three bids, is the Tom Hobbs Company comfortable with this situation?
This is generally an average idea. Keep in mind, the bids are only as good as the information you provide the bidders. Do you have the appliances selected? Doorknob style? Make and model number of the fireplace? Handle style and model number on the bath faucets? You get the idea.
Remember the low bid signifies the cheapest builder you can find and that isn’t a great recommendation. The builder probably won’t be the cheapest when construction is done.
The most expensive builder does not guarantee the best job. We suggest you review other criteria as well…
- Is the building firm an efficient and organized firm? This will translate into a competitively priced bid.
- Can you easily communicate with the firm members? And does the firm have office hours where someone is always available for you?
- Are previous homes available for you to see?
- Are references available?
Number 3: Change orders scare me. How do they work?
Change orders represent an increase or decrease in cost because something has been added or deleted by you, the client. You may elect to add a trash compactor or delete a garage door opener. Sometimes a change order is appropriate when an area of work is changed which has no influence on cost. The French door is exchanged with the solid door in the den. This assumes the doors haven’t already been installed. Change orders are agreed to by both parties, in writing, prior to any additional work being done.
Number 2: Financing – how does it work with a custom home project?
The process is easy. Many lenders have developed borrower-friendly programs. Cost and rates do differ so we suggest you talk with two lenders in an initial interview and then immediately select one lender to complete your loan. Again, feeling comfortable with the individual you will be doing business with is vitally important, often more important than the lending institute. We have a recommendation list for you if you are interested.
Number 1: How much a square foot does it cost?
This is a tough question to answer simply because it depends on customer selection items such as type of flooring, paint, cabinets, appliances, countertops, hardware, and plumbing fixtures. Therefore, in order to give you a reasonable range you must provide us with a lot of answers that will greatly influence the cost. An example based on a 5,000 square foot house is the type of flooring: all carpet vs. all hard surfaces (wood or tile). Carpet typically costs $30 per square yard, or $3.33 per square foot. Hard surface typically costs $10 per square foot. As you can see, just the type of flooring can vary by a total of $33,350, or $6.67 per foot.
Tom Hobbs Co. · Austin, Texas
Phone 512-943-4742
© 2004 - 2017 Tom Hobbs Co.