We hope you will have a smile when reading some of these answers. As you may imagine, a lot has happened over the years and we have learned a lot! You just might find some expectations that you yourself may identify with! In your doing so, we may be able to do a better job for you just knowing you “get it”.
Frequently Asked Questions
Looking for answers? This might be the place to find them. Take a look below and if you don’t see your question answered already, you can contact us directly.
How long will it take to build my house?
(Yes, we also think about the kids on vacation in the car asking …”Are we there yet?”) Generally speaking, it will take 6-8 months to complete construction but this projection is dependent on a number of unpredictable variables. These may include weather, availability of materials, change orders you request, availability of subcontractors, decisions for the better that we may need to make together, unforeseen developments to cost due to topography or engineering challenges, homeowners who want to be contractors, orders you make from venders not familiar to us, etc etc
Can I get help with lot selection?
Yes we are happy to do this as part of an intro consultation. Depending on the extent and time involved this is subject to a consultation fee. If we feel overly used, well…you know.
Can I get help with selections?
We have some terrific suppliers and vendors who we specifically refer you to by name so you have both a contact and a resource. We advise you on options and choices also but, you are to make the final decisions on your home.
Does the quote you provide me ever change?
We hope you are thinking of reasons that cost might have to change. It most always is due to upgrades selected or by changes made by the client after original pricing. If everything goes perfectly, we intend to build for the price developed for you and that we will have presented to you. Now think how many times in life “everything goes perfectly”. And remember, you will understand the reason for any change.
How soon can we start?
This depends on where you are with your preliminaries (lot, houseplans, financing, etc) and what we have scheduled for other clients. Yes, we do have to schedule and sequence your job based on other projects we have going on and availability of subcontractors and vendors. The average time to get plans completed and approved is 1 month. It usually takes about 30 days plus for underwriting, appraisal, and bank requirements. There is a minimum time of 45 days unless you pay cash down in full and we will start tomorrow! I wish there could be cash discounts but the cost of my blood pressure medicine, the antacids and Xanax for me just won’t allow it. Somebody has to deal with you and it takes a lot of medication! Seriously, we guide, direct, and refer to help you solve all of the above and we don’t take Xanax…. yet.
May I use my own suppliers or venders? (Disguised question for “I want to order on line.” Or “My uncle Johnny used to be a cabinet maker in Broadhead, Ky and…”)
I hope you understand some frustrating humor expressed here. Please know that we have an established relationship with suppliers and vendors. This means they understand our expectations and time requirements and deliver a known product or service to you that we have confidence in. You have expectations and so do we. When you elect to go outside our comfort zone you assume some liability that you may not desire to have. If your people mess up your floors it is your ticket. If your vendors deliver incorrectly or not in a timely fashion, you have affected your finish time and added to your cost. We will not be responsible for what challenges you add to your job and you must understand those become your financial commitments. You don’t think this has ever happened before do you? But, of course, “Uncle Johnny really helped me out on those cabinets”. We will do as you want, but you will just have an expanded responsibility and you will decrease ours.
How much do you charge per square foot?
We do not construct houses on a cost per square foot basis. Cardboard boxes may be constructed on this premise but the cost of paper, labor, and shipping may change and certainly buying in bulk helps. However, we are not building boxes and, we are unable to buy in bulk. We do not attempt to be a production home builder nor do we compete with them. Our clients expect custom features and a uniqueness to their homes. (please see “custom home” question later in this section) Our cost estimates are based on decisions you make on what you want. So, you actually answer this question as you tell us what you expect in your home. Provide us your expectations, show us your lot, give us your plan and we develop your estimate. Everyone does not “select” a $20/sq foot house (maybe in another world) and none of our clients have ever had the same price per square foot cost. In fact, we have never built the same home twice.
What areas do you build in?
Evans, Augusta and North Augusta. We have constructed homes on the lake and on the coast. Talk to us about possibilities. Time and distance can add to cost.
Can you help me with house plans?
Yes. Please reference the link to Southern Living Home Plans on this website to reference some great plans! And you may bring your own, begin, or modify with a great draftsman that we can refer you to. www.southernlivingcustombuilder.com
Exactly what is meant by a “Custom Home”?
Obviously this one depends on who you ask. Everyone claims to build them and though it is a popular moniker we think it probably is best for us to define what we mean–
We like the terms “unique”, “individual”, “uncommon”, and “being particular to you”. Mr. Webster was pretty sharp. We try to be distinctive and special in service, performance and result. Our firm has never built the same plan/home twice and if, or when, we do the average guy won’t know it. We believe in options on textures, using real stone and brick masonry, having trim work and molding that is “wow”, real masonry fireplaces when you say “yes”, and ceilings and windows that are noteworthy. Maybe it’s the lack of compromise that defines us and maybe that’s exactly what we mean by “Custom”. (And you thought all that Gallery of photos was just to look pretty)
Now….ask “them” what they mean by “custom home”. We are not the only one in town but simply one of the only ones who may define it this way. Yes, this definition of “Custom Home” and this paragraph are our original thoughts, borrowed from no one…..and perhaps this is what makes us “distinct”, “unique”, and “uncommon”. After all, we like setting ourselves apart.
How involved will I be in the build?
Probably enough to slow us up, bug us with why we are not there that day, and certainly involved enough to get you back in church to solicit better weather! Honestly, we want you involved but you can be counterproductive without realizing it. You will make selections and be given responsibility and times to complete. You will not have control over subs or inhibit our time on the job. You will enjoy the interactions and enjoy seeing us meet challenges. You will have specific meeting times arranged to allow you to meet with us and discuss your home on site. We are a boots-on-the-ground builder and we will let you know when you need to put your boots on to advise us of your wishes at your site. You will, and should vacation more while we are on your project! We know you want to be a contractor but believe us; you really don’t want the responsibility and headaches.
We love doing this and love making it work for you. We have quality control and the county has inspectors that you in effect “pay” to check construction. By the time we are starting the construction and framing you should have done all your due diligence and thereby know that, we are “okay”. Try to have a life while we build an awesome place for you. We know it is exciting and the progress is stimulating and we enjoy seeing that in you. We know you will be by the site often and we will be pleased to greet you and interact as able. Please remember it is a construction site that has risks and dangers. Think twice about children being there.
Where have you built homes?
River Island, Westlake, Jones Creek, Champions Retreat, Lake Thurmond, Hilton Head (Sea Pines, Long Cove, Wexford, Colleton River) Names and places may be furnished on request.