We thought it might be helpful to share our most frequently asked questions from people considering building a new home. Below are a few such questions. Click on the arrowheads to find the answers.
We’ve spoken with several builders, and the range of price per square foot cost to build is all over the map. We’ve been quoted everywhere from $200 per foot to over $500! How do we know what we’re getting?
Answer: To quote President Ronald Reagan, “trust, but verify”. If a builder tells you they can build you just what you want for (fill in the blank) and you haven’t even met, then you’re getting started off on the wrong foot. I tell the person inquiring our price range of building costs, then encourage them to come see an example of our work. From benchmarking the cost of that particular home, we can discuss their needs, wants, and wishes. This is the best way I know to align realistic expectations for everyone.
Answer: If we have a model home available (and we usually do), the best way to visit about the building process is to meet at that particular home. There, we can discuss what a home like the model home would cost to recreate, walk through the design process, talk time lines, and answer all of your questions. If you have already purchased a home site, we can certainly meet there to walk the property and discuss your vision. The key is an open dialogue, aligning expectations.
Answer: Certainly. We have worked with homeowners architects in the past, and happily do so. We usually attend some if not all of the design meetings, to bring the builders perspective to the table. While we don’t require this, we believe the more we understand your design and finish out desires, the better we can deliver you an outstanding home building experience. Bottom line? We’re at the table with you if you’d like us to be. Needless to say, we can also introduce you to the architects we work with. I try to match three things here; architectural style our home owner is seeking, design budget and personality.
Having built homes for over forty years, we have excellent, reliable sources when it comes to these essential members of the home building team. Like the aforementioned sourcing of your architect, we make our recommendations for interior designer, pool builder, etc… based on your personal style, budget and vision. We believe in one point of accountability, where we coordinate all of these professionals, so you can enjoy the home building experience.
Answer: We happily do cost plus and fixed price construction agreements. We can discuss the pro’s and con’s of both when we get together. Our goal is to serve you.
Answer: The size of your home is the key aspect of this piece of the puzzle. Depending on the architect, your plans will take 3 to 6 months to complete. As we go along in the plan development, we discuss interior finishes to expedite this part of the process. Once your plan is complete we need three weeks to get pricing from our subcontractors and suppliers, in order to put together a price presentation for your review. From there as an example, a 7,000 square foot home will take approximately 12 months to complete. All in, the entire process averages about 18 months.
Because 9 out of 10 of our homeowners request that we build their home based on a fixed price/allowance construction agreement. Simply put, this means we are fixing the price of the “bones” of your home, items like the cost of the foundation, roof, sheetrock, etc… so we need to get real costs of these items from our subs and suppliers so we can stand behind the pricing we give you. Think in terms of the fixed price part of the construction agreement as all the things you can’t control. Then think in terms of the allowance items as all the items you can control; items such as what appliances you’ll want in your new home, what light fixtures, etc. Our homeowners that choose this agreement think of it as the peace of mind construction agreement.
Answer: We use several kinds of foundation systems in our homes. The specific type of foundation depends on the soil conditions of your specific home site. We ascertain the correct foundation by getting a soils test done by an engineer. From there we can share with you the details of why we are recommending a particular type of foundation. NOTE: the different foundation systems come with different pricing. We can review the systems and costs at our initial meeting I discussed above.
Answer: It depends. Truly, there are a myriad number of energy efficient items available to todays homeowner. Two speed HVAC, variable speed HVAC, geo-thermal HVAC, Tyvek house wrap, foam insulation, various SEER ratings… you get the idea. What we do is share these options with you. Each of our homeowners has their particular desires when it comes to this part of the home building process. What we won’t do? We won’t encourage you to try something that has not been properly tested for the north Texas environment.
Answer: Several ways to address this piece of the puzzle. Some of our homeowners pay cash, so there is no bank financing. Many of our homeowners do secure a construction loan, which we are happy to assist in introducing you to several lenders we’ve worked with for years. These are people who have a long history in the new home construction loan field, to minimize miscommunication with you and your builder. Should I have the opportunity to meet with you, I’ll bring an example of a “draw schedule”, which shows exactly the percentages and timing of when we would request payments from you, so that we can pay the fine folks who are working on your home. This construction draw schedule is a great tool for you to keep track of where your investment dollars are being distributed.
We hope these answers are helpful. You may have many other questions about the home building process and we are delighted to answer them at your convenience. Thank you for considering Sharif & Munir.