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The Building Process
Construction time for a custom home is typically 4 to 5 months depending on the complexity of the home and weather conditions.

Construction Inspections
With a complete set of plans and detailing the home as agreed and complete specifications detailing what is included in the home and what is not. The construction of the home is inspected by the town building department. They are trained in the field and look at a lot more than most homeowners will ever want to know about the construction of a home.

These inspections are done at the following times:
Basement footing
Basement wall
Garage footing
Rough framing
Rough plumbing
Rough electrical
Final certificate of occupancy (C of O)

There are several factors to consider when trying to calculate the cost of a home. There are a limited number of suppliers and labor providers for custom homes. We have one of the oldest track records in Penfield as well as an excellent credit rating. I would love to tell you that our purchasing power allows us to purchase products and labor at a lower rate than anybody else. However in reality, it is a very competitive industry and most credit worthy builders pay about the same price for the goods and services they purchase. Therefore it is hard to understand how one builder can offer a special cost advantage over another builder. If there is a cost advantage it is typically because one builder is purchasing and providing a lower quality service or product than another.

If three different builders were to prepare a bid on the same house with the exact same finishes and level of quality I would be shocked if there is more than a 1% variance in the price between the three. The problem is that this never happens. Each builder will include different items in the home and their trades will have different quality levels than other builders. This will make a completely different home with a completely different price. This is what makes it so difficult to compare prices.

The important point is to find a builder that you trust. Everybody should agree on exactly what will be included in the home as well as the quality level that is expected. The end cost will be a function of the home and quality level you desire.

Cost per square foot is a commonly asked question of a builder. It is impossible to give an accurate answer to this question until the plan is chosen, finishes are agreed to, and the home site has been evaluated.

Each home is quite different and the material included or not included will make a major difference in the cost per square foot. There are probably 10,000 variables that can impact square footage costs due to home design, specifications, site conditions and more.

Typically as the square footage rises, the cost per foot will go down. This is because the same home, regardless if it is 2,500 feet or 3,500 feet or whatever size, built on the same lot with the same quality will have the same amount spent on landscaping, utility impact and map fees, driveway, appliances, garage, and many more major items. As the square footage increases those common costs are spread over more square footage which reduces the actual cost per square foot.

There are many areas in a home where footage can be added relatively inexpensively. This will work in your favor since the cost of the footage will be less than the value of the footage. Your builder should be willing to discuss this with you and make some suggestions.

Our preferred method of operation is to assume that all of our customers are looking for and expecting an executive style home with executive finishes included as standard. When you consider the cost per square foot it is advantageous to build that style of home. Many builders offer a low price per square foot with minimal specification for the home assuming the buyer will upgrade to the expected quality. Personally I do not want to be on either end of a surprise like this, and I doubt you would, too. By using an extensive standards list it is easy for a buyer to remove certain items that do not fit his or her needs. It is easy to imagine something not being there. If you have to upgrade to a certain item try to see what the style of workmanship is in the installation of the product.

We allow you to get your financing from wherever you feel comfortable. We do things a little different than some other builders.

Upon a signed contract and before we start the house I ask for a 5% deposit. With the balance at closing.

Be wary of a builder that requires draws at certain stages. This is a sign that your builder may be in over his head financially. If this is true you should be careful to be sure no mechanics liens are on the home at time of transfer. This may also makes a difference in the quality of labor available to that builder. Very few trade workers are happy about working for a builder that cannot afford to pay his bills.