I heard all custom homes go over budget. How can I avoid this from happening?
One of the single greatest sources of conflict between a custom home builder and the customer is the use of "allowances." An allowance is a dollar amount that allows for a specified amount of money to be spent for a specified finish (i.e. flooring, cabinets, etc...). There are several problems with allowances. First, it sets the customer up for a Change Order from the get-go. Second, it is very common for a customer to exceed the allowance. At Malli Custom Homes, we remove the problems created with allowances by guiding the customer through the entire home design and selection process prior to construction. This allows our customers to Design Build the exact home they want and also get a "to-the-penny" price on their home prior to breaking ground.
What if I need to make changes during construction?
Our Design Build process ensures that there are no Change Orders in our custom homes, but we also recognize that change may still happen. That is why people build custom homes…to get homes just the way they want them. Hence, Malli Custom Homes developed an online process tailored for each Client. Once you have signed up with us you will get a personal login code to access your Project Page. This process allows you to request changes, get prices, and monitor your spending online. Your Project Page will also contain all of your documents, house plans, specifications, Change Orders, and up-to-date project pictures. With this method, your stress is lowered and you always know where you are from a budget perspective. See helping Clients manage stress during construction.
How do I know I am getting a fair price from Malli Custom Homes?
The term "You get what you pay for" also applies to custom homes. Unfortunately, it is relatively easy to be a custom home builder. There is no certification process to become a builder in Washington State. For this reason, the level of quality among builders varies dramatically. Hiring the lowest bidder usually cost more money in the end due to the costs of fixing the mistakes and problems caused by inferior workmanship and cheap materials. Hiring the cheapest HVAC or insulation subcontractors, for example, can be particularly painful as the inferior quality will be reflected in a higher energy bill every month. At Malli Custom Homes, we hire proven subcontractors and this is reflected in the quality of our homes. Our pricing is very competitive. Present us with another builder's offer and let us compare prices and point out the differences.
What is your per square foot price?
Our per square foot price, for a stock plan, starts at $95 for a very basic design. This starting price is from a 2 foot foundation to turn-key with interior and exterior standard features. Land, pre-construction, land development, post construction, and taxes are separate. Prices increase based on the complexity of the design, your needs and requirements, and the home's interior and exterior features.
NOTE: Some people ask this question to qualify if a custom home builder can deliver the size home that they desire within their budget. Others ask it to try to compare one custom home builder to another. The average home has over 40,000 parts. Thus, the answer depends on what is being included in the cost. It is a measurement that often fails to compare apples to apples. Malli Custom Homes invites anyone to present us with another builder's offer and let us show you our difference.
How will I know how my house will look like, what selections are available, and can you help us with decorating ideas?
Per your request, a conceptual rendering can be developed of the layout and the elevation of your home. You can also request a digital virtual tour to get a first-person look at the home, both inside and out. Your selections are countless: granites, tiles, hardwoods, cabinets, sinks, windows, paints, and much more. We can recommend several designers who can assist you with every decision, from exterior colors to which pull on the cabinets to pick.
What happens if I find a house plan online?
Online house plans are not designed for a specific geographic location, a specific piece of property, or Client. They must still be reviewed and often re-drafted by a local design professional who can modify the plan to local building codes. Online house plans also need to be locally engineered. If you decide on an online plan, it is essential that you contact Malli Custom Homes prior to purchasing it to ensure you are selecting the right plan for your lot and prerequisites.
How much supervision will my house have and how can I monitor progress?
Malli Homes is involved with each project from start to finish. We insure that our line-up of excellent tradesmen are supervised throughout each step of the construction process. Since we only build 3-5 custom homes per year, we will give your home personalized attention from start to finish. With this said, you may still feel the need to visit the job site and check on the status regularly. To alleviate your stress, your Project Page will lower the number of visits you have to make to the job site. Your personal Project Page will contain up-to-date pictures to minimize your worries and increase confidence.
How do you choose your subcontractors?
We have invested a significant amount of time selecting the right subcontractors and suppliers who exemplify our attention to detail and quality workmanship. Our subcontractors and suppliers meet the tightest of deadlines and provide products whose quality we can attest to. Many of the subcontractors and suppliers we use are ones that we have worked with for many years. Some of the factors we consider when we select people to construct your home are trust, confidence, and a history of quality work. We also make sure that all of our subcontractors are licensed, bonded, and insured.
Where do you build and how long does it take to build?
We build in Thurston, Pierce, King, Lewis, and Mason Counties. Our average time, for a simple design, from foundation to completion, is six months. However, each project has a different build time based on its complexity.
How firm is your completion date and how often do you encounter significant project delays?
Unlike many builders, Malli Custom Homes starts by setting reasonable expectations for the project’s duration. Expectations are fully outlined in the construction agreement and fully followed. Our custom homes completion dates are dependent on complexity and our Clients' needs and requirements. Construction delays can be caused by many things over which a custom home builder has no control over: inclement weather, poor availability of materials, and payment delays are the main causes. In the past 10 years we encountered two project delays due to lack of timely customer payments. In both cases, funds were finally made available and construction proceeded.
Are you fully insured?
Yes. Timberland Bank has copies of our license, insurance, bond, business documents, and financial records to get your project started. What you may not know is that it is equally important for you to have proper property, casualty, and liability insurance for your new custom home (Builder's Risk Insurance). Once we install an item, say a furnace or a kitchen countertop or cabinet, it is then owned by you and must be covered under your own insurance policy should something happen to it. Timberland Bank will work with you during the preconstruction phase to make sure that you are adequately protected with your own insurance policy once construction commences.
Do I need an architect or a drafter to draw my dream home?
Malli Custom Homes will help you determine which service you need at our initial meeting. Malli Custom Homes will recommend an architect or a drafter based on your needs and requirements, the complexity of your design, and your budget. If your home design is simple and budget is a priority then all you need is a drafter and an engineer to complete your plan. If your design is complex and budget is not a concern then Malli Custom Homes will recommend one of its architects to work on your design.
How do you set a schedule and do you have your own crew?
Our Design Build process requires a planning-ahead approach to ordering materials and scheduling subcontractors. We do not have a crew on the payroll. We hire excellent, experienced, fully licensed, bonded, and insured professional sub-contractors and suppliers for each specific type of construction requirement. All subcontractors are coordinated and their work inspected by Malli Custom Homes to ensure your house is completed to your specification. Throughout the construction of your home Malli Custom Homes also provides 3rd party inspections at every major stage of construction to validate the quality of our work. We provide these inspection reports to you at the end of the project for your peace of mind that every step we took was “by the book.” Your regular onsite walkthroughs with our custom home builder at each stage of construction ensures that everything is progressing the way you want it.
Do you offer financing?
Our mortgage lender, Timberland Bank, offers construction loan programs that are regarded as best-of-kind in the industry. Timberland Bank is a one stop shop with an All-in-One or 1-Step construction loan program. Ideally, you should start the bank process prior to purchasing your land. If you already own land you must get pre-qualified immediately. Call Erik Heimann, our Timberland Bank Branch Manager, at (360) 438-1400 to get pre-qualified today.
Can I view the accounting for my project?
Malli Custom Homes does not submit accounting documents, but we do submit lien releases from each subcontractor and supplier at the end of each phase of construction to the mortgage lender or to you if you are a Cash Client. This assures that all tradesmen have been paid in full.
How do I know your business is financially sound?
Timberland Bank has up-to-date copies of our business documents and financial records to get your project started. We have been working with Timberland Bank for the past 10 years as Clients during our speculative building projects and as the custom home builder for our Clients' custom home projects.
Have you had liens against you, have been sued by a client, or filed for bankruptcy? Do you have pending judgments?
Never and No!
Can I or my subcontractor do some of the work?
Only prior to us starting any of our work and after we are done with all the work you hired Malli Custom Homes to do. In addition to our distinguished custom homes, Malli Custom Homes prides itself on being able to deliver Energy Efficient Homes, Built Green Homes, Eco Homes, Net Zero Homes, Solar Homes, and Passive House designs to its customers in a timely manner, without interruptions, and worry about things not working properly.
Can I furnish some of the material?
Only if our suppliers do not carry your specified items and cannot find an equivalent replacement. The risks of supplying your own material is difficult to quantify. You will take on considerable liability and become mired in Change Orders. These additional costs will far exceed the financial gains you envisioned through the seemingly economical act of furnishing material yourself. If you insist on furnishing your own material, you can do so after we are done with all the work you hired us to do. You can then hire your own subcontractors to finish the work or do the work yourself. As one of the best Design Build firms in the state, we want to deliver Energy Efficient Homes, Built Green Homes, Eco Homes, Net Zero Homes, Solar Homes, and Passive House designs in a timely manner, without interruptions, and worry about things not working properly.
What if I find the same material at a lesser price?
Store prices do not include all the items necessary for installation and similar less pricey products are often not of the same quality. Additionally, they do not include the builder's risks, liability, administrative tasks, time, logistics, insurance, coordination with other trades, etc....
How do I get started?
Meet with Malli Custom Homes to talk about your budget, what you want to do, and what you want us to do for you. Get started by identifying your budget, land, land development, pre-construction requirements, and the style and size of your new custom home. If you do not already know Malli Custom Homes can help.
Malli Custom Homes is a Design Build firm and a Top Custom Home Builder. In addition to our distinguished custom homes, we specialize in building Energy Efficient Homes, Built Green Homes, Eco Homes, Net Zero Homes, Solar Homes, and The Passive House. Learn about Design Build, Energy Efficient Homes, Eco Homes, Solar Homes, Built Green Homes, Net Zero Homes, and The Passive House by contacting our custom home builder @ (360) 894-1160.
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