Frequently Asked Questions
These are questions we’ve been asked over the years, along with others that should be asked of every builder you work with.
Q:What is the cost /square foot for your homes?
A: Custom home building is not subject to pricing per square foot until the process of blueprints to selections to completion is finished, we do not price our homes using a standard per square foot pricing. We are, however, able to give a price per foot based on some of our past work for reference. Pricing a custom home depends on many different factors. We do not build “cookie-cutter” homes that are the same in style, size, floor plan, specifications, location, and options, so setting a per square foot price really isn’t possible until the blue print and selections process has been completed. Your contract has exact cost with specific allowances that can change at the homebuyer’s request. Most homes end up going over the contract amount a certain percentage due to customer allowance increases and change orders. The national average for percent of change from contract to completion is 30%. Our average is, with pre-selected allowances about 2% and with estimated allowances around 5% or less.
Q:What qualifies the builder to build your dream home?
A: It is important to find out how long the builder has been in the industry. There are a lot of “briefcase builders” out there, builders who are not much more than glorified schedulers. You’ll want to ask how much experience the builder has, how well educated he is in the building industry, and what affiliations he holds to the building industry community. Before you buy a home, you are buying a builder, so you’ll want to be as particular about your choice in builders as you are about your choice in homes.
Q:Just how “custom” can the builder make your home?
A: A true custom builder is a builder who does not say “no.” If it is structurally possible, and your budget allows it, there should be no reason the builder shouldn’t accommodate you. Look through the work they’ve done in the past and see what sort of custom details they’ve incorporated into the homes they’ve already built. This will give you an idea of some of the possibilities available for your own home.
Q:What if I change my mind during the building process? Is it ever too late to change a feature?
A: It is important to know how willing your builder is to accommodate changes. No matter what stage your home is at, if it is structurally possible, we’ll accommodate any change you want implemented. That’s part of the reason people choose a custom home builder, and we believe strongly in making sure our customers get exactly that.
Q: Can I ask to see current construction sites?
A: It will be easier to get an idea of what to expect from a builder when you can see his works-in-progress, site conditions, and structural details otherwise invisible after the house has been completed. It is also beneficial to you to ask for references. Who better to recommend a builder than someone who lives in one of the homes they built?
Q: How much difference is there in pricing from contract to completion?
A: Most homes end up going over the contract amount a certain percentage due to customer allowance increases and change orders. The national average for percent of change from contract to completion is 30%. Our average is, with pre-selected allowances about 2% and with estimated allowances around 5% or less.
Q: How long will it take to build my home?
A: Depending on factors including square footage, changes, weather, and level of customization our projects construction time rages. Past projects rage from 6 months to over a year. We also pride ourselves in our ability to meet closing dates. Many builders reschedule closing dates at least once, sometimes more, but at Lord General Contractors we understand the importance of completing and closing on schedule. You’ve rearranged your life based on a specific date, and we want to make sure the process isn’t frustrating or inconvenient for you by pushing dates back, delaying the closing process, or jeopardizing the loan rate you’ve locked in.
Q: Do your homes meet the basic standards of the building industry?
A: Not only do they meet those standards, they consistently exceed them. A lot of builders make sure they meet the base standards required. At Lord General Contractors, we strive to exceed those standards in every way possible. We evaluate every product, studying statistics and technical data, making sure that each new product either meets or exceeds what we already use. Because for us, brand name and price never trump quality. Those things are secondary to the quality of anything we put in our homes.
Q: How do you ensure your homes are built as environmentally responsible as possible?
A: We make sure that whenever available, we choose ENERGY STAR rated products. These products are rated by the EPA to be energy efficient, using the least amount of energy possible. We are also dedicated to building homes that go above and beyond just the ENERGY STAR rating—we strive to build homes as “green” as possible, from start to finish. That means that we use products with environmentally friendly materials manufactured with environmentally sound practices.
We implement home utility systems that use unlimited, reusable energy sources, such as geothermal heating and cooling. We also choose environmentally responsible waste disposal companies because they offer state-of-the-art, fully permitted construction and demolition recycling facilities that recycle construction waste before it is even brought to the landfill. For more information on our commitment to the environment, please visit our “Energy Efficiency” page.