Our Custom Home
This initial meeting is free of charge, and addresses the following topics:
- Size, style, and general “wish list” for the home
- Lot location and characteristics
- Approximate budget
- Financing plans
- Preferred approach to finish selections
- Questions about the Clason Company and the overall building process
Since a full set of design documents (plans, finish specifications, etc) usually isn’t ready at this initial meeting, project cost estimates given at this meeting are general approximations only and are based on the costs of comparable projects. Precise costs can only be determined once the design documentation is completed.
We highly recommend the decision of choosing a builder be based on a builder’s reputation, quality of work, references, integrity/honesty, professionalism, and most importantly how you feel when you meet with them. Choosing a builder based on a preliminary “low bid” is not advisable. More often than not, home owners end up regretting choosing the “cheap guy” due to excessive schedule delays, poor workmanship, poor communication, significant cost overruns, etc. The old saying of “you get what you pay for” definitely applies.
If you don’t have a lot selected, we can assist you with the selection and acquisition process. The topography, soil type, access, and infrastructure availability (power, water, etc) can significantly influence construction cost, so having professional input on lot selection is advisable.
If you already have a preferred architect or designer, we provide input to you and your design consultant to ensure the design is consistent with budget constraints and is optimized for the topography and soil conditions at the building site. If you haven’t selected a design consultant, we can either provide a recommendation or manage the entire design process internally by using one of our preferred designers. During this pre-construction period, we charge an hourly rate for our time plus any materials costs and third party design costs.
Once the design is complete (a complete design consists of a full set of construction plans, engineering plans (if applicable), and finish specifications), we apply for a building permit with the local jurisdiction and produce a construction budget. At this phase it is common not to have all finish items specified, so for unspecified finish items, we assign reasonable allowances as budget placeholders. At this point we collect a non-refundable deposit from the homeowner that covers our time to produce the detailed construction budget.
The completed design documents and budget are included as part of the construction contract. For custom homes, this contract is usually a cost-plus contract wherein the home owner is charged all project costs plus a percentage markup for contractor overhead and profit. Some construction lenders require certain types of contracts, so contract adjustments can be made when necessary to accommodate owners’ financing requirements.
In addition to an executed construction contract, construction lenders typically require a detailed, itemized construction budget and a full set of plans. Prior to closing on the construction loan, the lender will engage a third party appraiser to review the plans, finish specifications, and build location and specify an estimated market value of the finished home which will form the basis of the construction loan amount. The lender will establish the process of making loan draws to fund the project during construction, and will require the owner to have a certain percentage of the overall project cost paid in to the project as equity. The Clason Company is currently certified as an approved builder with Umpqua Bank and Peoples Bank of Commerce.
Once construction funding is secured (either in the form of closing on a construction loan or providing proof of equity funds), construction begins! The general sequence of work is as follows, with some items occurring in parallel:
- Site prep, surveying, footprint layout, placement of temporary power and sanitation
- Excavation and house pad
- Connection of water, storm, and sewer lines, power and telecom conduits
- Foundation backfill and grading
- Frame lower level floor system
- Lower level rough plumbing
- Window installation
- Plumbing top out
- HVAC rough in
- Electrical rough in
- House wrap and siding/stucco
- Interior finish carpentry/trim
- Base and upper cabinet boxes
- Counter tops
- Concrete flatwork
- HVAC trim
- Electrical trim (light fixtures, receptacle trim, etc)
- Plumbing trim
- Baseboards and finish hardware installation
- Cabinet doors, drawers, knobs, and pulls
- Painting touch up
- Final cleaning
- Owner/builder walk through
- Completion of punch list work
- Handover to owner
The overall construction timeline can vary significantly depending on the project, but most custom homes can be completed within 4-9 months from the date of construction commencement.
After the home is completed and the certificate of occupancy is obtained, a one-year limited warranty period begins which covers materials and workmanship. The details of the warranty are provided in the construction contract. At the Clason Company we stand by our work, so you can rest easy that any warranty issue will be resolved promptly and professionally.