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Custom Homes FAQ

Question List

Will you offer the lowest price to build my home?

Probably not. The truth is there is always someone willing to promise to do it cheaper.

Sometimes this means they will actually do it cheaper – by cutting corners and not properly supervising the construction of your home. Other times it means you’ll be promised a lower price, but there will be so many add-ons and change orders during the course of the project that the price will continue to rise.

We’re professionals, and we do it differently. First, we build quality into our price right from the start. The best products and installation cost a bit more, but they last longer and look better. We also design and plan your home in detail to avoid cost surprises later. We are upfront about everything, and tell you what variables could affect final pricing.

For more details on pricing, visit our page about Quotes.

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I want my new home to be as energy efficient as possible – are you qualified to do that?

Yes. In fact, this is a specialty of ours. We hear of so many builders who do things the same way because “that’s the way we’ve always done it.”

Sorry, but in today’s world that is not an acceptable answer. With energy costs on an overall upward trajectory and with environmental concerns, builders need to be in a constant state of learning – keeping up with the latest products and best practices to deliver the most energy efficient homes for their clients.

That’s why we have invested time and money to become a Certified Green Builder and a National Association of Home Builders Certified Green Professional. Please visit our Energy Efficiency page to find out more.

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How custom can you make my design?

We can do pretty much anything that your budget allows. There are contractors that call themselves “custom,” but in reality they offer a handful of templates with a few extra options.

One of the secrets of our success is we don’t come to our first meeting with you thinking we know what you want or need. We start by listening and then start sketching and talking through ideas. We treat you as the unique customer you are and we want to create your custom dream home.

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What is your level of experience and are you licensed and insured for this kind of work?

We were founded in 1985. We’ve always had the same owner. We’ve never gone out of business and then opened up under a different name. In short, we’ve been around for 30+ years and have always operated with integrity.

We are properly insured and we have the state of Virginia’s highest contractor licensing grade.

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I’d like to talk to some of the people you have built homes for – can I do that?

Yes, we are happy to provide references.

Once we have met together and completed a Pre-Project Consultation, we can provide references if you are seriously considering hiring us. Our past customers are some of very best “salespeople” because they can tell you that we back up our words with great results.

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Can I see pictures of homes you’ve built?

Yes! Please visit our Custom Home Gallery page.

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Will you build from my plans?

Yes. Some of our customers already have plans or decide to hire their own designer and/or architect. Of course, you also have the option of using our design/build service where everything is handled by us in one seamless process.

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May I make changes during the construction process?

Yes. We want you to be happy with the decisions you’ve made. We issue written change orders for authorization if additional work is rendered after the final contract is signed.

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How long does it take to build a custom home?

It can take anywhere from 7 to 12 months depending on size, permit process, and weather conditions. Homes in the 6,000 square foot range can take between 12 to 18 months to construct.

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Can we inspect the house during construction?

Absolutely – in fact we encourage it. Many builders don't want the clients on site during construction, but we’re different.

Since construction sites can be hazardous, we do ask you to first check in with the superintendent. He’ll guide you through the site and listen to your questions and feedback. We believe that the more “eyes” looking at a house the better. You may also want to make changes as you see the structure take shape. Plans are great but sometime when you see it taking shape, you want to make adjustments.

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What kind of homes do you build?

All our homes are custom designed to the client’s tastes and specifications. Our homes are built using only top products that have been thoroughly vetted for their durability and performance. We follow best industry practices as set by the National Association of Home Builders.

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What kind of price range do you build in?

Since all our homes are custom-built, one-of-a-kind homes created with the best materials available, they typically start at $500,000 and up. We have even built estate homes up to 35 million dollars!

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What is the square foot cost for building a custom home?

This is a question we are often asked and there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer. The real answer is: “it depends.”

The cost of a home depends on several factors including the complexity of the design, the quality and cost of the finishes, the number of stories in the home, and many other factors.

Another factor to consider: there is no standard definition for “square footage.” Some builders include only conditioned space when calculating square footage while other builders include all “under roof” space which includes the garage, porches, storage, basement, and other space. At Craftsman Construction, we use only the conditioned space when quoting square footage numbers. Using this definition, we’ve built homes as inexpensive as $200 per heated square foot and homes as expensive as $500 per heated square foot.

The typical Craftsman Construction homes cost around $210 per heated square foot, but this cost can vary dramatically depending on the design and finishes you select.

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How do I know I am getting a fair price for my custom home?

At Craftsman Construction, we’re transparent: we aim for a 10% profit margin on every home. While some builders alter the price of the home to the perceived wealth of the buyer, we have a firm policy at Craftsman Construction to treat all our customers fairly and equally. This has worked well for us and has allowed us to maintain a great relationship with all of our homeowners.

While Craftsman Construction is not always the lowest bidder, our pricing is very competitive. The saying “you get what you pay for” applies to custom homes as much, if not more, than it applies to anything else in life. We have always found that there was a strong relationship between those people who “hired the lowest bidder” and those people who described their building experience as a “nightmare.”

One mistake you don’t want to make is assuming most builders are about the same. The truth is the level of quality and professionalism varies dramatically. Many builders will use the cheapest materials and hire the cheapest subcontractors in order to get the lowest cost (and highest profits) on their homes. Hiring the lowest bidder will usually cost more dollars in the end due to the costs of fixing all the mistakes and problems caused by inferior workmanship and cheap materials.

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Do you hold any certifications or belong to any industry groups?

Yes, Craftsman Construction is always striving to stay on top of the most advanced building techniques, and to do so we have committed a large chunk of time to continuing education in the construction trades. Visit our Certifications & Associations page to see a full list of our certifications.

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How many homes do you build at a time?

Because we want to give every project the proper focus on detail and daily site supervision, we only build 1 to 2 homes concurrently.

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Who will be building our home?

Craftsman Constructions in house crews will be performing the majority of the work on your new home. These crews have been with us for 10 years or more. This provides you with an experienced crew that answers directly to the owner. This also allows us to control the timeline of the project better, as we are not waiting for outside crews to make time in their schedule to do your home.

We do use subcontractors to perform necessary trades such as plumbing, electrical and HVAC. Our subcontractors are tier 1 contractors that have worked with us for years. We have established a relationship of trust – they know our expectations and can meet our high standards. We only hire those that are highly experienced and licensed in their respective fields.

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Links To More FAQs:

Remodeling FAQ

General FAQ