Number 10: How do I get started?
Call us! Arrange a time at your convenience. We
would be happy to meet and discuss your plans. We will then customize
an action plan for you.
Number 9: How long does the building process
Tough question! When we can asses the variables,
i.e. architectural time, permit time, construction time, all which
is based on the size and complexity of your home, then we will provide
you with a construction schedule.
The quick answer is: a 5,000 sq. ft. house takes about 8 months
of actual construction time.
Number 8: How do we start on the design process?
There are many paths to a complete design. The
most common paths are:
An existing plan is used as a base plan, and modifications are made
to fit you.
Photos of existing homes, usually from magazines, are brought in
indicating a particular feel or design you want. We may design a
complete home around the photos or find a similar match to your
photos and then make modifications. We like to see all of the photos
you clip from the magazines!
You may have original sketches. We will design your home with your
sketches as a starting point.
Number 7: How do you proceed with the design
We have a strong working relationship with several
leading architectural firms in the Austin area. However, we are
still actively involved in the process as a secondary designer.
Just a note… design does not stop when the blueprints are
done. The kitchen and bath design, special rooms such as a media
room or home/office, shop areas, outdoor living extended spaces,
and landscape design are still waiting to be done. Not to worry,
the Tom Hobbs team specializes in these areas and is at your service!
Number 6: There are so many things to decide
– the whole process is so overwhelming, how can you help?
You are absolutely right. You will need a tested
plan to follow and an experienced builder to get you though the
process where the end product is a home you are proud of and is
what you want. Our experience and expertise are a major part of
the services we offer to you.
Our goal is to make the building process easy for you, and to provide
a finished product worth your time and effort.
Number 5: How do we find a lot?
Where do you want to live? You probably know the
area, but finding a lot can be difficult. We recommend you make
the purchase of your lot contingent upon a review by us, your builder.
We will make sure your proposed design will fit the lot. Our clients
generally have two or three lots in mind before we are involved
and come to us for our view to assist in making the final decision.
Number 4: We want three bids, is the Tom Hobbs
Company comfortable with this situation?
This is generally an average idea. Keep in mind,
the bids are only as good as the information you provide the bidders.
Do you have the appliances selected? Doorknob style? Make and model
number of the fireplace? Handle style and model number on the bath
faucets? You get the idea.
Remember the low bid signifies the cheapest builder you can find
and that isn’t a great recommendation. The builder probably
won’t be the cheapest when construction is done.
The most expensive builder does not guarantee the best job. We suggest
you review other criteria as well…
- Is the building firm an efficient and organized
firm? This will translate into a competitively priced bid.
- Can you easily communicate with the firm members? And does the
firm have office hours where someone is always available for you?
- Are previous homes available for you to see?
- Are references available?
Number 3: Change orders scare me. How do they
Change orders represent an increase or decrease
in cost because something has been added or deleted by you, the
client. You may elect to add a trash compactor or delete a garage
door opener. Sometimes a change order is appropriate when an area
of work is changed which has no influence on cost. The French door
is exchanged with the solid door in the den. This assumes the doors
haven’t already been installed. Change orders are agreed to
by both parties, in writing, prior to any additional work being
Number 2: Financing – how does it work
with a custom home project?
The process is easy. Many lenders have developed
borrower-friendly programs. Cost and rates do differ so we suggest
you talk with two lenders in an initial interview and then immediately
select one lender to complete your loan. Again, feeling comfortable
with the individual you will be doing business with is vitally important,
often more important than the lending institute. We have a recommendation
list for you if you are interested.
Number 1: How much a square foot does it cost?
This is a tough question to answer simply because
it depends on customer selection items such as type of flooring,
paint, cabinets, appliances, countertops, hardware, and plumbing
fixtures. Therefore, in order to give you a reasonable range you
must provide us with a lot of answers that will greatly influence
the cost. An example based on a 5,000 square foot house is the type
of flooring: all carpet vs. all hard surfaces (wood or tile). Carpet
typically costs $30 per square yard, or $3.33 per square foot. Hard
surface typically costs $10 per square foot. As you can see, just
the type of flooring can vary by a total of $33,350, or $6.67 per