Although at Forner – La Voy, we begin working with homeowners at various points within the home design process, a complete design and pricing discussion is presented here.
- Assemble team
- Choose a community, sub-division and lot
- Begin design
- Make pre-selections
- Develop preliminary pricing
- Complete design
- Develop final specifications & final pricing
- Execute construction contract
Key Steps Explained:
We strongly suggest you assemble your “advisory team” as one of your first actions. What we have found is that the most successful projects result when a homeowner chooses their team on the very front-end of their project. The key team members include builder, architect, designer/decorator (if you plan to involve one) and buyer’s real estate agent (if you plan to involve one). Each team member has unique perspective and skills that can be brought to the table to ensure you achieve your desired homebuilding outcome.
Most people have a community and even sub-division in mind when we first speak to them. If not, all team members will have opinions and advice to direct you towards sub-divisions that meet your goals. Then, lot selection becomes the next activity. As the builder-member of your team, we will assist you in determining the best position for your home on a lot. We will also enumerate lot-specific characteristics that introduce extra costs, like terrain elevation changes or probable rock in the dig or limited space to “store” dig material until needed for backfill vs. having to haul it off and haul it back, etc.
Once you have a lot in mind, or have narrowed your choices down to a handful of lots, design begins. Homeowners typically have a number of different ideas, in multiple formats, for the home they want. This includes floor plans, pictures torn out of magazines, albums of pictures, albums from on-line idea-sites like Houzz, hand-drawn sketches, etc. All this information is beneficial and used by your team, along with standard questions from your architect, builder and designer that elicit information critical to designing your dream.
As design begins, we work together to develop boundaries for scope based on your budget. Being your builder, we certainly offer design ideas but our most important function is to guide the design process within your scope and budget parameters, constantly taking checkpoints to assess the design against them.
Our first “pricing” milestone comes once an initial floor plan is designed, as well as an initial set of exterior elevations. From the get-go, we will also be guiding you toward making a number of pre-selections that will assist us in developing pricing. While not the final, 100%-complete selection list, we want you to become acquainted with the choices that exist for a number of key selections so our vendors and craftsmen are able to provide us with realistic pricing quotes. We’ll provide guidance on pre-selecting things like appliances, cabinets, fireplaces, plumbing fixtures, etc. Armed with the initial design work done at the architect and with your pre-selections, we develop preliminary pricing for you. This gives you the opportunity to make tweaks as needed early enough in the design process to be able to balance design with budget.
From that point, we continue to work as a team to finalize your design. The true wisdom, knowledge and expertise of a seasoned custom homebuilder now takes central stage – reviewing a two-dimensional set of drawings that ultimately contain about 70% of what one really needs to know to construct a house, and visualizing the three-dimensional desired outcome. To achieve this, we use your plans, your pre-selections, and all other information we’ve gathered from you and develop detailed specifications for your home. We further those specifications with construction details developed after Rick Forner performs a process we refer to as “constructing the house in his head” — confirming the standard construction aspects of your home, but also identifying the nuances, i.e. that other 30%, that exist in your one-of-a-kind design which, as yet has never been built. These specifications are ultimately used to communicate to you all that is included in your home – from foundation wall widths, heights & structural strength to lumber specifications to cabinetry details to number of paint colors included, and much, much more. We also package up these specifications as instructions to our suppliers, vendors and craftsmen and elicit price quotes from them for your home to feed development of final pricing.
After agreeing to the specifications and final pricing with you, a construction contract is executed. If you are working with a lender for your project, the finalized construction contract and specifications are provided to them as they feed the appraisal and final loan approval process.
We are then ready to begin actually constructing your dream!