We often have new clients come to us and ask us if we can build a home plan they have found online or had drawn up by a designer or architect.
Our answer: It depends, and it really depends on you.
Homeowners usually come to us to build custom homes for 1 of 3 reasons:
1. They want a truly affordable custom home build on their land and they’re willing to make the compromises necessary to match the budget with their design.
2. They want a simple, easy process and someone to give them a great customer experience all the way through.
3. They have a specific design vision in mind from the beginning.
Their motive is a big factor in determining if the home plan they brought can be built - do they have the budget for it and/or are they willing to make some compromises to it as needed?
Below, we go into more detail about building the custom home plan you have found for your family.
How Can You Get the Custom Home Plan of Your Dreams?
When clients bring us home plans they already have mocked up, it all comes down to their desire to have their dream home.
So how can you have the custom home plan of your dreams when you bring a “dream” plan to a builder? Here are suggestions we want you to understand and consider about the home building process:
Suggestion #1: Understand Your Budget
The first thing we need to know is: “What is your budget?”
If you have a firm budget and you have a plan, we can usually quickly tell you if you could do it.
Many times when someone has a design drawn up of the floor plan they want for their family and they take that plan to a home builder, they are disappointed to find out the plan is much too expensive to build. Why does this happen?
3 Reasons Online Floor Plans Are More Expensive
When home plans are purchased online, local building laws and site development costs are not factored in.
Our eyes are bigger than our pocket books.
Because the homeowner or home designer is not dealing with the homebuilding costs day in and day out, their estimate for how much it will cost to build a home is a ballpark estimate, at best.
|The danger of purchasing floor plans online before speaking with a local builder is that the estimated costs of that plan do not factor in local building costs that will factor into your plan.||
We also have to remember that human nature factors into these designs. All of us - myself, my family and you included - often have eyes that are bigger than our pocket books.
To help you understand what type of plan you can afford with your budget, consider learning more about the costs involved in custom home building.
Suggestion #2: Include the Home Builder You Are Going to Use Early in the Process to Assist with the Home Design
At Hedgefield Homes, we excel and provide unique value in helping marry your vision to your budget. The way we do that is redesign any plan you send us—so we aren’t stealing someone’s intellectual property—systematically go through the plan and help value-engineer it.
We do this so the elements of the design that specifically meet your vision are maintained and those that aren’t we can compromise on.
This helps us design a home that meets your family’s needs and your budget.
How Our Design Process Works
We offer a series of design meetings to clients for $2,500. In these meetings, we sit down and listen to you make a detailed list of your wants and needs. Then we begin to draw up a plan. Along the way, we make revisions and suggestions on how we can keep your plan in budget, and, at the end, we give you a price.
The amount of attention and detail we put into our estimation requires a lot of upfront work. We don’t do that until we have a committed design customer, so we can be sure that when we give them a price, we know how much the house will cost and not more, and they can be sure of what is included in that plan - all of the specs and the price.
Suggestion #3: Make Sure You Have a Clear Understanding of Everything Involved
Another common thing we see happen to people in the custom home building industry is they get their home designed, sign a contract with a local home builder who says they can build it and then find out that they and their builder did not have a clear understanding of what was included in that plan, so the price continues to increase throughout the process.
At Hedgefield Homes, we fix your price when you sign a contract with us so your price won’t change. And a lot of that comes from the initial design work we do at the beginning to marry the vision you have for your home with what we can actually deliver to you in terms of your budget.
This is how we provide value to our customers who are committed to their budget and a plan. We provide superior customer service and pricing in our marketplace so our customers know we are on the same page.
So What Does This All Mean to You?
Most of the time, our design clients have a vision of what they want in their head. When they bring us a home plan, what they’re really saying to us is that they want something close to that plan but they need our help. They’re asking us to show them how to build a house like that on their budget.
That is a great question and a conversation we can certainly talk through and help you with.
If, however, you find that you have a plan that you do not want to change or adjust by any means, then we will need to understand how the plan came about; and if the design is the property of another individual, then we will need written permission to use it. If it turns out you do have permission to use it, then we will have an initial meeting to evaluate it with you and talk through ballpark costs. It’s possible that after this meeting, however, that we may not be the right builder for you; It may be more expensive to achieve what you’re after, or you may simply have a custom vision for which we are not the best builder. If you do have the budget for something that custom, you may want to find a fully custom builder to help you with your plan.
Why Don’t You Accept Other Designs?
At Hedgefield Homes, we decided to use our in-house designers for the work that we do. That’s why we usually start with those series of design meetings with our clients - whether they have a home plan in mind that they are bringing to us or wanting to start from scratch.
There are different levels of work quality in home design, just like with every other labor. Sometimes designers will have mistakes in their plans. We trust our internal designers to vet all of our plans. And when we design a new plan, we make sure it is designed to our specifications—to the way that we build so we can deliver maximum value to our clients and make sure the custom home plan produced doesn’t have mistakes.
Regardless of the plan you bring us or the plan you select, our goal is to help you build the home your family wants and needs while also creating a home that works with your family’s budget.