Frequently Asked Questions

Building a home can be hard work: there are many steps that need to be taken, a lot of homework to be done, and complex budgeting involved. However, it’s our goal at Stauffer & Sons Construction to make it as easy as possible. Feel free to peruse the these FAQs (“Frequently Asked Questions”) to help you along in the process. And, of course, if you get stuck or need help, feel free to contact us and we’re happy to offer our support that way too.

Building Materials, Finishes, Etc

Learn about the building materials we use, architectural styles, and more.

Finding Land To Build a Home On

Finding the right lot to build your home on can be one of the more challenging aspects of building a home. Read more.

Log & Timber Construction

What is the difference between logs and timbers? What species of wood do we build with? Learn more here.

Financing, Mortgages, Construction Loans, Etc

How do you get financed to build a home? What’s the difference between a construction loan and a mortgage? Find out here.

Saving Money When Building a Home

How can you build your home in a cost-effective manner and not spend more than you need to? Find out here.

About Stauffer & Sons Construction

A little background on our building process, our home warranty, and more.

Building Materials, Finishes, Etc

Q: What are your standard finishes?

A: This is one of the most common questions we get, and it’s a little bit hard to answer since each one of our homes is custom-built for the family that’s going to live in it. However, you can view our “list of standard finishes” by clicking here. If you have certain finishes or building materials you’d like to use, we’re very happy to accommodate you (actually, we love special requests). When it comes to “upgrades,” we don’t really have a system like production builders do where you look around inside a model home and say “I’d like this model, but with upgraded counter tops.” You’re never locked into a “standard” level of anything; you will always pick what goes into your home. That’s the beauty of custom.

Q: What kinds of architectural styles do you offer?

A: Just about any style you can think of. We don’t just work off a fixed set of floor plans, and we’re not limited to certain styles that we’ve done in the past. In fact, if you really want us to get excited about your home, ask us to build a home we’ve never done before! For example, a few years ago, one family asked us “We know we live in the Rocky Mountains, but we’d like a Cape Cod style home. Can you do that?” We were thrilled at the opportunity to try something completely new and different. You can view some photos of it or read the story online. That was a fun experience. If you’re looking for a list, here are just a few of the styles we’re quite familiar with:

  • Contemporary
  • Southwestern
  • Mediterranean
  • Spanish Eclectic
  • Tuscan
  • Craftsman
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Prairie

What we’ve do most often, actually, is build a home that incorporates certain elements of one or more defined styles, but ends up becoming a blend that we like to call a “Colorado Mountain Style” home. You can see several examples of this in our photo gallery. We think they’re beautiful. But again, nothing is off limits and we welcome you to ask for something we’ve never done before.

Q: How can I find out which architectural style is right for my home?

A: That’s a great question. Some people come to us with a very clearly defined idea of exactly what they want, including having made choices on paint colors, materials, styles, home layouts, and more. Other people walk into our office and say “I know I want 3,500 square feet on two levels, and that’s about all I know so far.” Either approach works just fine for us. It’s our job to get to know you, and what you like, so we can work with just about anybody, no matter what step they’re at. Our very detailed design/build process will quickly uncover what kinds of finishes and design features are important to you. Contact us, and we’ll be happy to provide more insight about this process.

Q: What are “SIPs” and why do you use them?

A: “SIP” stands for “Structural Insulated Panels.” They are building panels made from sheets of OSB (oriented strand board) with EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam in between. Yes, they’re essentially walls made out of styrofoam, but trust us, SIPs are a great building material. We don’t use them often, but when we do, it’s usually in conjunction with a timber frame homes. SIPs are great because you can achieve incredible energy efficiency with super-high R-values in both your walls and your roof, and SIPs are installed with ease and speed. You can read more about SIPs and view a photo here.

Q: Why do you frame floating walls in the basement?

A: Floating walls in the basement are part of how we build for our mountainous region. The short answer for why we use them is “because the ground moves here.” It’s just a fact of life: the ground around your house will shift and move at some point. Maybe just slightly, but it can be crack your basements walls unless you give them some flexibility. That’s where floating walls come in: it allows for flexion behind the drywall but doesn’t affect the structural integrity of the walls at all. For more info on floating walls, check out this blog post with more information and photos.

Q: How much do solar power systems cost?

A: This is a question that has an exceptionally complex answer, not because we want to be evasive, but because the answer is honestly: “it depends.” Solar systems, like a custom home, are not a “one size fits all” purchase. There are a few things that need to be taken into account when considering a solar power system for your home, including:

The size of the home: how many square feet is your home, and what kind of layout does it have? It’s not enough to just know the total size of the home—we also need to know the floor plan. As an example, there’s a difference in what we can do with a 4,000 sq ft home that’s all on one level vs a home with 2,000 sq ft on a main level and a 2,000 sq ft basement.

The number of people living in the home: the size of your family has a direct impact on your energy consumption, so we’d need to know that in order to determine what your energy needs would be.

The lifestyle of those living in the home: above and beyond the number of residents in the house, how do the people who live there use the home? Does everyone leave the house at 8:00am and go to work and/or school, leaving the house empty all day? Or do you have someone who works from home, or elderly folks who stay at home during the day time? Is everyone in the house good at turning off all the lights when they leave the room, or do you let light bulbs burn all day when nobody’s home?

Your goals as a home owner: why is it that you want solar power in the first place? To minimize your environmental impact? To save money? To live off-grid? All the above, or another reason altogether? All of these factor in heavily not only on whether solar energy is right for you home in general, but what kind of system will work best for you, if at all. For example, if you want to live off-grid but have large electrical appliances, you may need a very large and expensive system.

The life stage of the occupants and future plans for the home: will this be the home you spend the rest of your days in, or are you planning on moving again in ten years? It may not make sense to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a system that only starts paying you back in 25 years if you’re only planning to live in the home for ten years.

The need for energy storage, if any: will you be able to sell back excess electricity you don’t need to the utility company? Will you need batteries to store it?

All of these questions need to be considered (and answered) as part of the overall design of your home’s solar system.

Having said all that, generally speaking, a residential solar photovoltaic (solar PV) system is somewhere between 2,000 and 10,000 watts, depending upon the needs and goals of the owner. For argument’s sake, an “average” home would handle most of its electrical needs with a 5KW system. As of this writing, a Solar PV system costs about $5/watt, installed. So you can count on this average size system costing around $25,000.

There are a number of factors that affect the final cost of the system, including:

  • Builder markup of the system. Builders have to install and warranty the system, of course, so they’ll charge for that.
  • Federal tax credits available, if any. As of this writing, there is a 30% Federal Tax Credit for the cost of a Solar PV system, but this is subject to change at any time and you’ll want to ask a CPA before relying on this.
  •  Local utility provider rebates. In most areas, utility companies offer rebates for Solar PV systems. Again, the amount and availability of these rebates can vary dramatically by year and location, so check with your local utility company.
  • Projected buyback of electricity by the utility provider, if any. Some utilities will “buy back” the electricity you generate but don’t need.

As you can see, Solar PV is complex, and while we’ve installed solar energy systems many times in the past, we would need to talk to you with a set of plans in hand to determine exact costs.

Finding Land To Build a Home On

Stauffer & Sons Construction is a custom home builder, which means “we build on your lot.” We have no inventory, and don’t build homes speculatively, so one thing you’ll need to do before we can build your dream home is to buy land to build on. Over the years, we’ve learned a few things about how this works, so hopefully you find this helpful.

Q: Should I buy land before contacting a builder, or talk to a builder before I buy land?

A: As a custom home builder, our business model is such that we generally work with clients who already own land and we build on their lot. However, it can be advantageous to contact a builder while you’re still researching land, as he can help you get a better idea of the kind of land you’ll want to build on. Ultimately though, the land you end up with will dictate much about your home’s design. So while it may be obvious that we can’t start building a home until you have a place to build it, what might not be so obvious—but is just as important to know—that we really can’t design a home either until we know exactly what kind of building conditions we’ll have.

All that to say that generally, you will want to own land before you start talking to a builder about design and pricing. If you’re interested, we can work with you and one of our lending partners to bundle your loan for the land and your construction loan, so feel free to contact us if that’s what you’d like to do. Also, if you don’t have a Realtor yet, feel free to contact us and we’ll connect you with one of our preferred real estate agents who can help you find land.

Q: What do I need to know before I buy land to build a home on?

A: Great news! This is one of the questions we get so frequently that we asked one of our friends, a Real Estate agent, to explain it in great detail. Read his guest blog post on the topic here: What To Look For When Buying Land.

Q: I’ve bought my land but I’m wondering what a well and septic will cost. Can you help?

A: We sure can! Just contact us and let us know which area or neighborhood you want to build in (the more specific you can get, the better) and we can check with our well and septic subcontractors who will look up some recent soils tests and septic systems they’ve done in the area and give us a cost estimate.

Q: What are tap fees and how are they calculated?

A: Tap fees are the fees charged by a utility provider for “tapping in” to their system. i.e. hooking your pipes up to the water supply and sewer system, as well as connecting to the electric supply. These fees can be significantly higher than most home owners expect and each utility has a different set of fees (in Colorado Springs, there are several local utilities: Colorado Springs Utilities, Black Hills Energy, IREA, Teller County Energy, and others). Generally, we tell people to budget between $12-20,000 for tap fees, though we can give you a much more precise number if you give us the location of your land.

Q: I’ve been told my land has ‘bad soil.’ What does this mean, and can we fix it?

A: Building in Colorado can sometimes be difficult due to poor soil quality. The topic of “expandable soil” is indeed complex and important to understand when building. So important, in fact, that we had our Geotechnical Engineer (who has a PhD in this stuff) write a blog post to address this very topic. You can read all about it here: Understanding Expandable Soils.

Q: What is an overdig?

A: An overdig is, just like it sounds, an over-excavation beyond what would normally be required to place the footers on virgin ground. The depth of an overdig is typically 4 feet or the depth required to remove all of the expandable soil, whichever is less. This overdig will also extend outward to the same extent as the depth. Once the overdig is complete, suitable soil is imported from somewhere else and compacted as needed.

Log & Timber Home Construction

Q: Do you sell log home kits? Can you put together a log kit that I purchase?

A: Not exactly. To be perfectly honest, it’s hard for us not to cringe when people use the word “kit,” because it implies simplicity, as if all you have to do to build a log home is buy a package of pre-milled lumber and assemble it like Lincoln Logs, instantly saving tens of thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, it’s far, far more complicated than that.

To illustrate, let’s say you do buy a “log kit,” complete with an assembly guide and hardware to fasten it all together. You might think “Hey, I already bought my land… now I’ve got the materials… I just need to put it all together. How hard can it be?” — here’s the truth: building a home from a kit is just like building any other home. When you look at the total price tag of a home, even with a kit, you still need to factor in:

  • Permitting
  • Excavation
  • Foundation
  • Utilities (gas/electricity)
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Heating/Cooling
  • Well/Septic (or water/sewer)
  • Windows
  • Roofing
  • Cabinets
  • Interior Trim/Mill Work
  • Flooring

The actual log or timber kit is just one small piece of the puzzle in building the whole house. So just making one step in the process a little simpler, won’t magically make your home less expensive.

Having said all that, we are fans of using pre-milled lumber packages in the proper context and for the right objective. For example, check out this log cabin we built in the Sangre de Cristo mountains: we used what you might call a “log kit” in that case. However, we chose that not for cost savings, but because it gave us the right material: kiln-dried lumber, pre-milled trusses and gables, detailed joinery, etc.

If you’d like to use a lumber package in your home, you’ll find that we’re quite knowledgeable on the topic; for over ten years, we’ve had a relationship with the largest timber frame companies in North America (Riverbend Timber Framing and PrecisionCraft in particular). We can both sell those packages and install them on your land if that’s what you’d like. Contact us to talk more about that. We’d love to chat about your timber project: we’re big fans of timber—it’s a passion of ours.

Q: What’s the difference between log homes and timber homes?

A: Here’s an over-simplified explanation:

  • Logs are trees that have been chopped down and stripped of their limbs, and that’s about it.
  • Timbers are logs that have been taken several steps further (milled to specification, kiln-dried, etc.).

Both logs and timbers have been used to build structures for millennia; however, timbers have been the predominant choice for building homes for people until recent times when synthetic and modern materials became available. If you want to know more, you can read a blog post Andy Stauffer wrote on the topic here: log homes vs. timber frame homes.

Q: What species of wood do you use in your timber homes?

A: There are many different options for wood species used in timber homes. Some of the most common options include:

  • Cedar
  • Oak (Red or White)
  • Redwood
  • Douglas Fir
  • Cypress

In our region in Colorado, we work with Douglas Fir the most. (In Colorado we call it “Doug Fir,” even though it isn’t a true “Fir” at all!) Doug Fir is strong, it’s beautiful, and it’s an economical choice.

Financing, Mortgages, Construction Loans, Etc

Q: How do I get financing to build a custom home?

A: Great question! The easiest way, of course, is to pay cash (which some clients do). The next best way is to get a construction loan. If you have already been prequalified for a construction loan with a lender you trust, great! We’re happy to work with them. If you don’t already have a construction loan in place, feel free to contact one of our preferred vendors who have worked with us in the past.

Q: How does a construction loan work?

A: We’re so glad you asked! We’ve gotten this question so frequently that we actually had one of our lenders write a blog post explaining just that. Read it here: How Construction Loans Work.

Q: I want to build a home and I’ve been pre-approved for a loan. Where do I start?

A: That’s great news! The first step is to find land to build on, and buy it. (We highly recommend that you hire a real estate agent for this transaction!) Once you have your land, it’s time to start talking to builders. Of course, we would love to be one of those builders you talk to! …and we’re happy to come out to your land for a site visit first to see what you have (at no cost to you). Once you pick your builder, talk to them about your budget, your ideas for designs, and more. Then hire the builder you want to work with and start building!

Q: Do I need home owner’s insurance when building a home?

A: This is another topic that’s so important, we decided to have an insurance agent write a whole article about it. Read it here: Understanding Home Owners Insurance.

Saving Money When Building a Home

Q: Can I save money by building my own home instead of hiring a builder?

A: The answer to this question is… complicated. Generally speaking, most people will not see the kinds of savings they’re hoping for by trying to build a home without hiring a General Contractor. In addition, your lender might not be too happy about financing a self-built home, and many banks have rules against lending for a first-time self-built home. Don’t forget, too, that all the same rules will apply to you when building your own home: while you won’t need a General Contractors license, you’ll still need to pull permits, have insurance, maintain good bookkeeping, pay your subcontractors, submit draw requests to the bank, prevent liens from being put on the property, etc.

Have we met people who have built their own homes? Yes, we have. Have we met many folks who have done it that would do it again? That number is much smaller. So can it be done? Of course. Will you save money while doing it? …our experience has shown that you rarely will. This is a fair question, and deserves a more in-depth answer, so our project manager wrote a blog post about it that you can read here if you’d like.

Q: Can I save money by choosing an existing set of plans instead of going through the custom design process?

A: This is definitely one of the more popular questions we get, and it’s a great question. It costs several thousand dollars to have a custom set of plans drawn up for your home, and so some people ask themselves: “If I just choose a set of existing plans, won’t I avoid the whole design process and save the time and money?” While this is seems logical, our experience over the years has shown that the cost savings between creating a custom design vs choosing a “stock” home plan is basically a wash in the end. i.e. there’s really no cost savings at all.

Here’s why: stock plans are designed to fit a general list of requirements to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. With a plan that’s this generic, you’ll usually find yourself trying to fit your family and your lifestyle into a home that wasn’t designed with you in mind. So think about it this way: when you’re building a home, every additional square foot costs you lots of dollars (the national average is about $120/sq ft). With this in mind, if your home has just 100 square feet of wasted space in the stock floor plans, you’ve just paid $12,000 for extra room you’ll never use. Building a custom home avoids having this unnecessary square footage in the first place, so while you may spend $5,000-$15,000 on a custom set of plans, you don’t have to build a home from a plan you like but that has 200 square feet more than you need. So if we can save you that 200 square feet, you’ve just avoided spending $24,000. Not a bad deal, right?

When we begin our design/build process with a new client, we don’t ask “Would you like floor plan A, B or C?” — instead, we ask “How do you live your life? Describe an average day for you at home.” and through a long line of questioning, we will discover a design that works for you. When you sit down with Andy, he’ll ask you questions such as “Do you have dogs? Do you like to cook? Do you grill outdoors? Do you drink wine? Red wine or white wine? Might your mother in law ever come to live with you in the future?” and more. The answers to these questions help us come up with conclusions for your home’s design and layout such as “Add a nook in the kitchen for the dog dishes,” or “Need a big covered porch for entertaining around the grill,” and “Island in kitchen needs a wine chiller.” All these small considerations add up to the big picture of having a custom home designed with you in mind, without features you don’t need, or wasted space.

Q: Can I save money by doing some of the work myself?

A: It depends. In all honestly, we occasionally do let a home owner do some of the work when building their home, but not to save money. Most of the time, it’s because the home owner wants to feel invested; like he or she really got to be a part of the building process and put some sweat into the house itself. That can be a great feeling!

Sometimes, people misunderstand how costs are calculated when building a home, so they think that if they take a small portion of the work off the General Contractor’s plate, big bucks can be saved. In truth, there’s very little savings to be had by the kinds of tasks a home owner is able to offer. Plus, it’s also important to remember that we as a builder are liable to build everything properly, and put a warranty on all of our work, so if we make a mistake, we fix it, at our cost. Whereas, if a home owner makes even a very small mistake, any of the intended costs savings could be lost, and the home owner would be liable to fix the mistake. For example, do builders let homeowners run their own plumbing? …we can’t imagine a scenario where that would ever make sense, even if the homeowner is a plumber. The stakes are just too high. Similarly, many people will say “I’m happy to take care of the painting,” not knowing that painting is a task that interacts with the schedules and staging of more trades and materials than just about anything else. Meaning, almost every trade comes into contact with paint, or is waiting for the painter, at some point, so it’s a very, very bad fit for the homeowner to be involved with.

The important question to ask yourself is, “What is my motivation for doing the work myself?” If your desire is to save money, then you might be surprised at the value we bring compared to what you think you’ll save by doing it yourself. But if your motivation is doing it purely for the satisfaction of being able to tell your friends “I laid these bricks in the patio with my own two hands!” — by all means, roll up your sleeves! We are happy to help set you up for success. We just need to make sure your role is clearly defined before the contract is signed to ensure no miscommunications between builder and homeowner.

Q: Does a custom home cost more than a pre-built home?

A: Simple answer: it doesn’t have to. As long as you’re making a true apples-to-apples comparison, there’s no good reason why a custom home would have to cost any more than a pre-built home (sometimes called a “spec home”). At Stauffer & Sons, we like to say “Custom doesn’t mean gold-plated,” because sometimes people confuse the word “custom” with “luxury.” Yes, we do often build homes that have “luxury” features in them, but that’s because the home owner wants them. All custom really means is “built the way you want,” so if you want a simple home, we can build you a simple home. If you want a small home, we can build you a small home. If you want your walls to be covered in authentic venetian plaster that’s hand-sculpted and waxed, we can do that (and we have). If you want a simple coat of texture and paint, we can do that too. When we say custom, you shouldn’t think “expensive,” you should think “a home made just for my needs.”

About Stauffer & Sons Construction

Q: What is your Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating?

A: We’re happy to say that we have an A+ rating (which is the highest possible rating) with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Southern Colorado. Feel free to see for yourself: just click here.

Q: Do you ever build energy-efficient homes and use environmentally friendly materials?

A: Absolutely! Here’s a quick list of what we generally put in our homes:

  • 95% efficient furnace
  • 2×6 exterior walls
  • dual-pane vinyl windows
  • R-50 blow-in fiberglass insulation for ceilings
  • R-23 blow-in fiberglass insulation for walls

You can check out our standard finishes for more info click here, but generally speaking, we use highly efficient appliances and our homes are highly insulated with a minimum of waste created during the build.

Q: Do you ever build homes with alternative power sources, like solar, wind and geothermal power?

A: Yes, we do. We’ve built homes with solar thermal systems, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, passive solar engineering, water re-circulation systems, geothermal systems, and much more. We’re also proud to say that we were the very first company to build a LEED® Platinum home in Southern Colorado. If you’d like to talk about alternative-energy options for your home, we’re glad to discuss it.

Q: What kind of warranty do you offer?

A: We think you’ll love our home warranty. Quick answer: we offer a 10 year structural warranty, and a 2 year warranty on the inside of the home. Want more info? Contact us, and we can give you the full scoop on exactly what that entails.

Q: Do you work with real estate agents?

A: Yes. If you have hired a real estate agent to help you find a home, and they introduce you to us as a builder they recommend, we’re happy to thank them and pay them for doing so (at no cost to you). (Note: if you’re a real estate agent and you’d like to sign a commission agreement with us, please contact us click here).

One thing you might notice, though, is that as a custom home builder, we’re a little bit different than the bigger builders that own land and keep inventory open for realtors to show to potential buyers. Since every home we’ve ever built has been pre-sold, we generally only build on land owned by clients who buy a lot first and then contact us, so there’s often not much for a realtor to do in that relationship. If you’re a home owner looking at building a new home, the way we work with realtors most often is that they’ll help you find a lot to build on, then we’ll contract with you directly from there. Over 90% of the time, that’s how it’s worked out, and it’s been a great process.

So if a Realtor sent you our way, tell them we say “thanks!” and be sure to tell us who your Realtor is when you first contact us.

Q: You call yourself a ‘design/build’ contractor. What does that mean?

A: Here’s the quick answer: design/build contracting is a building process where a builder is involved with every aspect of a construction project from the very beginning of the design process. Meaning, in this arrangement, you don’t work solely with an architect to design your plans to completion and then go shop around for builders… that’s the older model sometimes called “design-bid-build,” and as Andy Stauffer has written about many times, we generally prefer not to work this way. Click here for more info.

Q: Do you have a model home or showroom I can drop by?

A: Since Stauffer & Sons is a custom builder, we don’t have a model home for you to drop by, and we don’t have a showroom of products. The main reason we don’t have a model home is simple: we don’t build spec homes (homes built speculatively, hoping someone will buy it later), we just build for clients we already have a contract with. However, we have a great office in downtown Colorado Springs you can drop by—we’re in the Old Depot Square near the building that housed Giuseppi’s restaurant. If you’d like to see some of the homes we’ve built in the past, just contact us and we will be happy to take you on a tour of one of our recent builds. (Most of clients are good friends, and love showing off the home we built for them).

If you really want a “showroom experience,” we can help you with this as well by taking you to the showrooms of our suppliers. We have suppliers for lighting, flooring, wall covering, paint, roofing, plumbing fixtures, furniture, and more, and all of them have a showroom we will take you to during the building process.

Q: Do you build outside of Colorado Springs?

A: Frequently, yes. For the right client and the right job, we’re happy to travel. Keeping in mind, though, that there’s an increase in the cost of doing business from a distance (usually to the tune of a couple of percentage points). We are licensed to build in multiple counties, and have built all over the front range.

The answer to the question “Can you build in my town?” depends on a few factors. The big factors are:

  • Our current workload. (Are we so busy we can barely keep up? Or are we stuck in a slow building rut?)
  • How far are we talking? (Example: Woodland Park is a slam dunk. Evergreen? …that would require some thought.)
  • Can we bring something to the table that a local builder can’t? (A unique building process, or skill set, or faster turnaround, etc.)

Keeping these in mind, if you want to build a house that’s an hour away from Colorado Springs, it might make sense. If your budget to build is around $250k, we really can’t justify the additional expense and opportunity cost of of traveling that far away for a smaller job like that. If you live up a long, winding mountain pass in a tiny town 90 minutes from Colorado Springs, but you’re looking at building a three million dollar home, we can most likely justify the travel for a job like that. So it always depends.

When it does make financial sense, we’ve really been able to shine over the years: we’ve developed a system for taking our “metropolitan” subcontractors into remote mountain towns and back-country areas in a very efficient way. Often, what we’re competing against in these cases are what we call “Dog and Truck” builders with a “mountain mentality,” which is like “Island time.” (e.g. “Hey man, I can get to your project sometime… next month…). This simply can’t compete with our proven team of reliable, established tradesmen from Colorado Springs we’ve selected and worked with for many, many years. Our happy customers from the remote corners of Colorado can back this up. Click here to read some testimonials.

Sometimes, it just makes sense to use a “Big City” builder. Just contact us and we’ll be happy to give you a better idea of whether we can bring a unique advantage to your project or not. For a more detailed explanation of where we’ve built in the past, visit the where we build page.

Q: What Colorado Springs communities do you build in?

A: As a custom builder, we generally haven’t done much building inside of developments with other builders. (i.e. places like Flying Horse, Banning Lewis Ranch, Wolf Ranch, Cordera, and other communities that are being built by developers). There are a few places, such as Pine Creek, where we have worked—you can see the full list here: on our where we build page. We’re certainly not opposed to it, but as with the question above, we have to ask if we can bring a strategic advantage to your project first.

Q: What size home is too small (or too big) for you? And what size budgets?

A: The answer to this question is heavily dependent on our current workload. For example, if we’re building eight 3,000 square foot homes at the same time (like we did in summer of 2013), we probably won’t be able to build a 1,000 square foot cabin that’s an hour outside of town. However, in leaner times, we just might. As a basic rule of thumb, our sweet spot for homes is generally 2,000 square feet or larger, and we can generally work with people with budgets starting at $300,000. If you need something much smaller than that, or for a tighter budget, there are some other builders in town who specialize in building tract homes or semi-custom homes that might be a better fit for you and we’d be happy to recommend a few for you to talk to.

Q: I lost my home in a fire. Can you help me?

A: Absolutely. We have re-built almost 20 homes for families who lost their homes in fires, and we’ve whittled down our building process to a very efficient system. We understand the insurance claims and payment process, we know how to work with clients who are experiencing the trauma of losing a home, and we’re able to help get you back into a new home quickly. Building for over a dozen families in a short period of time, and processing paperwork and billing with over 10 different insurance companies has given us the experience you’ll likely want during your time of need.  If you’ve lost your home in a fire, or other natural disaster, we’d be honored to speak with you.

Q: I was having my house built but my builder went bankrupt. Can you help me?

A: We sure can, and it’s unfortunate, but we’ve had to perform a number of “salvage” jobs in the past like this. We get calls from time to time from a distraught homeowner who can’t get his builder to call him back, or sometimes we’ll even get a call from a homeowner who says “I had to fire my builder…. but my house is half-way done. Can you finish it?” — we’re happy to help in most of these cases. Just remember that—as unfortunate as it is—there’s sometimes insult added to the injury in that it will end up costing you more in the end due to the the extra expense of us picking up where another builder left off.

Thought of something we haven’t answered here? We’re always happy to answer questions. Click here to submit a question of your own.