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The Castle

Preparation for Building a Home

Building a custom home is the one sure way of having your home reflect your own personality and of having it suit your family's lifestyle. When you design and build your home with Cordero Craftsmen, we go through the following steps:

 

  1. Budget Management
  2. Design of the Home
  3. Financing Construction of the Custom Home
  4. Construction of the Home

 

1. Budget Management

The process of building a custom home starts with an understanding about how much money you are able and willing to spend on the home. With Cordero Craftsmen, that amount remains the target throughout the building process - you are always kept up to date on what the expenditures have been to date and what it will cost to complete the home.

Custom Bannister

Cordero Craftsmen works with you to stay within budget by presenting the various options available to you. That way you get the most of the kind of home you want for the dollars you are spending. Sometimes that may involve "trading" square footage for certain features or amenities, other times it may involve selecting lower cost items from among acceptable alternatives.

For example, there are many ways to cover the exterior of your home, including stone, brick, stucco, wood, cement fiber (Hardy Plank), and more. Each type of exterior will cost different amounts, and have different appearance and maintenance characteristics. Roofs can be built with 20-year fiberglass, 25-, 30-, or 40-year dimensional shingles, clay tile, or metal. Floors can be covered with tile, wood, marble, vinyl, carpet. Cordero Craftsmen will also offer advice on building a home that is energy-efficient and will also advise you on programs and incentives offered by different utility companies to encourage the building of energy-efficient homes. Not only does this make for a more comfortable and enjoyable home, but the savings in utility bills leaves more room in the budget for the cost of the home.

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2. Designing the Home

Mailboxes

The design for a home can be obtained from several sources. Some national companies sell plans that home owners can select from what is essentially a catalog. In such cases it is very important that a builder or designer familiar with local building codes and climatic conditions review the plans to be sure they are suitable for South Texas and are in compliance with the applicable zoning and building codes. Using plans from other sources may involve some additional charges to bring them into compliance with local codes or deed restrictions, or to make changes to suit the home owner.

Assuming, however, that the home owner is going to have a truly custom home built, the owner should identify certain factors that will be necessary to consider when designing a home that will meet the specific needs of the owner, including:

  • Budget (as discussed above)
  • Number of children
  • Ages of children
  • Number and frequency of guests staying in the home
  • Hobbies such as woodworking or sewing that require space
  • Number and type of cars or other vehicles maintained at the home
  • Unique furniture items that need to be accommodated (e.g., piano)
  • Desired location
  • Budget
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Emphasis on energy-efficiency
  • Style preferences (e.g., vaulted ceilings, Jenn-Air appliances, Jacuzzi's, pools, gardens, etc.)

Keeping those factors in mind, the home owner will visit with a builder, architect, draftsman or designer and come up with a prospective floor plan showing the general layout and size of the different living areas. Once agreement is reached on the floor plan is agreed on, one of the above mentioned persons will prepare a three-dimensional drawing of the home called an "elevation," which is a stylized rendition of what the home will look like when completed.

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3. Financing Construction of the Custom Home

Pool Shed

Financing a custom home starts with the owner obtaining a "commitment letter" from a source of permanent financing, e.g., a mortgage company, savings and loan or a bank. The owner then takes the commitment letter to a source of interim financing which essentially agrees to loan a fixed amount for construction costs and then makes periodic progress payments as the home is completed. This will involve an inspector acting on behalf of the interim lender actually inspecting the construction site to verify actual progress. This acts to protect both the lender and the home builder.

If the home owner is using a builder who has been pre-approved by the lender, the process is relatively straight forward. Cordero Craftsmen has been pre-approved by a number of lenders.

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4. Construction of the Home

Cordero Craftsmen oversees every detail of the construction, beginning with obtaining the necessary building permits and making arrangements to connect to the necessary utilities - gas, electric, water and sewage. Cordero Craftsmen keeps you updated as the home is built, from the laying of the foundation to the framing of the house, roofing, installation of electrical and plumbing, hanging of drywall and finishing out. All along the way you are kept informed as the major milestones are reached.

Periodically the interim lender will have the home inspected to ensure that the home meets the necessary building codes, and as progress is documented, progress payments are authorized. When the home is built and passes the final inspection, the permanent loan is used to pay the interim lender.

And, finally, probably the most important quality we offer is that when you've moved into your new home, Cordero Craftsmen will follow up on any problems that may not have been noticed before.

 

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