“Where do we Start?” Many Clients come to us who have never built a custom home before, and may or may not be familiar with the process. Most of our Clients plan this Dream Home to be their last, and want to ensure that is accomplished. While we are more than happy to build a home that has already been designed/drafted, we are capable of handling the ENTIRE process in-house. This ability that we have developed over 25+ years enables our clients to have a smooth, thought-out approach to the otherwise overwhelming construction process. Some of our past clients can attest to the importance of experience and trust that was proven by us, to manage the entire project of their Dream Home.
Here is an outline of the typical project process of New Home Construction:
PART 1: Idea development: We start with correspondence between client and us, this may be email, phone conversation, face to face meeting, etc. We get an idea of client’s tastes, personality, style, areas of importance, cost parameters, etc. We use all of the following information to start developing an outline for the project and give feedback accordingly.
Pictures: We can use different methods of origination for this area, such as the internet (Houzz is one of our favorites!), magazines, photos of homes we have in our inventory, or photos you may have taken, etc.
Floor plans: Again, Internet, our library of plans, books, magazines, or start from scratch with room locations and priorities.
Styles: You may already have a design and style you may favor, such as Mediterranean, Traditional, Craftsman, and start to incorporate material finishes you prefer.
Lifestyle: Do you love the outdoors, sitting on a covered screened in porch sipping a cocktail? Do you enjoy gardening and landscaping? Or do you love visiting and hosting gatherings in a large open concept kitchen/family room with friends and family? Many of these things help us with a starting point on designing your dream home, around YOU.
Site Location: (trees, landscape, grade, area): We love to work with the natural landscape of a piece of property and have the home fit right in. Maybe the site would lend well to a sprawling single floor plan style home with gorgeous views, or maybe your property is a little more narrow where a 2 story slender floor plan with porches overlooking the marsh, would lend better.
These are just some of the many topics that we address when starting the Idea Development of your Dream Home!
PART 2: Drafting: Continuing on the basic foundation we have started with the Idea Developments, we start to “sketch” (on the computer in Auto CAD) the rough floor plan. This usually begins by a rough perimeter outline, then room sizes and layout. Through all of the following stages, we are keeping in mind structural (and cost) impacts, roof design, wall heights, exterior, etc.
Floor plan/flow: Again, this is the skeleton or framework that we start with, and work outward and inward from there. Once we have the basic layout, we can edit and tweak areas needed once the structure begins to take shape. We engage the client through email, snail mail, or most often in meetings to review full size printed drafts of the plan, take notes and bounce ideas around before we settle on a final draft.
Site plan: While developing the floor plan, we are reviewing the site/lot size, shape, set backs, grade, trees, and more, to ensure it will, 1. fit and 2. be aesthetically pleasing. Along with viewing the Site Survey, we always physically walk the property, take photos, pull measurements, stake out preliminary house corners, and get a feel for the area, to aid in the overall development of the property.
Elevations: This is one of the most exciting stages of drafting, because the exterior views are created of the home, and clients can really start to see what their dream home can, and will, look like. We start to visualize window sizes and locations, exterior coverings such as brick, siding, stucco, trim work, and roof sizes and pitch, all that reflect the floor plan’s design and layout.
Preliminary Pricing: Once we have an idea of the size, and general specifications discussed to-date with the client, we can begin to formulate a rough-price for the project. Since many factors may not be decided upon yet, we use our expertise and experience to assume allowance values and inclusions that we can later revisit if necessary. Through this point, we are keeping in mind the client’s budget comfort zone, to ensure their project meets all of their needs.
PART 3: Specifications: This is one stage where many people who are unfamiliar with Steve Fournier Custom Building, tend to believe is the most overwhelming and a daunting task. Our approach to the Specifications and Selections stage is a unique one that you won’t get from a nationwide or track builder, or many other “Custom” home builders.
In all cases, we give the clients a list of preferred suppliers and subcontractors that we have worked with before that do an excellent job, or they are free to shop wherever they choose, all the while we are guiding them with our experience and knowledge. We follow through with these products and services to make sure they not only are up to your standards, but up to ours.
Allowances: We take into account the Client’s overall budget, needs/wants/desires, along with our experience, to create Allowances for certain categories such as flooring, cabinets, etc. If some Allowance amounts are unknown, we use the information and ideas from previous steps to determine an approximate value for each category.
Inclusions: When building with us, everything is included (except the physical land). We handle all of it, from Permitting, Structural Design, Lot clearing, fill, etc, all the way through Driveway, Landscaping, Appliances, and Window Blinds if needed! Everything will be listed out clearly in our Construction Agreement. Of course we also handle the complete schedule and job-site management.
Interior and Exterior Selections: Again, the client has the ability to choose colors, materials such as stone, brick, siding, etc, for inside and out. Pictures are very helpful in this stage, and help us to narrow down and target exactly what the client is looking for. Once selected, these Specifications are outlined in the Construction Agreement and included in the total cost.
Agreement: Once all previous ideas, selections, etc are decided upon, we will write up and give the client a Complete Construction Agreement with the final price. Once approved and accepted, we move to the next stage, Physical Construction.
Steve Fournier Custom Home Building has been a Myrtle Beach Custom Home builder and designer for over 25 years. From custom one story houses to custom homes with fifteen bathrooms, Fournier Custom Home Building can build the house of your dreams by blending high quality work with affordable solutions.