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frequently asked questions
Question- Why do you provide a range per square foot? Are there variable costs in building a Custom Home and can you provide examples?
Answer: A “Custom” home by its very description is the reason for the range in cost to construct. Firetti Builders is a professional at taking a client’s vision and building their dreams. These types of estates are usually evolving over months of planning and continue to evolve many times through the construction process as the client incorporates new feature. Our clients come to us for a home that is unique to their lifestyle and rarely is that home defined completely on paper prior to the start of construction. It is not uncommon during construction for one of our clients to find a magazine article or visit a friend’s home and discover something they want incorporated into their home. The result is a change to the project which affects a number of variables and one of them is cost per square foot.
Question- How long will my project take?
Answer: Firetti Builders is committed to providing a valuable service to all of our clients whether it is a custom construction of a summer home or a year round residence in an established community. The span of any building project is in direct relationship to the scope of work that is being completed. Understanding the construction process will assist you in understanding the factors affecting duration. For this reason, we go to great lengths to enlighten our customers through the entire process of building their home. We will develop a schedule of the building project so that an accurate picture of when our client can move in is answered. Duration of a project is very much dependent on how far along in the planning stage the customer is. The customer’s complete understanding of the building process and ability to make decisions in a timely manner will reduce the time it takes to build the house.
Question- What may be a few examples of the most common project delays?
Answer: Despite how simple it may seem, custom construction is never going to be an exact science. The closest thing to exact is when you are replicating the same home over and over as some production builders do. There are hundreds upon hundreds of tasks which make up the building process. Some delays are inevitable, but increased understanding of external factors, attention to detail, and continuous communication can help manage costs and keep the project moving forward. Here are some of the most common reasons for project delays:

Project Size: It takes longer to finish a 4,000 square foot home than a 2,200 square foot home. So the size of the house affects the duration of the project. Of course, the building schedule is calculated by the size of the project and, once established, does not vary the completion date

Change Orders: Nothing changes a “Move-In” date like a multitude of change orders initiated by the client during the project. As a custom homebuilder, Firetti Builders understands and expects that a client will want changes as the building project progresses. However, when many change orders are requested near the end of the project, the Move-In date may likely have to be changed. Selection changes have the largest affect on the Move-In date as supplies from manufacturers are sometimes back-ordered or require long lead times to produce. Other changes may require the involvement of subcontractors and the need to schedule their work may affect the move in date. We understand there are always going to be changes because as the homeowner watches the home being created there are ideas to share and these ideas are welcomed. But at the same time as we make these modifications we also run the risk of delays.

Undisclosed Site Conditions: This is one of the most frustrating and least controllable events. The reason for is that you can never plan or anticipate what this might be or how long the resulted delay. Perhaps the delay could be a few hours, but it is not unrealistic to see that window be a few weeks or longer. Examples of undisclosed site conditions are: finding a water spring when digging the foundation or just plain, bad weather. How do we address them?  Wl be assess the circumstances, modify the project plan as needed and meet with the homeowner to discuss the impact? They are always unfortunate, but one of the many challenges of building. We at Firetti Builders have the experience necessary to help the homeowner get past these events as quickly as possible with minimal disruption to the schedule and budget.

Selection Delays: A significant factor resulting in schedule delays is related to the client’s selection of materials. The selection schedule given by Firetti Builders to the client helps to ensure that enough time is allowed for product delivery and installation. If the customer is late on selections, it could cause a move-in delay. Not all of the manufactured products that vendors carry are easily obtainable. Some unique products carry long manufacturing lead times. Firetti Builders contacts our customer when we are alerted to a back order delay. We notify our client to produce a workable solution to the client’s desired product selection.

Question- Can you briefly outline the constructions process elements?
Answer: Here is a typical example of the process of building a home. Depending upon the nature of your particular project, some of these steps may not be include.
  • Purchase of land (if not already complete).
  • Creation of a “Plat of Survey”
  • An official document of the building location is needed by architects and the builder.
  • Review of permits and zoning regulations.
  • State and local zoning requirements should be initially reviewed to ensure that the project will not be cancelled due to any misuse of the property.
  • Project Architecture:  Without a Plan - We frequently help our potential clients gather ideas about how their land or existing home can be designed to their taste. Once the client is comfortable with the overall project concepts, an architect can be recommended. We then form a team of the client, the architect and the builder. The architect is responsible for developing a detailed building plan aided by the client and Firetti Builders.
  • Project Architecture:  With a Plan - If we have an approved architectural plan, we can proceed to quoting a price and schedule for your house after we have met with you. Note that a detailed architect plan might be revised to match the construction codes of the state, county, or city.
  • Firetti Builders Proposal:  Construction materials and selection of finishes are discussed. If the client can provide a complete selection of all items (electrical fixtures, cabinets, flooring, countertops, trim, plumbing fixtures, etc.) an accurate cost can be provided to the client. Otherwise, the proposal will contain allowances for those selections that are not finalized. See Allowances.
  • Selection of Proposal / Contract:  Once the proposal has been accepted, a contract will be established between Firetti Builders and the client. The timeframe for construction will have been estimated. A start date for the project is generally two weeks from the date of contract signing (assuming Firetti Builders will not incur any delays in obtaining building permits from the local governance). If the contract signing is delayed, the estimated project completion date might have to be revised.
  • Project Schedule(s):  When the contract is signed, Firetti Builders provides the client with a Building Schedule, Selection Schedule and Billing Schedule.
  • Building schedule:  Every project has unique qualities that create variances in scheduling. For a general idea of the time it takes to build a new home (after contract signing) of approximately 3,500 square feet starting in July (the time of the year also affects the length of time to build), we would quote 7 months to move-in date.
  • Selection schedule:  The client is given a schedule of the dates in which their selections (plumbing, lights, cabinets, floors, brick/stone, etc.) needs to be finalized. If the client delays their selections past these dates, the overall project time might be delayed.
  • Billing schedule:  The billing schedule defines when the client will be required to make progress payments towards the building project.
Question- Does Firetti Builders offer project financing?
Answer: Firetti Builders believes the client should have every opportunity to review financing options. Many our clients have existing mortgage relationships over the years but from time to time would like to review available options. Currently we partner with a local bank to secure financing for projects at a very competitive rate, and we would be glad to help.
Question- Can you explain Allowances, how they work and how they will play a role in our project?
Answer: A Custom Home Builder usually provides project allowances for some of the selection items that result in very personal taste. A few of the most common are for items such as light fixtures, countertops, cabinets, plumbing fixtures, tile work and floor finishes. Builders typically set an allowance based on experience of their past clients. These allowances provided by the builder are typically based upon averages and should be sufficient to meet the requirements of most clients. When building a custom home, upgrades are actually the norm, hence the word “custom”. Firetti Builders will define allowance amounts and define the options for “upgrades” as well. We will provide you a list of options and guide you on the timeline available to make decisions. Once chosen, we will include this information as part of our standard contract. We must advise that second most common reason next to change requests for cost over runs beyond a client’s original budget are typically the result of “upgrades”. Please remember personal taste can vary greatly and result in higher priced selections.
Question- Can you supply a list of references that I can contact?
Answer: Absolutely, at your request we will provide you with a list of homeowner references. In fact, we encourage prospective clients to contact several of our homeowners for feedback on their personal experiences with us. We pride ourselves on our quality craftsmanship, our attention to detail and building personal relationships during the construction process, which we maintain through warranty and beyond. But don’t take our word for it, just ask for yourself!
Question- How much do you charge per heated square foot?
Answer: While our homes are priced very competively, every home is completely different. Unfortunately it is not an easy question to answer due to the fact that all of our projects are as unique as our clients. There are so many variables that go into a custom home, it is impossible to predict the cost per square foot until the working drawings and material specifications are complete. Homes of the same size can have dramatically differing features and finishes. Each family design is usually completely different than the next as each has their own personal taste and style. Personal preferences and individual requirements in the areas of quality and aesthetics will significant determine the exact cost. Since there are no direct comparables, we believe this is a poor way to judge the value of your home. However, a typical price range may be $130-$185 per square foot and is a unique and truly a personal experience.