Extraordinary Homes For Extraordinary People
A: We understand that our clients have busy lives. We will do the heavy lifting on your new home construction project and at the same time like to keep you involved as much as you want to be involved. We are flexible in catering to the lifestyles of our clients. Some clients like to be involved on a daily basis. Others are very busy with work and family and prefer periodic updates. Either way, proactive communication is essential for a successful project and positive long-term relationships.
To keep you informed in an efficient and consistent manner throughout the construction process, you will have:
- A combination of in person, phone, email, and online communication with our team
- Weekly project updates via our builder management software program.
- Scheduled site visits with our construction management team.
- Instant access to our online communication tools
- Regular communication with owners and Project Managers
A: Our new home projects typically take 9 months to 18 months to complete. The size, complexity, and detail level are the primary factors that influence the amount of time to properly construct a new home. Other important factors include the time of year that we break ground on the home and the client’s timeliness in making selection decisions. To manage time best, we use an online software called BuildTools as a communication hub for each project. It helps us to manage the construction schedule with clear start dates, end dates, and milestones. We set realistic expectations for a schedule on the front end of the project and then provide periodic updates along the way if there are any changes to the construction timeline. We allocate an appropriate amount of time near the end of the project for quality control and punch list items. This investment of time is very important to ensure satisfaction for every one of our valued clients. It is our job to sweat the small stuff so you don’t have to after taking occupancy of your new home.
A: Details matter. We are confident you will not find another luxury home builder in the area that is as picky as Regency. Furthermore, our end result product is second to none. We guarantee to give you the best home possible that man and nature can provide. To accomplish these promises, we take the time on the front end to get to know you and fully understand your expectations. We have cultivated and nurtured a select group of exceptional trade partners that are committed to exceeding all expectations. Before occupancy, numerous Regency team members will conduct quality control audits. We firmly believe that our 45 plus years of experience give us a better eye for quality than any customer.
How Much Will It Cost?
This is one of the top questions and concerns of homeowners and builders when embarking on the custom home building journey. Building a custom home can and should be a fun and enjoyable experience. Custom home building allows a homeowner to create a one-of-a-kind home that is specifically tailored to the needs, tastes, and desires of their family from exterior architectural style and interior finish details to the mechanical systems. Today’s building marketplace offers a vast array of products and choices in the many facets that make up a new home from roof shingles to hardwood flooring. The internet is a great source of ideas including websites like Houzz and Pinterest. These products and sources are an asset in providing a catalyst for creative thought. At the same time, they create a challenge in managing and balancing budget with the desired plans and amenities. We have built some extraordinary homes over the years. With that said, we have never built a home for a client that had an unlimited budget. Managing budget is one our top priorities and requires a team effort to achieve including the homeowner, builder, architectural designer, and interior designer. This process requires time, experience, planning, ingenuity, and likely a certain degree of compromise. We will strive to be candid and upfront with you from the beginning. We are not interested in telling you what we think you want to hear only to disappoint you in the long run. We will look out for your best interest and that involves listening to you and then educating you on your options and possibilities.
A common question we hear is “how much is your price per square foot”? Price per square foot is a good ratio to use for very general real estate valuation. However, unless a builder has spent a lot of time getting to know you and your desired plans and specifications, price per square foot is a very inaccurate and misleading approach to forecasting the price of a proposed home. We only use high quality building materials and high caliber suppliers and sub contractors. Keeping that in mind, the home we build can vary in price per square foot by over 100% from one home to another.
What are the key factors that influence the price of a new custom home? There are several factors that affect the price of the home and they all need thought and attention to assure you are allocating resources to your higher priorities and less on your lower priorities. It is a balancing act to create the home of your dreams while maintaining a realistic budget. Based on our 43 years of experience building custom homes, here are the key factors that we feel will have a strong influence on the price of your new home.
Sewer and Water Source
The source of the sewer and water supply varies from property to property based on the location and the services available in that location. If a property has municipal sewer and water, an approximate budget of $3,500 generally covers the cost to install laterals from the main line to your home. A private well and well pump system typically ranges from $8K to $12K. The required well depth is a major variable in determining the final price. Some water sources require no water conditioning equipment. Other building sites require water conditioning equipment including a water softener, iron filter, and/or reverse osmosis drinking water system. Septic systems can range from approximately $8K for a conventional septic system to up to $18K range for a mound septic system. A soil test by a licensed geotechnical engineer will determine the type of septic system required. In reality, the sewer and water supply costs should be thought of as a land cost as they are directly tied to the land. However, the costs of these systems are incurred at the time of the home construction and need to be factored into the overall cost of the home.
We recommend investing in soil testing and evaluation by a licensed geotechnical engineer before committing to purchasing a property or building a home on a property. Some sites have higher ground water levels. Some have soil type that require additional reinforcement and waterproofing of foundation walls. Some sites may have soil that is not structurally suitable for building a home. All these factors can typically be uncovered by the geotechnical engineer. In the majority of instances, soil challenges do not prohibit building on a property. However, they do typically require additional measures that add cost to the construction project including custom drainage systems, importing structural fill material, and specific backfill and compaction methods. We want to uncover these challenges and associated remedies in the planning stages of the project prior to you waiving our recommended lot purchase contingency for buyer to approve builders analysis.
Excavation, backfill, grading, and crushed stone fill are items required on every home construction project. The actual price of those activities and materials can vary significantly from one project to the next. It is important to perform survey work to determine accurate estimates for the site work activities.
Exposed Basements & Retaining Walls
Building costs vary when comparing building on a relatively flat lot to building on a lot with significant changes in grade. The changes in grade can be managed with various methods. We consult with a surveyor, architect, and landscaper for expertise in managing the change in grade. Exposing part of the lower level is a great way to manage the grade change and also add windows to your lower level. After maximizing any exposure opportunities, we will try and determine if any retaining walls will be needed to manage grade changes. Typically we try to minimize retaining walls. Retaining walls are typically not part of the new home construction costs and are part of landscaping. We focus on aesthetics, safety, function, and costs in determining the best methods to use in managing grade changes. However, we want to help you plan for these costs in advance. Partial exposure typically will range from $10,000 to $20,000 depending on exterior materials used and the amount of windows. Full exposures will add at least $25,000 plus the deck costs.
Decks can be nice outdoor extensions of your home and are often required on homes that have exposed lower levels. We recommend low maintenance materials for decks including Azek decking and aluminum railing systems. Decks typically range in price from $15,000 to $30,000 depending on size, shape, and material selection. If you decide to water proof the deck to have covered space below the deck add another $25,000.
The size of the home is obviously an important factor in the price of the home, but it is a somewhat overvalued factor. A 5,000 SF home with a simple structure and moderate finishes costs less than a 4,000 SF home with major roof and structure complexity and top end finishes. However, it is critical to start out in a reasonable square foot range that is in align with your budget expectations.
We include a minimum basement foundation height of 9’ which is generally sufficient if we are able to keep the HVAC duct work in the unfinished areas. We typically recommend a 10’ foundation height or taller if the HVAC duct work will be in the finished area for future finished area of the basement. Taller walls require additional steel rebar and increased thickness resulting in increased cost. Each additional foot of wall height adds between $5K to $10K depending on the size of the footprint of the home. Taller ceilings add a lot of value to a home and the foundation height is not something that can be changed in the future. With taller ceilings in the foundation you are also able to add 8’ tall interior doors to the lower level and transom windows on the exterior. With the transom windows the under side of the deck is not as visible.
Foundation and Roof Structural Complexity
Homes with complex foundations and roofs can provide great architectural aesthetic appeal. They also take a significant amount more time to construct than the same size home with a relatively simple foundation and roof system. It is important to balance aesthetic appeal with budget and also with function of the home. Every added corner will add expense to all areas of construction.
The amount of windows along with the size and shape of the windows has a major influence on the price of a home. Windows provide architectural appeal and allow you to maximize the views that your property offers. Curved top windows and circular windows are significantly more costly than straight rectangular windows. Each window on a home requires installation, interior trim, exterior trim, and painting/staining of the window.
We typically install asphalt dimensional shingles on our homes. This provides a quality roof and we are able to include a 20 year labor and material warranty. This shingle has a weight of 233 lbs/square. Some subdivisions require a heavier shingle and in those instances we upgrade to a shingle that is 250 lbs/square. This upgrade typically ranges from $8K to $12K more depending on the size of the home. Certain asphalt shingles like the CertainTeed Grand Manor provide a heavy decorative shingle that emulates the look of a slate roof. The upgrade to Grand Manor can add $20K to $30K compared to the standard shingle. Other options include concrete tile, slate, and cedar shakes. These options are significantly higher in cost than the mentioned asphalt shingle options.
Exterior veneer is any exterior covering on the home including brick, stone, lap siding, shake siding, vertical siding, and stucco. The allocation of these products will significantly influence the overall price of the home. Full natural stone is the most expensive veneer in the $25/SF to $30/SF range. Brick and stucco are approximately half the price of stone at around $16/SF range. Shake siding is approximately $10/SF and lap siding is around $8/SF. We recommend creating an appropriate balance of materials on the exterior of the home while keeping architectural style and budget in mind
We assume you will want certain appliances like a gas cooktop, double ovens, built-in microwave, French door refrigerator, dishwasher, and under counter refrigerator. This type of package is going to be in the $12K range for brands like Bosch, GE, and KitchenAid. Appliance packages with Wolf and SubZero or Miele brands are going to range from $35K on up. Items such as dedicated ice makers, dishwasher drawers, and built-in espresso makers will increase the appliance budget.
Choices of tile, wood flooring, carpet, countertops, and fireplace facings will have an impact on pricing. For example, wood floors can range from $9/SF to $20/SF. Many high quality choices can be selected in the $12/SF to $15/SF range. A fireplace facing can range from $2,500 to $10,000 depending on material selection. Many other factors can enhance the home’s interior and add cost accordingly including ceiling beams/details, millwork & cabinetry selections, wainscoting, crown molding, etc. Once again, we initially assume that you will want hard surfaces in every room but bedrooms, and granite for every top. We also understand that you will want decorative ceilings, crown and beams in some rooms.
We always include a forced air system with variable speed furnaces, multiple zones, and Wi-Fi thermostat control systems. Hydronic in-floor heat systems are an option that can add $20K or more depending on the size of the home and scope of the system. The sky is the limit with electrical options. We strive to create an electrical plan with ample switches, outlets, and lighting to ensure that we provide an appropriate electrical budget. Lighting control systems can add $5K to $60K depending on the type and size of the. system.
Low voltage includes central vacuum, security system, and the audio/video system. The biggest variable in cost is typically the audio/video system. We recommend meeting with our low voltage contractor in the early planning stages to determine an appropriate budget for A/V.
There are several “luxury” items that are not essential to building you a quality home. However, they are nice features that may enhance the beauty and enjoyment of your home. These include the following:
- Blue stone pavers at front entry stoop in lieu of standard gray concrete.
- Epoxy concrete floor coatings at garage and unfinished basement areas.
- Indoor and outdoor pools.
- Indoor sport courts.
- Precast concrete planks at garage to create living space below.
- Indoor golf driving and putting areas.
- Screen porches/decks
Ultimately, your home is comprised of a vast amount of components and they all add up to create an incredible home and one lump sum from a cost perspective. I often compare a home price to my credit card bill. I am shocked every month when I get the bill and look at the total price. I then go through item by item and realize the individual charges all seem relatively modest and logical ($78 for groceries; $135 on Amazon; $134 at the local bar and grill, etc.) The key is planning and prioritizing. Some options you can do at a later date. Other options are “now or never” type items such as your foundation height. We likely will not be able to accommodate every item on your wish x list. However, it is our goal to include many of them including all of your top priorities.