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Design-Build: Custom Homes

Why our clients choose to build a custom home.

There is probably no single reason our clients choose to build a custom home. Some clients are planning their forever home, others are planning to start a family and need more living space, some are designing their retirement home, for others it may be a vacation home, and for others it may involve multi-generational living and special needs issues. Each client presents a unique set of requirements and priorities.

Some clients search and search, but just cannot find exactly what they want from an existing home, a spec home or a stock floor plan. Envision Homes’ Design-Build program allows you to design and build a custom home that ia a collaborative effort embracing form, function and artistic expression. A custom designed home is a one-of-a-kind home that is a reflection of your creative ideas and lifestyle.

Often the decision involves the client acquiring, or owning a lot that is the perfect location for their family. We specialize in designing and building homes that maximize the site usage and views whether it be wooded, small infill, tear down, or waterfront. Envision Homes has the experience and recourses to design and build homes homes on more challenging lots, such as sloped lots, lots with conservation issues, or waterfront properties. Comprehensive site planning allows for the melding of the home design and site topography to make for a perfect partnership between the house and land.

Sometimes age or physical necessities enter into the decision to build a custom home. The client may desire, or even require, amenities such as wider hallways and doors, ground-floor bedrooms and bathrooms, specific counter and shelf heights, ramps and better lighting throughout the home.  Many of these features are simply not available in older homes. Envision Homes has been able to tailor the selection of building materials to meet the needs of clients with allergies and chemical sensitivities. New home buyers are also more aware and concerned about issues such as environmental impact, indoor air quality and energy efficiency all of which are standard in our new homes.

Times change, and so do floor plans, colors, designs, and lifestyles. Today, clients are choosing to phase out formal living and dining rooms, while incorporating first floor master bedrooms, convenient laundry rooms, en-suite bathrooms, expansive kitchens and open floor plans for flexible living space. Envision Homes proudly designs homes that have “right sized” rooms with architectural character including varying ceiling heights, well planned storage, abundant natural light, and custom trim and moldings.

No mater what your motivation is for building a custom home, Envision Homes is prepared to make your ideas a reality by designing and building “your” ideal home!

Why it makes sense to build a custom home.

With all the options in the housing market, why is it a good idea to build a custom home?  You may be surprised to learn that there are actually several great reasons to build a custom home.

With a new home you choose the features that are important to you. Instead of choosing between House A with this feature you like and House B with that feature you like, when you build your own custom home, you can include all the features you like, and leave out the ones you don’t.

Another good reason to build custom is that “builder grade” is not always good enough. Production builders usually use products that minimize the cost of construction and maximize profit. When purchasing a production or spec home the products used may not have the life expectancy you may desire. As a result, the new production homeowner frequently winds up purchasing a home that has products installed, e.g. appliances and cabinets, that have short life expectancies. With a production home its pretty much what-you-see-is-what-you-get, in terms of layout and room sizes, house styles, and features and finish. When building a new custom home, you have the freedom of lot selection, home style, cabinet and flooring selections, window and door choices, siding material and color, lighting, etc. The list goes on. Virtually every feature and product of the home design is for you to decide upon. When you build a custom home you select only the products that meet your standards and criteria.

New homes are increasingly more energy efficient. Energy-efficient design has become an important argument for building a new custom home. With energy costs in a seemingly endless upward spiral, the prospect of enjoying lower energy bills is an attractive choice. A state-of-the-art, energy-efficient new home may significantly improve your household budget. Older homes, while charming and full of character, can be energy drains because of outdated design, insulation, mechanical systems and amenities. Also, new homes are subject to the latest and strictest building and energy codes and standards.

New home materials and finishes are designed to be lower-maintenance than older homes. With a custom-built home, everything is new – a client is not buying “someone else’s problems” or waiting for the next repair or replacement of something old.

Building a new custom home allows you to be involved in the construction process from start to finish. Working with Envision Homes you can insure that all the features that make your home unique are included. Are there curtain blocks over the windows? Are there electric plugs where you want?  Is there blocking for grab bars? You have  direct involvement in the process resulting in a greater feeling of pride and home ownership.

Why NOW is the best time to build a custom home.

Mortgage interest rates are at record low levels. In fact few people today can remember mortgage rates this low! Only recently, rates on a 30 year mortgage fell below 4%. If you financed a $500,000 mortgage with a 30 year loan in 2007 your payment would have been around $3,500 per month. Today, that same mortgage would be around $2,400 or about a third less expensive.

Inflation is on the horizon! In the past year we have seen unpredictable price fluctuations in lumber, sheetrock, and many other building materials. The truth is that inflation has already hit the grocery stores and the gas station and that it won’t be long until it effects home building materials as well.

Custom Home Builders vs. Production Home Builders

With so many types of home building companies out there, it’s a little tough to figure out who does what and who builds what. Here’s a quick run-down on how to tell the difference between custom and production home building companies.

Custom home builders generally:

  • Build on land you own.
  • Build one-of-a-kind homes
  • Build site-specific home  from a unique set of plans for a specific client.
  • Are generally small-volume builders who specialize in individual custom homes.
  • Tend to build high-end homes with more finish and feature options.
  • Tend to build homes with advanced materials and energy features.

Production home builders generally:

  • Build on land they own.
  • Typically use stock plans, or plans with few choices.
  • Build all types of housing — single-family, condos, town houses, and rental properties.
  • Are generally large-volume production builders specializing in developments.
  • Generally build builder level homes with limited finish and feature options.
  • Tend to build mid level homes that satisfy building code requirements.