When people think about building a custom home, it can be both thrilling and intimidating. After all, homeowners can create their very own dream homes and get exactly what they want. On the other hand, they might be daunted by all that’s involved.
Hidden Valley Homes in Brentwood has an experienced team of people to help make the process a lot easier. A family-owned company, it has been building high-end luxury homes for the past 12 years.
“I think it's the smaller things that overwhelm people,” says Matt Harris, Hidden Valley Homes general manager. “You know, the color of a countertop or the hardware on the cabinets in the kitchen. The good thing is that we have subcontractors, designers and vendors who are very knowledgeable in what they do, so they help our customers a lot.”
“There are a lot of details involved between designing your blueprints, picking out your selections, and then the actual building process, so just finding a builder you're comfortable with and that has an open line of communication really goes a long way,” says Lauren Pennington, the sales and marketing director.
Matt says the process of building a custom house can be outlined as:
1. Finding land. Some people already may own a lot or buy one of the lots that they currently own. They also can demolish an existing house.
2. Design and budgeting. They put you in touch with one of their preferred architects or draftsmen, and they also set up an initial meeting with a home designer to discuss the sizing of home, what rooms you’d like, and how many bedrooms and bathrooms. During that entire process, they're working not only on what you want in the house, but also discussing budgetary items. Once they work out the price of the home and the included features, they obtain the permits.
3. Preparing the land. While waiting for permits, they're getting the site ready for construction. They also have customers meet with one of their design coordinators to facilitate all selections. "This is crucial because they help customers take small bites out of the big selection process, which people may find challenging on their own," he says.
4. Starting the build. they have a very efficient timeline of construction and are very detail oriented. "Our saying is, ‘We want to walk every room of every house every single day.’ We have, as needed or requested, on-site meetings with customers to address any concerns and/or to provide updates."
5. Wrapping up. About a week to 10 days prior to closing, they'll do a home demonstration walkthrough with homeowners through the finished home and demonstrate all the things about their house. That's also when their project manager goes over the one-year builder warranty.
6. Moving in. As soon as the certificate of occupancy is obtained, homeowners can move in and start enjoying their new home.
The entire construction process for a 5000 square-foot heated house usually takes about six to seven months from start to finish. “We try to make it as easy and as pain free as possible,” says Matt. “We're always going to build the house like we're going to live in it.”