Custom Home Building Process

Plan Design

To begin designing your new home, we will meet with our Architect or one you choose. It is always helpful to bring inspiration pictures of rooms, ceilings, kitchens, any details that you want to include in your new home. A deposit is required and accounted for in the final contract.

Your lot selection, your desired views, your desired front facade (look) of your home, along with the rooms you would like to include will be the starting point of your new home design.

All Custom Developments have several Architectural Review stages of your home. You should plan on at least a three month time frame for this stage. This will give us time to detail the plan. The more information and notes that are decided upon and included in the plan, the easier the process is for everyone. To accomplish this, we will begin our Design Selection meetings right away.


We will have already given you a general idea of our pricing during our preliminary meetings based upon our discussions of what you would like in your new home.

For example:

  • Selection of style of the Exterior/Interior
  • Structure:  One/Two/Three Floors, Balconies, Interior Two Story Ceilings
  • Insulation, Heating and A/C requirements
  • “Green” Products
  • Interior and Exterior Finishes
  • Gas vs. Electric
  • Fireplaces
  • Whole Home Automation, Lighting, Music, Intercom, Security, Cameras
  • Outdoor Living


However, we will firm up the cost during the Plan design stage when the plan is ready for engineering. It will only change due to your final selections and final plan design.


After we have agreed upon the Plan, Specifications and Pricing, we sign our Contract, initial the agreed upon Plan and receive an additional deposit. The Contract is available for your review early in the process. This will insure that when we are ready to sign the Contract, there is no delay.

Engineering & Permitting

With the Contract now in place and your financing confirmed, we will proceed to have the plan engineered and then send to permitting. This stage can take up to two or more months.


Construction Loans

When the Plans are turned over to our engineers to start the Engineering and Permitting stage, we turn in to your Financial Institution the Plans, Specifications and Contract for Appraisal and Loan closing.

In general, Banks will appraise your new home, including lot and with this value determine the amount of money needed by the Borrower to be brought to closings (there are always individual exceptions or negotiations).  At the closing, we receive a deposit to begin building your home and then receive no other funding/draws from the bank until we complete certain stages and requirements.

The Bank administers the construction loan.  They collect Releases (which apply to the Florida Lien Law which protects the Homeowner), have the survey of the home’s foundation on the lot reviewed, collect our insurance certificates and handle the draw requests.

Cash Buyers  

We open an escrow account in the name of Stonebridge Homes and yourselves. In the escrow account, we have you place the final 10% of the contract amount and we receive a 15% draw to begin construction, less previously paid deposits. All other funds remain in your possession, after the initial deposits are funded to us. We have a Draw schedule that is similar to a Bank draw schedule. We will request funds based upon the completion of certain construction stages. Draws would be paid to us by wire. Again, we will provide releases, surveys, and insurance to you, just like we do for the bank.

The final 10% is released to us from the joint account by both parties signing the release form supplied by the escrow agent. It is requested at the time of completion of your home or no later than three weeks from the issuance by Orange County Building Department of the Certificate of Occupancy. The Certificate of Occupancy means the home has met all of the County building codes and is ready for occupancy. We use the three weeks to tidy up all the loose ends (punch out work) prior to your moving in or taking possession.

Design Selections

During the Plan Design Stage, we will have you begin making design selections for your new home. We have a studio in our office in downtown Windermere for our client’s convenience. It is well stocked with samples of the items you will need to select. We also have a very talented Design Staff and can also supply furniture, drapery, accessories everything necessary for a full “turnkey” service. Of course, selections are not only made at our office, if necessary we seek items on-line and make trips to our suppliers. For our out of town clients, once we receive your input, we  can put together a design scheme and send to you for your approval or set aside consecutive days to work with you on one of your visits to Central Florida.

Because the items you select, are Allowance items (items which you and I will determine a budget) all of your selections are priced for your approval. We do not markup Allowance items, therefore if you go over an Allowance budget, you will pay the supplier at the time of ordering. If you are under budget, you will be credited. We make sure you understand what you are getting and we have your final approval by email or signature before we order. Please see our Design Procedure Section for a more detailed description of our design selection meetings.


Stonebridge Homes is successful because of the talented group of Subcontractors and Suppliers we employ. These Companies have been working for us many years.  We do not search out new Subcontractors for a lower cost, we believe in using our present team that we know and trust to build a quality home and will be there when we need them.

Construction begins within one week of obtaining the Building permit and building time depends on the finishes selected, structure of the home and timeliness of decisions.

It is our practice to have decisions before we begin. The home flows smoothly, more timely and provides for a stress-free process. Generally, the time to build a custom home, from the date of the permit is approximately 12 to 16 months depending on size and complexity.

During construction, if the Client is available, we prefer to set jobsite meetings on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. We have found walking the job with the Client alleviates last second questions from us to you and answering your questions immediately as they arise is crucial to good communication. Of course, if you would like a meeting, we are available whenever you need us. This is possible because we keep the number of homes we build limited enabling us to provide personal attention.

To help keep our Clients organized, we provide a Client Construction Notebook. The notebook consists of  our Subcontractor/Supplier List, Copy of the Contract, Copy of the Specifications, Elevation and Floorplans and sections for Quotes you approve, Allowance tracking, Correspondence and Design Meeting Package.

After we obtain temporary power and feel the home is ready, we will walk through the home to insure the quality is excellent and make a list of items that need attention. This is our “punch list.” All items will be completed before you during this period. Upon the receipt of the Certificate of Occupancy by Orange County we will walk the home again insuring the items have been completed as well as familiarizing you with the systems in the home, the appliances, etc.


Closing with Stonebridge Homes shall take place approximately three weeks from obtaining the Certificate of Occupancy. We will walk the home a final time to again insure your happiness, review of all paperwork and provide our Certificate of Occupancy Book. This book includes consolidation of your manuals for maintenance and use, a copy of the Bond, a copy of the final survey, a list of subcontractors and suppliers with contact information and our Warranty and follow up procedure. Lastly, we turn over the keys, garage door openers and all remotes.