Custom Home Building Process

Plan Design

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.

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 or collect in an Ideabook from Houzz.com. We can follow you and see your selections! For your convenience we provide a Planning Your Home Guide (what you want included in your home design). We like having an Interior Designer and Interior Architect involved once the general layout is Complete, as well as a Landscape Architect to incorporate the views from the interior to the Exterior and plan all aspects of your home.

A deposit is required and accounted for in the final contract to begin working with the above mentioned professionals.

It is very helpful for us to know your family dynamics, pets and how you live in your home. Simple things like, Do you get up in the middle of the night for a fresh water bottle, may mean you should consider having an under-counter refrigerator near your Master. If you have pets, let’s incorporate a dog run area in the landscape plan and discuss where you store their food or bed. Hobbies? Themed Rooms? Garage Workshop?

All Custom Developments have an Architectural Review of your home. You should plan on at least a three month time frame for this stage. I know three months sounds quite lengthy, but it gives us time to detail the plan. The more information and notes that are on decided upon and on the plan, the easier the process is for you during construction. To accomplish this, we will begin our Design Selection meetings right away.

Pricing

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 or Two Story
  • Exterior Balconies, 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, Pool, Spa, Slide

 

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.

Contracting

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 on, so if desired, your attorney can review and discuss changes, if needed. This will ensure that when we are ready to sign the Contract, there is no delay.

Engineering & Permitting

With the Contract now in place and your plans in order, we will proceed to have the plan engineered and then send to permitting. To have the permit issued, can take up to two or more months. We are at the mercy of the County Building Department, however we are diligent in staying in touch with the Building officials.

Financing

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 deposit at Plan Design and Contract Signing Stages. 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.

Design Selections

During the Plan Design Stage, or when appropriate, we will have you begin making design selections with an Interior Designer for your new home. Items such as flooring, tile, cabinetry, tops, etc. Because the items you select, are Allowance items (items which you and I will determine a budget for) all of your selections are priced for your approval. 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.

Interior Designers can also can supply furniture, linens, dishware, draperies, shutters and accessories. Everything necessary for a full “turnkey” service. You turn the key to your new home and it is ready to be enjoyed, stress free, just tell the Designer what you need and they can make it happen.

Construction

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 a minimum of 15 months.

During construction, if the Client is available, we set jobsite meetings on a 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. We will send pictures on a weekly basis or whenever requested… even “Facetime” with you.

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. If you prefer we can also utilize the online service of BuilderTrend.

After we obtain temporary power and feel the home is ready, we will walk through the home to ensure the quality is excellent and make a list of items that need attention. We also hire a 3rd party inspector who will check every mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems installed in your home.  This is our “punch list.”  All items will be completed before you move in.

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 (lessons), on the pool, appliances, etc.

Closing

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 ensure 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.

Time Line

Plan Design and ACB Approval: 3 months*

Price and Sign Contract: During Above Process**

Engineering and Permitting: 1 – 3 months

Financing: Concurrent to Above

Design Selection Process:  Concurrent to Above

Close Loan/Begin Construction: At Receipt of Permit***

Construction: Variable due to size and Complexity, Minimum 15 months.  Homes over 10,000 SqFt. typically run 18 months or more.

* Deposit Required to begin Plan Design

** Deposit Required at Contract Signing

*** Deposit at Closing of Construction Loan or one week prior to receipt of permit.