Specia builders • Custom Homes & Remodeling
Your “Comfort Envelope,” to Specia Custom Homes, refers to the budget you are most comfortable with in planning your custom home. Mortgage pre-qualification can make these choices easier, along with careful supervision so that the plans are not exceeded by later adjustments to the building plan, or by unforeseen changes in the financial market during construction.
Try to pick a location for your home that slopes not more than 12'' under the house foundation. Each additional foot of foundation costs approximately $3,000 per foot up to about 8 feet above ground. Extremely high, i.e., 14 or more feet, can cost $45,000+ over a standard foundation cost.
Pick a lot with an area that has few trees where the house is to be built, to save money on clearing. Fewer trees usually means lower lot cost.
Pick a lot with public water and sewer. Septic tanks run from $7,200 to $12,500 including haul off of spoils, rock charges, and type of system.
The "Texas Box" has a simple roof line. It is called this because the Texas Production Builders in Dallas and Houston build large box-type homes. Framers look at the roofline first when bidding jobs.
Production homes don’t have covered porches as a general rule because they increase the “cost per square foot” of the home. Covered porches can cost almost as much as the living area, especially when floor tile and wrought iron railings are used.
Oversized garages can increase the cost per square foot of the home. It is often thought that garages are much less to build, but in reality, garages are only lacking A/C and finish flooring so there is not much cost savings.
Keep the windows to standard sizes and shapes. Oversized windows, or more windows than needed, can increase the cost of the wall, and increase the heat gain; i.e. larger air conditioning system required.
3 Important Energy Saving Items
We recommend Tech Shield roof sheathing with Radiant Barrier foil coating on under side of sheathing. This product lowers the attic temperature 25 to 30 degrees and never wears out. Tech Shield can be installed on the walls as well with the special blocking.
16 or 18 SEER Air Conditioning Unit . . . standard is 14 SEER. An 18 SEER unit gives you the same BTU's of cooling for 75% +/- of the energy. An 18 SEER unit will pay for itself in 3 to 4 years. (SEER=Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio)
Insulated vinyl windows with Low E coating. Low E coating is a film on the inside of the glass which reflects the radiant heat the same as the Tech Shield Ply roof sheathing. The Low E coating reflects radiant heat back into the home in the winter for savings all year round.
2-story vs. 1-story Plans
Does a a two-story home cost less? If we build a 2,500 square foot one-story home and you want a two-story with the same size and number of rooms we must add 250 to 300 square foot for the stairway and upstairs hallway. That extra square footage costs more than any savings. An exception would be if there is a lot of slope and the foundation costs would exceed the above costs.
Staying On Track during the design process
At the first meeting we work out a "Comfort Envelope" as to size, price, and features of the proposed home you want.
Building Designer vs. Architect: Designers cost less because we are doing some of the work . . . specifications, etc. We give the designer our requirements, and using models we can compare the features so he knows what "price point" we are planning for.
A preliminary design is drawn and a preliminary cost estimate is computed based on current cost ratios. If the plan and cost figures are in the "Comfort Envelope" we will proceed with the full size plans.
We review the plans for any changes that may be required and then put out the plans to the subcontractors for their bids. The subcontractors will give us input on ways to save in their areas and notify us of possible problem areas.
If we stay on track, the bids will come in within our "Comfort Envelope". We then go over our options and work out the final production plans, specifications and Contract Agreement to submit to the mortgage company's appraiser.
Custom Home DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION • Remodeling • OUTDOOR LIVING ENVIRONMENTS
Specia Builders • 5917 San Pedro, Suite 3, San Antonio, Texas 78212 • (210) 349-1491
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