Whether you are looking for a custom home or are looking for home builders in the Iowa City, IA area for your renovation, it’s wise to understand all the services that are available. At Mills Custom Homes, we are a full-service home builder ready to help you locate the right lot, produce a home plan and floor plan catered to your needs, and are able to deliver all the services needed to complete the build.
Let’s check out some of the details involved with hiring a quality home builder.
What Are the Responsibilities of the Home Builders?
You will negotiate a contract with your home builders that will specify their responsibilities. In many cases, you will hire home builders as a general contractor so that we are responsible for coordinating the work of all the different trades to bring your home to completion.
A custom home builder’s services can include:
- Purchase of the lot
- Prep of the lot
- Home design and floor plan
- Construction of the building
- Coordinate electrical, plumbing, insulation and painting
- Installation of the roof
- Install HVAC systems
- Bathroom and kitchen fixtures
- Finish work for the interior
- Final prep of lot for landscaping
- Installation of sod or seed
Not all the work will be completed by the home builder’s own employees, but by other contractors. If you act as the general contractor, you will be responsible for some of the trades and coordination of work.
Which Interior Finishes Are Included?
Hiring the home builders is not the same as starring in your own home improvement show. While your custom home will have all the woodwork trimmed out, walls painted, kitchen tiled and your preferred windows installed, there is much that is left for you.
The homeowner will need to take care of:
- Window treatments
- Area rugs
- Wall hangings
- Accent pieces
- Small kitchen appliances
- Possibly large appliances
You may be able to include your major laundry and kitchen appliances in your custom home contract, but they must be itemized. Otherwise, expect to do it yourself.
If you want a designer look for your custom home, you may wish to hire an interior designer who can work with your general contractor to deliver you that all-in-one custom home experience.
Subcontractors May Be Necessary
Technically, your home builders are not plumbers and electricians. Installing the pipes and heating systems are considered jobs for the sub-contractor. If you hired Mills Custom Homes for your project, you must hire our services as a general contractor if you want us to personally coordinate with other trades.
An excellent general contractor will keep the homeowner in the loop and often discuss choices for vanities, counters, cabinets, molding and flooring to ensure every detail is as expected.
On-Site vs. Factory Home Building
While shopping for your next all-new home, you may have encountered modular home builders. Mills Custom Homes are not modular. Even though you may order a specific home design, every one of our homes is built entirely on-site using modern and traditional building skills.
A traditionally built home uses these steps:
- Lot preparation
- Foundation poured
- Frame constructed using wood or steel
- Roof constructed on-site using manufactured beams
- Windows installed on-site
- Insulation wrap applied
- Siding installed
- Interior finish work
A modular home has the lot prepared and foundation poured while the frame, roof, electrical, rough plumbing, insulation and windows are all installed in a factory. The home is then transported to the site for final finishing work inside and out. Modular homes are not able to be fully customized as the factory assembly limits options.
When Changes Are Requested
The process of hiring custom home builders means that you are able to make more choices to create the home that best suits your needs. However, it’s essential that you understand what kinds of changes are easier to incorporate in a new home design after construction has begun:
- Changing wall color
- Changing wall tile
- Changing countertops
- Changing lighting fixtures
- Changing layout of kitchen
- Increasing closet size
- Adding storage areas
- Changing flooring finishes
- Moving walls
- Adding another room
- Raising the ceiling
- Enlarging windows
- Any change that requires an adjustment to the roof structure, window frames or support system
- Any change that requires finished walls to be taken down, such as wiring, plumbing or HVAC
Once you understand the difficulties and added costs that you and your home builder can face, you are free to request any change you desire.
How About Landscaping?
Most home builders include basic landscaping in their contracts. You can expect that the yard will be graded, topsoil put down, and either sod or hydroseed applied so that you will have a lawn the first year. Patios and back decks must be negotiated as part of the original home design, or you will be working with another contractor after the house is built.
If you desire trees, shrubs, flowers and additional hardscaping throughout the property, you will be hiring your own landscaper or adding onto your contract.
Swimming pools will be installed by sub-contractors but can be coordinated to have the work done at the same time as your home construction.
Purchasing of the Lot
Many home builders like Mills Custom Homes do purchase multiple house lots in a new subdivision for the purpose of building several homes in a short amount of time. However, you are still free to find a lot on a location that better suits your personal taste. The cost will be entirely separate from your contract for your custom home.
When you are ready to talk to a quality home builder in the Iowa City, IA area, give us a call at Mills Custom Homes. We look forward to help you negotiate a contract that includes all the responsibilities of a general contractor or leaves more control and responsibility in your hands.