The Silverton Building Process

It is never too early to get started. The entire goal of the meeting is to determine if building a Silverton Custom Home is potentially right for you. You never have to worry that you are wasting our time. If you are considering building a custom home we want to meet you and would love to hear about your thoughts and plans. But if after getting together you decide that the timing is just not right or maybe we are not the perfect fit. That’s OK; we understand we are not the perfect fit for everyone. And who knows, you may know someone who is looking for a builder exactly like us. So please, don’t hesitate to give us a call and lets setup a time to visit.

Initial Meeting

What to expect:

We are happy to meet at our Design Center, a coffee shop or your potential home site. In that initial meeting, we ask a lot of questions. We want to find out where you are in the process. Are you ready now or planning for the future? Do you have a lot or need help in finding one? Do you already have your home plans? What’s you reason for building a new home? We will help prioritize your new dream house in 3 categories: needs, wants and wishes. We will help you determine if these three categories are feasible within your budget. No one wants to pour his or her heart into a new home that is not achievable. You can expect this initial conversation to usually takes about 1 to 2 hours. We will explain the process going forward and at the end of the meeting we will offer references ask if you would like to set up your next meeting.

What not to expect:

First and foremost please understand this will not be a sales presentation do not expect us to sell you a house. You won’t be leaving us a deposit and most likely you will want to go home and think a little more strategic after getting a better understanding of all your options. After perhaps praying about it and spend a couple of days considering the things we all learned. We expect you will want to call some of our references. We are happy to give you references not only from our customers, but how about some of our vendors and sub contractors. You will want to ask them about our reputation, our honesty, how we treat our customers above all ask them about the great home we build.

 

Second Meeting

Well the first meeting and phone calls went well. You were very happy with the references and believe Silverton could be the right partner for you to build your new custom home. In this meeting we will most likely sit down with Mike Grimm the founder and owner of Silverton Custom Homes. As always you can expect an honest and frank discussion with Mike. If there are any difficult discussions about your budget and expectations or our abilities we do that here. It is important that we operate from a mutual position of trust since we will be working closely together for almost a year.

Again, don’t expect a sales pitch or incentives to close today! We have been building for over two decades and plan on building for many, many more to come. So we are in NO rush, we will be ready when you are ready. We will need to build homes this year, next year and ten years down the road. We have built a financially responsible business. So we are not under stress to receive your deposit.

 

Needs – Wants – Wishes Inventory

How do you get the most of what you want in your new home? We assist you in a detailed analysis of how you live and what you need or what you want as well as what are the things you wish you could have. Our goal is not to build you the biggest home but the right home for how you want to live. This helps get the big blocks in place so we can compare that to your budget. The Idea is to make sure your budget is sufficient to cover all of your needs, most of your wants and hopefully many of your wishes as well. We also take a look at the requirements of your neighborhood.

 

Area Selection

If you do not yet have a home site, we can help show you areas that best meet your lifestyle and price range. Your needs, wants, wishes and budget all need to be considered. We have been building in Austin for more than two decades and we know most of the areas you may want to consider for your new dream home. If you already have a lot we need to look at the convents and deed restrictions.

 

Lot Analysis & Site Planning

If you do not have a lot and we have narrowed an area down, we can help identify specific lots that can be pre-qualified based on your preferences, building requirements and budget. We are happy to do a home site visit and give you our opinion from a builder’s perspective. We help you look at what may be the true cost of the lot. All lots are not the same. Some are much more expensive to build on. We can walk the lot(s) and envision what your new home may look like or function on each lot under consideration.

 

Architect Selection

We have designed with some of Austin’s best architects and have long-standing relationships with many. We work closely with the architect and provide constant feedback from a budgetary and construction point of view. We have found that by getting involved with the architect at an early stage it helps get the most of what you want within budget. No one wants to design a dream home that is not achievable. If your plans are already prepared and ready to go, we are happy to help bring your blue prints to life.

 

Budget

Once we have all of the pieces together, we can make the determination if Silverton Customs Homes is the right choice to build your personally designed and carefully crafted home.

Design Deposit

This is the first phase that we ask for a financial commitment in the form of a design deposit. It is normally near or below 1% of your estimated home budget. It is necessary to take a deposit so that we have some money to spend on survey, clearing and architectural assistance. This agreement outlines how we will work together through the design and planning stage. We will take measurements, order surveys, order any necessary land clearing and work with the architect to finalize a floor plan. This phase will result in a 1/8 floor plan, front elevation, home specifications, a fixed price and allowance details.

 

Home Site and Floor plan

With the home site secured we order the necessary surveys to know where the important trees are and if there is any slope to the lot that will need to be considered. We help place the rooms you want and need in a manner that works with the land, orientation to the sun and seasonal winds. We will usually have a couple of meetings envisioning the possibilities and talking about flooring, lighting, interiors and exteriors prior to bringing in an architect to put your vision onto paper. These are all important in designing the right home to meet your budget.

 

Home Specifications

Silverton Custom Homes is one of few Austin custom home builders who keep a comprehensive in-house selection center at our offices. While the many choices involved in the interior design selection process can seem overwhelming, our creative and experienced design team help break it down to make every step of your experience engaging and easy. It is very important for us to fully understand the interior finish. Roofing, exterior materials, HVAC, Interior doors, drywall finish style, framing lumber, trim, windows, exposed beams and concrete finish are typically items that you would find specified in a final fixed price contract. We will work together to determine the items specified to be included in your contract. On all of these things you are protected against any unknowns that may occur or vendor price increases during home construction.

 

Allowance Items

These are items that you will select for your home. Flooring, lighting fixtures, appliances, exterior doors, counter tops, mirrors and tub and shower tile surrounds are all examples of items that may be includes as allowance items. We will work together to determine how much to budget for each allowance item based on the level of finish YOU expect. There are two very important things to remember about allowance items.

  • 1. It is only an estimate and you are not protected against unknown expenses or price increases on allowance items. If prices increase before you make your selection you will most like go over your allowance and will be responsible for the difference. If you select allowance items under budget you receive a credit.
  • 2. YOU select allowance items at our builder’s discounted cost. If go over on your allowance item we do not earn a profit on the difference. So please understand we have no desire whatsoever for you to pay more than we have allotted.

 

Revisions

We will work in conjunction with the architect to refine your plans until we are all satisfied that what we have on paper will translate into a home that meets all of your needs, most of your wants and usually many of your wishes- near or within budget.

 

Final Presentation

Once you have approved the final 1/8 inch scale floor plans, front elevation (drawing of the front of the home) and placement of the home on the lot we are ready to craft the specifications and fixed price contract. It will usually take a week or two. When we have it prepared we sit down and review every detail of the plan, contract, specifications and allowances. If everything is acceptable we’ll sign the Fixed Price Contract accept a predetermined construction deposit and you are well on your way to becoming the proud owner of a brand new, custom designed Silverton Custom Home.

Phase 3 begins with the full set of plans being completed. These are the final steps required prior to ground breaking and the beginning of construction.

 

Financing

In addition to the contract, the Homeowner must provide proof of financing prior to initiating the Construction Phase. If you choose to finance the home with a loan, we need you to provide a pre-approval letter from the lender of your choosing or we work with a few amazing lenders that we can recommend upon your request If you choose to self-finance the home, then we will meet with you to discuss construction funds and the payment schedule. Either way we can proceed to the construction phase once construction funding is in-place.

 

Permits and Approvals

We submit a final set of plans to any governing bodies: City, County, LCRA or community Architectural Control Committees for their approval. This process can take from 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the responsiveness of the authorities.

 

Homeowner Set-Up Meeting

At this meeting you will be presented with your personal Homeowner Login Access to our Online Support & Tracking System prior to construction. This will help you to stay organized and informed during the whole construction process. Inside your Homeowner Manual, you will find:

  • All Silverton Home Documents
  • Our Company Contact Information
  • Your Signed And Dated Professional Services Agreement and/or Contracts
  • Your Signed And Dated Specifications With Allowances
  • Selection Information Sheets and Procedures
  • Our Selection Confirmation Procedures
  • Our Change Order Procedures
  • A Construction Calendar (Online or Hard Copy)

Our Online Support & Tracking System will allow you to collaborate and make all your selection choices helping eliminate any selection errors and keep you updated in real-time on the project timelines and budgets. The following are just a few of the advantages Silverton offers to ensure a successful partnership in building your dream home.

  • Staying on Budget: —You have instant access to all allowance items to help keep you on budget.
  • Key Selection Choices: — Collaboration is key when working on any project; we enhance collaboration between our vendors and you so you can verify the right selections.
  • Keeping Your Job on Schedule: — Make selections before deadline dates with automatic deadline notifications to keep your job on schedule.
  • Doc & Photo: — We are able to store and share documents with you as well as project photos that you can follow your project without even being there. Not that we recommend that!

 

Site Preparation Lot Staking & Tree Removal

We will stake the actual footprint of the home on the lot. Developers and / or community “Architectural Control Committees” often require this step. The Site Builder will meet with you on your lot to discuss the orientation of your home and mark trees for clearing. Preserving the natural beauty of the home site is of paramount importance to us. That’s why we remove trees and brush on an “as needed” basis. Your Project Manager will meet with you on your lot to discuss the orientation of your home and mark trees for clearing. Removing trees allows us to open view corridors, bring more light into the home site and can help keep costs down. The faster we can get trucks in and out of the build site, the more money you save.

 

Final Approvals

Once we have approval from the Governing Authorities, Community Architectural Control Committee and/or Home Owners Association, we are ready to proceed to Phase 4 and start construction.

Here is where you start getting busy and the fun begins. There are many decisions you must make during the course of building your new home. Phase 4 really goes on all through out the construction process, but we have done our best to split these decisions up for you so you don’t have to make them all at once. There are approximately three meetings we schedule with our in-house interior design firm, Home Front Design. They will prove to be an invaluable resource for you while making many of your selections and helping you to tie everything together. The other selections will be made directly with our suppliers. Their information will be included on individual Selection Information Sheets that you will be able to download from our online tracking support system as well as a calendar of meeting locations and due dates.

 

List of Selections

  1. Plumbing Fixtures, Front Door, & Appliance Selections
  2. Exterior Color Selection and Electrical Review
  3. Cabinetry Selections
  4. Security and Audio/Visual Selections
  5. Interior Colors and Design Selections
  6. Ornamental Iron Selection
  7. Lighting Selections
  8. Mechanicals and Pre-Drywall Confirmation
  9. Interior Finish Confirmation
  10. Final Selections & Confirmations
  11. Driveway and Walkways

 

Change Requests and Change Orders

Changes during the course of construction are common when building a custom home and Silverton is very flexible in accommodating those changes or variations. All change orders can be in writing or instantly approve through our online tracking support system / mobile app for quick and easy access. In order to manage the complexities of these multiple decisions that go into a custom home, we have developed a system of Selection Confirmations and Change Orders to build flexibility into your contract.

With the lot staked and cleared, the excavation and actual construction can now begin. Project Manager will meet with you for what we call the Foundation Meeting to explain the foundation process and mark the location of your driveway and get your approval before we can move forward.

 

Construction Begins

We’ve done all of our planning and we are ready to break ground. We establish the foundation, retaining walls and interior flatwork while preliminary work begins on plumbing. Additionally, we order any items that require a long lead-time for production, like windows. Other activities that MAY occur during this stage include:

  • Excavation
  • Order Windows
  • Pour Foundation
  • Sewer and Water Stub Out
  • Retaining Walls
  • In slab plumbing
  • In slab electrical
  • In slab Natural gas or propane
Framing and Dry in Stage

Activities that MAY occur during this stage include:

  • Framing
  • Fireplace install
  • Roof Dry In
  • Gutter and Downspouts
  • Window Install
  • Plumbing Rough
  • Mechanical Rough
  • Plumbing and Mechanical Inspection
  • Electrical Walk Through
  • Electrical Rough
  • Electrical Inspection
  • Electrical Service
  • Garage Doors Installed
  • Stucco/Masonry Lathe
  • Phone/AV/Cable Wiring
  • Pour Lightweight concrete (if applicable)
  • Frame Inspection
  • Insulation
  • Insulation Inspection
  • Drywall
  • Stucco Brown Coat
  • Paint Exterior
  • Masonry Exterior
Phase 6 is the last phase of the construction process. The home is nearing completion and the detail of the home is added to make it truly special.
  • Interior Wall Paint
  • Trim Installation
  • Shelving
  • Tile Installation
  • Hardwood Installation
  • Cabinet Installation
  • Counter top Installation
  • Stair Rail Installation
  • Stucco Top Coat application
  • Roof Installation
  • Exterior Flatwork
  • Paint and/or stain interior trim
  • Plumbing trim
  • Electrical trim
  • Mechanical trim
  • Phone/AV/Cable Trim
  • Stain and Seal Hardwoods
  • Install Appliances
  • Mirrors and SH Doors
  • Carpet Installation
  • Windows Cleaned
  • Screens and hardware
  • Interior Clean
  • Final Grade
This is the last phase in the Building Process and the Construction Phase is now winding down and Silverton is preparing to turn the keys over to you. During this stage, the client will conduct the “Pre-Walk Through” with your Project Manager who will put the finishing touches on your home and then have it cleaned prior to final walk-through.

 

Pre-Closing Walkthrough

Approximately one week prior to closing you will meet with the Customer Care Manager and Project Manager to demonstrate the operation of appliances and mechanical systems in your new home.

  • The Customer Care Manager will explain homeowner maintenance responsibilities and review the Limited Warranty Agreement.
  • The Customer Care Manager will provide you with any manufacturer warranties.
  • You will be given an opportunity to make notes prior to our Pre-Closing Walk through, but if you don’t, be assured we will come to the meeting with a detailed Closing Checklist to ensure the Home is up to our standards. A complete Punch List is important at this time. The Site Builder will complete your written Punch List according to the construction schedule and will not return for additional Punch List repairs until the 30-day check-up. Emergency situations are the exception.

After the walkthrough, the Project Manager will address the Punch List and then schedule a final cleaning. Upon Homeowner approval of the final cleaning, the homeowner will be responsible for all trash or cleanup not related to construction on the home.

 

Finial Walkthrough

This is our chance to get your input on any last minute remaining issues or decisions prior to closing.

 

Closing

Closing occurs soon after the walkthrough, In preparation for closing, our Customer Care Manager will update the Job Summary Report with all charges and credits resulting from Change Orders (if any) and allowances minus selections. The result is a total for permanent financing and/or a final payment due Silverton. Once the Job Summary Report is agreed to and finalized, then permanent financing will close (if applicable), Silverton will receive final payment, and you will move into you’re new and completely-personalize home.

 

Warranty

30-Day Home Review After 30 days, at your convenience, call and schedule a Home Review with the Warranty Manager. The Warranty Manager will address each request on a case-by-case basis and contact the appropriate contractors for repair.

 

11-Month Home Review

After eleven months of occupancy, at your convenience, please call and schedule a Home Review with the Warranty Manager. We will do a walk through and see if we need to address any issues if you have found any new items of concern in your home. The Warranty Manager will address each request on a case-by-case basis and contact the appropriate contractors for repair.