Custom Home Building and Renovation Process
At Sterling Homes, we strive to achieve the highest level of customer satisfaction, which makes our job as builders the most rewarding. We work closely with all of our customers, from residential home owners to architects, to meet their needs throughout the process. We understand that building a new home is an exciting but sometimes overwhelming process. To make things easier for you, we have summarized the key steps in our process.
- Initial Consultation/Site Visit. We will meet with you in person to discuss your vision for your new home. If you have already purchased land, we may come to the site for the meeting. At this time, we review the construction documents, inspect the site and, most importantly, listen to you and learn what you want to accomplish. We will discuss items such as building timeframe, size, location, design, features and budget. We will then make suggestions, share observations, and try to summarize what we are being asked to estimate. We will also explain to you our working philosophy and overall process. If the design process is already underway, we may meet the architect or designer first to review the plans. If there is no designer, we can provide design services with our registered architect partner.
- Preliminary Cost Estimate. After understanding the scope of the project, we will develop a preliminary cost estimate and construction time frame. There will be an overall budget for the project, then additional options and solutions for including the upgrades and details you want, while keeping focused on the budget for your project.
- Proposal Review and Retainer. At this follow-up meeting, we will review the cost estimate with you, answer any of your questions, and discuss revisions. At this point, if you would like to move forward with the proposal, we will ask you to sign a Letter of Intent. The basis of the Letter is a solid, mutual understanding of project scope and budget range as well as a financial commitment on your part, which is paid in the form of a retainer. This covers Sterling Homes’ future time commitment for completing the detailed estimate and making adjustments to the plan. The retainer will be applied to the overall job. In the event you decide not to work with us, we will refund you the unused remainder of the retainer for time not incurred.
- Final Estimate and Spec Sheet. Once the design and materials are finalized, we provide you with a final estimate and spec sheet for a turn-key solution based on general specifications and allowances. When we say “turn-key”, we mean that everything is included in the package price from planning, pulling permits, labor and materials.
To see a full list of the high quality materials and products that are standard in all Sterling Homes houses, please click here.
- Contract Signing. Once you choose Sterling Homes for your project, we will prepare a contract. We ask for a deposit at the time of the contract signing. This begins our partnership for achieving the vision for your new home.
- After the contract has been signed, we will form a team to manage the job. These professionals will work with you throughout every step of the project.
- Prior to the start of a project, we will hold one or more pre-job planning meetings with the owner and architect to hear the wishes of the owner and review the construction documents with the architect. Preconstruction also includes procuring necessary permits, determining a schedule for ordering materials, and coordinating subcontractor timeframes. We bring years of experience to the planning and permitting process and believe that preparing early and diligently is the best way to meet your needs, budgets, and timelines.
- Our team. The job supervisor oversees the entire project, directs the crew, checks on quality, interacts with the architect, orders materials, schedules and supervises subcontractors, and, when there is free time, performs work.
- Change orders. There are not many jobs where the scope stays exactly the same as what was first proposed. We try to be as flexible as possible to accommodate our clients' changing wishes. However, when the scope of work changes, schedule and price may be affected. For items that increase scope, we will issue change orders. Often we will issue rough estimates and ask for approval for changes in the work by e mail.
- Job Scheduling and Status. Our experienced team will schedule all phases of the project to ensure that the team works efficiently to keep the job running smoothly. We will have weekly meetings and status updates for the owner and architect.
- Billing. Sterling Homes offers percentage completion billing and progress payments. Typically a job will be paid in 5-10 installments, which will be determined prior to signing the contract. If there are any questions about billing, the progress of work or any other issue, you can ask your project supervisor at any time.
- End of the job. As the job nears completion, the project team will compile a "punch list" of items still to be done and the minor issues still to be addressed. Owners also contribute information for this list.
- Completion and turn over. Upon completion of your project, we are happy to help ease you back into your home. We provide a professional cleaning, and give you all home manuals and instructions. You will also receive personal training for all new systems to get familiar with new features and controls.
- Five year standard warranty. While most builders simply offer a one-year warranty on their work, Sterling Homes excels over the competition by offering a full five-year warranty. We take tremendous pride in our projects and always stand behind our work.