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Questions to Ask Your New Home Builder.



Custom” lies on a spectrum, ranging from cosmetic touch-ups to full-on, 100% customization where the customer picks every single detail in the home. Most homebuyers want something in the middle.

However, the biggest customization gap among home builders is whether they let you make changes to the home’s architecture, such as expanding a room, adding an extra bedroom, changing the roofline, adding a deck, and more. In fact, some home builders say they are custom but only allow cosmetic changes such as countertops, cabinet finishes, and other small design details. They don’t allow you to adapt their preset blueprints in any shape, form or fashion.

True custom home builders allow you to expand upon the design — even after construction has started. You can add that fifth bedroom, add more square feet to the kitchen, enlarge the patio area, and more. Thus, we don’t want to tell you which home builder type is right for your needs, but getting a clear answer to a question about customization will clarify if a builder can actually create the home you want.



How long does it take to build a home?

There are several variables affecting the construction timeline when building a new home… weather, material and labor availability, customer changes, geography, etc. In most instances, however, our curated

custom homes take an average of eight to ten months to build and our custom homes are in the ten to fourteen-month range.

How Long to build a home?


What is Value Engineering?

Value engineering means continuously looking for ways to lower overall project costs while keeping the features our H&I clients really want. An experienced and professional builder, such as H&I who knows how to value engineer may suggest changing the floor plans and elevations, or using different materials in specific areas. It's one of the main reasons why you should choose a builder before starting the design process and have them involved from the very beginning of plan design.

Value Engineering


In what areas do you build?

Please visit our Builds page for more information.

Build Areas


How does a construction loan work?

  1. The borrower applies for a construction loan, submitting financials, plans and project timelines.

  2. If approved, the borrower starts drawing funds in conjunction with each phase of the project, typically only repaying interest during construction. Throughout construction, an appraiser or inspector assesses the build to authorize more funds.

  3. Once construction finishes, the borrower usually converts to the loan to a permanent mortgage and begins repaying both principal and interest.

A construction loan is a short-term loan for real estate. You can use the loan to buy land, build on property that you already own, or renovate existing structures if your program allows. A construction loans is similar to a liine of credit because you only receive the amount you need (in the form of advances) to complete each portion of a project.

As a result, you only pay interest on the amount you borrow rather than a lump sum loan, where you take 100% of the money available upfront and pay interest on the entire balance immediately. If you already own land, the equity that you have in that land can be used as your down payment for your construction loan.

Construction Loan
Price per square foot


What is your price per square foot?

We very well might ask YOU the same question. There are hundreds of variables at play affecting cost when designing and building a new home. Because of this, we don't have a set price per square foot that we charge. Instead, we work closely with you from the start to determined how to get the most out of your budget.

Our highly-skilled and trained team members are taking a value-engineering approach from the onset of the design phase. At any budget level, this approach ensures you are getting the most important features in your new home all while respecting your stated budget goals.


If I find a property I like, what can I do to add value?

If you already found a property, ask your builder if they can inspect the land or if you need to hire an independent expert to assess the property’s capabilities. Other questions you and the builder can discuss include:

  • What is the lot’s size?

  • Are the utilities installed? If yes, does the plumbing need replacing?

  • Will the builder need to demolish an existing home?

  • Are there zoning issues?

  • What’s the soil quality like?

  • Is the property at an incline?

  • Does the neighborhood have a certain home style? If yes, do I have to build in that style?

Add Vaue
Home Customization


How much can I customize my home?

One advantage to building with H&I is that everything is customizable.  From siding and stone to kitchens and flooring, as well as any of the smaller items, we have provided unique solutions to our clients on just about every home we have built.  We draw up the plans for your new home (your architect is welcome too), and that gives complete control over the sizing of rooms and windows/doors, as well as the placement of walls and fixtures.  

Want to customize your kitchen to the gourmet echelon?  We do that, and the kitchen cabinets designer we partner with is more than willing to customize any level of detail.  

Want to build a million-dollar fireplace?  We do that—we have built a number of custom mantels/surrounds and integrated stone veneer and tile to create a fantastic look.  

Anything you want to add or change—if it can be done, we can handle it.


What Features are included in the price?

We work together with you and your bank or mortgage company to facilitate the process by providing specifications for an appraisal of the home package. 

We take care of all documentation/drawings and applications (building/mechanical/septic/E&S and others) so you can spend your time selecting your finishes.

Additional features include:

  • Granite Counters 

  • Full Appliance Suite - garbage disposal included

  • Fully Trimmed Cabinets - including crown molding, light rail and under cabinet lighting

  • Electrical - Dual-panel 200-amp system wired for 10,000-watt generator

  • Flooring - Taller 51/4" base (floor) trim

  • Satin/Brushed nickel hardware and fixtures 

  • Low-E Windows (and Low-E door glass if applicable

  • R-49+ Attic Insulation

  • Spray foam insulation on basement band joists

  • Ultra-violet well water treament (if applicable)

  • Water Softener

  • PEX manifold system

  • Color-matched mounting blocks on siding

  • Basement exterior wall studed and insulated for easy finishing

  • Complete basement drainage system including sump pit with either sub-slab or sump pump

  • Active Radon remediation

Fetures Included
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