Choosing a builder is a big decision. Your comfort and satisfaction are the most important elements of our building process. After our initial meeting we’ll all have a pretty good idea about whether or not we’re a good fit.
The Watts Homes & Construction home building process goes through 9 steps from initial consultation through new home warranty:
Step 1 – Introduction Consultation
The first appointment is the get to know each other meeting. We’ll discuss where you want to live, your ideas and expectations, what you need in a home, what you want in a home and a tentative budget.
Where you want to live is very important. Building in one of our neighborhoods or on land you already own makes this step easy. We can also help you find land that will be suitable for what you want to build; if you don’t already have a site in mind. Where you’re going to build is key for a number of reasons. Any place you can build a home will come with its own set of regulations. Things like setback requirements, size requirements or neighborhood restrictions, available utilities and topography will all play a part in determining the design of your new house.
If you need to sell an existing home during the home building process, we can help with that too. Watts Homes & Construction has licensed real estate agents working through the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Michigan Real Estate brokerage. We’re a full service design-build firm.
Step 2 – Secure Financing
After our first meeting, once we’ve all decided to build a house together, you will want to contact a lender about financing your new home. If you don’t have a lender in mind, we are happy to provide you a list to choose from. If a loan is necessary, a lender will provide both you and Watts Homes & Construction with a pre-approval letter for a construction loan.
Step 3 – Design
At this step you meet with our designer to delve deeper into your wants and needs, taste and style. During this meeting it is helpful to bring your design ideas with you. Bring any concept floor plans you’ve found, photos, interesting concepts from magazines and the completed design questionnaire we gave you. This information will really help the designer understand what you want. It will also help us determine if we have a design in our portfolio that may suit your needs or if we’ll be starting from scratch.
In this meeting you’ll sign the design agreement and pay the design fee. Then we can get started on creating a conceptual design. After the concept drawings are done, you’ll have additional appointments with the designer to give feedback and make changes. The end result is a very clear vision of your new home. At this point the design is converted to CAD drawings and given to you for final approval!
Step 4 – Estimating and Selections
This step is where the process gets exciting! You get to select colors, surfaces, flooring and appliances. Watts Homes & Construction and our vendors are ready to assist you if you need any help. If you decide to wait on making certain selections, you’ll be given “allowances.” Once the selections and allowances are determined, we send your drawings and specifications to our vendors and trade partners for estimates. Then we will compile all the estimates to come up with a final building price. If the final price needs some adjusting, our designer will work with you to make changes to the plan or specifications until it works for your budget.
Step 5 – Contract Signing and Loan Process
Watts Homes & Construction will prepare all of the contract documents and will send them to you to review. Once you’ve reviewed everything, we’ll set an appointment to sign the contract documents, the design drawings and pay the deposit.
After the contract and related documents are signed, you’ll make an appointment with your lender. At this meeting you’ll give the lender a copy of the contract and the other documents the lender may require for a construction loan. typical items a lender requires are tax returns, W-2 forms, pay stub and other financial information. The lender then processes your loan – which typically takes between 30 and 60 days.
Step 6 – Loan Closing and Construction Preparation
Once your loan is approved, the loan closing is scheduled. Closing will take place at a title company. You will be notified of the day, time and location of the closing as well as any items you’ll need to bring with you well before the actual appointment.
After the loan has closed, Watts Homes & Construction will apply for all of the required permits, finalize the construction schedule and secure all vendor pricing with our trade partners. This may take several weeks.
Step 7 – Construction
After all of the permits are obtained we can begin construction! Watts Homes & Construction is committed to keeping you informed throughout the building process. To that end, you will meet with your project manager and our trade partners throughout the build; so you can ask questions and review the progress.
Almost every step from excavation through finished mechanicals requires an inspection. Some parts of construction move much faster than others. At times, it may look as if progress is slow. Please keep in mind we may be waiting for an inspection to be completed or materials to arrive. We are always working behind the scenes to keep things moving forward.
Step 8 – Completion
Our team works diligently to ensure your new home is a well-constructed, beautiful place to live, built on schedule and on budget. At the completion of your new home, the project manager will perform a builder walk-through ensuring all last minute items are addressed. Then we will apply for the occupancy permit. The project manager then performs a walk-through with you. At this time you’ll review the features of your home, how to operate the systems, note anything that needs attention and ask any questions. We’ll complete your noted items and you’ll sign off on them. Once we receive the occupancy permit, the last bank draw we will turn the keys over to you!
Step 9 – Warranty
After your home is complete and you are moved in we do not disappear. We will provide follow-up correspondence with you after 60 days and 11 months to check in on you and your new home. If there is anything that needs to be addressed an appointment will be scheduled and the work will be performed.