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At Diamante Custom Homes, we are proud to offer custom homes that have earned the ENERGY STAR® certified label. ENERGY STAR® certified homes are substantially more energy efficient than homes built to the minimum code requirements. Our ENERGY STAR® certified new homes are independently verified by a third-party Home Energy Rater to ensure...continue to the FULL article

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Do you or someone you know have plans to build a custom home in the future?  We would love to find out more, give us a call at 210-341-6430 or to have one of our senior partners get back with you click here now.


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Don’t Let Your Dream Home Become Your Biggest Frustration!

As a continuation of our topic in the February edition of our newsletter we discussed how the weakened economy has created a buyer’s market in the custom homebuilding industry. We explained the two ways buyers can proceed with their project.  1) Design/Build or 2) Design-Bid-Build concepts.

The Design/Build approach involves an owner, builder, architect, and interior designer all on the same team from the beginning of the project.  This methodology involves the team working together with a supporting cast of surveyors, engineering companies, and suppliers. In this approach the Design/Build team works as one in a synergistic fashion to seamlessly take you from the initial concept into the construction of your new home.  The overall goal being: the exact home for the client, built on time and on budget.  One of the key benefits of the Design/Build process is to save time, and money by ensuring the homeowner gets the project designed to their exact specifications and has the benefit of knowing projected construction costs at every phase of the design process.

In contrast, the Design-Bid-Build approach removes the builder and his supporting team from the initial processes of planning and design, and requires the homeowner and architect to spend all of their efforts specifically on the house plans.  Once the plans are complete, the client then selects several builders and asks them to provide a bid to construct the home.  This approach can lead to great frustration, lost time & money in trying to establish an accurate comparison of the different bids, if it is not properly implemented.

If you favor this approach, it is important to consider that various builders will interpret plans differently and will utilize different materials and installation methods, unless you provide them with a detailed set of construction documents and specifications. As we like to say at Diamante Custom Homes, “the plans are the pictures and the specs are the instructions.”  Shouldn’t every builder you select be given the same instructions?  To avoid total confusion and endless clarification you must establish a level playing field if you choose to go with the Design-Bid-Build Approach.

We have seen many homeowners literally drive themselves to a point of total frustration trying to compare one builder’s bid to the others!  In our experience, NEARLY 75% OF THE HOMEOWNERS WHO CHOOSE THE DESIGN-BID-BUILD ROUTE END UP HAVING TO REVISE FINISHED PLANS.  SOMETIMES A COMPLETE REDRAW OF THE PLAN IS NECESSARY OR IN EXTREME CASES THEY DO NOT BUILD AT ALL! 

Don’t let this happen to you!  It is possible to have a good experience with the Bid process.

A set of architectural plans is only the first step in a complete set of construction documents. Other items to consider providing your selected builders would be:
1. Engineered Foundation Design
2. Structural Framing plans
3. Detailed Material Specifications and preferred Installation methods
4. Preferred Allowance dollar amounts for items such as Appliances, Plumbing Fixtures, and Lighting

Among other things, these items will get you off and running down the right path.  After you have obtained a true bid set of construction plans, you are ready to sit down with the builders you choose to see where their bid will come in.  It should be easier at this point and the decision will be less confusing.  You can rest assured that every builder has bid the exact same way according to the specifications you have set forth.  Now all you have to do is rely on builder reputation, personal compatibility, and the so called “Gut Check.”

If you would like more information about our Design/Build process or if you need help implementing the Design-Bid-Build process so that you can get you the apples to apples comparison, contact us and one of the staff will get back with you promptly.  Whichever way you decide to go we are here to help!

Adam SanchezWarm Regards,

Adam Sanchez
Diamante Custom Homes
5139 N. Loop 1604 West, Suite 102
San Antonio, TX 78249
(210) 341-6430 - phone
(210) 568-4514 - fax

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