Many people approach the idea of building a custom home with some apprehension. Whether it is cost overruns, building delays or worry over the sheer number of decisions that must be made, the custom home building process can seem overwhelming.
Here are a few of the myths we’ve heard about custom home building and how McKenzie Collection makes the process as smooth, efficient and enjoyable as possible.
1. It’s too expensive.
Many customers fear they will get started with the building process and end up paying much more than they intended. At McKenzie Collection, we price every selection during the design phase, providing our customers with an itemized list of costs before they make a decision to build with us. Rather than offer allowances, we specify each product so that customers know exactly what they are paying for.
“There’s nothing vague about the price of our homes,” says Judy Brooks, McKenzie Collection sales consultant. “Before a buyer makes a decision, they can get as detailed as they want.”
In addition, if we know a customer has a budget in mind, we will make recommendations for specifications that stay within those boundaries. “You don’t have to have the highest specifications for every line item to make a house look great,” says Kate Stahley, McKenzie Collection’s designer. “Some people want to spend more on appliances or kitchen cabinets. To keep costs in line, they might use a standard faucet or stay with less complicated trim work.”
We are also committed to excellent communication with our buyers. Every change order must be approved by the customer and we keep a daily accounting of the costs on each home so that customers can always know where they stand . . . with no hidden surprises at the end.
2. It takes too long.
Another common fear is that the building process will end up taking months longer than expected. At McKenzie Collection, we have a detailed schedule for every home, knowing how many days each subcontractor requires to get the job done. We are able to project a closing date at the start of the build and have a great record of staying on track. Customers and subcontractors receive weekly schedule updates via email so everyone is in the loop at all times.
We also have a great system for ensuring that all selection decisions are made in a timely manner and never hold up the progress of the home. Our designer Kate knows when each subcontractor needs to have a decision made and she creates a schedule that keeps each customer on track. “We know there is a lead time for ordering custom cabinets or a unique granite countertop,” says Kate. “We make sure we are always thinking ahead to the next meeting and making sure the house doesn’t sit while decisions are being made.”
3. It’s too complicated.
It’s true—there are lots of decisions that need to be made while building a home. We believe the key is having someone on our staff that can coordinate all those details for our customers. Kate is extremely organized and understands both construction and design. She works with every one of our buyers at no additional cost to help create a home that is a perfect reflection of each individual’s tastes.
“Kate was very good at reading our personalities, desires and needs to achieve the home of our dreams,” says McKenzie Collection homeowners Jim and Chris Mercier. “She understood we wanted our house to feel like a one-of-a-kind and her recommendations of products and color selections matched our ideas.”
Kate knows how to keep the process simple by staying organized and knowing which decisions are important and which are minor. She also has a great knowledge of how certain choices match up with others—how granite color relates to the cabinet color, the floor color and the appliance finish, for example.
Customers are welcome to bring their own designer to selection meetings if they desire, but Kate is able to help customers with most of their design needs, including space planning and furniture placement. She truly is a customer’s personal consultant throughout the building process.
4. I need to know something about design to build my own home.
Not at McKenzie Collection! We are designers, space planners and builders all in one—and we will help you create your own home from start to finish. Each community has “starting point” plans that can be customized to an individual’s preferences and desires.
Customers make an average of 15-20 changes from the basic plan . . . some have even made up to 60 revisions to create their perfect home. “You don’t have to know how to do that yourself,” explains Kate. “We ask a lot of questions about what you like, what your lifestyle is like, and we guide you through the whole process.”
Having built more than 500 custom homes in the last 20-plus years, we know there are certain elements in a home that a buyer will want. We know what works well and we offer insight and suggestions that will help you create a home you will love.
“We fell in love with a house plan we found in Phoenix,“ says Jim Mercier. “John was open to looking at the plan and giving us suggestions on how we could stay in this home for the rest of our lives. He had some great ideas and also welcomed our input. We knew from the first meeting that John really listened to what we wanted.”
5. I won’t know how my home will look until it’s done.
Our model homes are a great showcase for the “starting point” plans in our communities. We take the mystery out of the building process by offering a McKenzie Collection home that buyers can see, touch and feel.
In addition, many of our customers are happy to open up their homes to prospective buyers who want to see a special feature or even just to visualize the size of a particular room. They are proud of the home they have created and want to help others enjoy a McKenzie Collection home as well!
We are proud of the way we are able to make the custom building process enjoyable and efficient for our customers. Our homeowners tell us that the personal attention and level of service they receive is far beyond their expectations and many return to build with us again or are eager to refer their friends to us.
“I have never waited more than 10 minutes for a call back from Tim McMain, (McKenzie Collection superintendent),” says Mercier. “He would remember details I thought had been forgotten and his response would always be, ‘Jim, this is your home. I will do anything to make you happy.’ He has repeated this several times and I believe him!
“The best compliment I can give John is that if I was starting a custom home company, I would want to hire each of his people. Great people build great homes!” concludes Mercier.
Why not build a home just the way you want rather than letting the myths get in the way? We have the resources, systems and staff in place to make your custom home building experience more affordable, easier and more rewarding than you might think. Give us a call and let us help you get on your way.