New Construction and Custom Home Builders in Hampton Roads
Looking to have a new or customized house built in the Hampton Roads area?
We are the company you’ve been looking for! Most of our work is in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and Suffolk, VA but we also serve Norfolk, Portsmouth, Newport News and Hampton areas.
New home construction is booming in the area, and new communities are being built almost monthly.
If you’re looking for quality, professionalism and dependable work, then give us a call at (757) 349-7995 or fill out the free estimate request and we’ll be in touch.
Building a custom home can be tough, but it allows you to customize it, make sure that the workmanship and materials are up to your standards, and oversee the process so that everything is as transparent as you need it to be.
There are, of course, downsides as well. It’s a longer process than simply buying a pre-existing structure, and one that comes with a great many decisions that all need to be made by you.
Here you’ll find out about some of the larger choices you’ll have to make, and by the end you should be able to decide if building your own home is an undertaking that is going to be a good fit for you.
Financing New Construction
Financing for new home construction generally comes in two forms: builder loans or individual construction loans. If you’re buying a home in a large, pre-planned community, the builder will have already received a “builder loan” and the process will be simple and much like the process of securing a loan for a pre-existing home. You’ll choose from a list of pre-planned houses and take those plans to the bank to apply for a mortgage.
If you’re hiring a smaller builder, or your project is completely unique, the process is a little more involved. First, you’ll need to work with the builder to come up with a construction timetable and detailed plans about the proposed structure. Once you’re approved for the loan, which will typically have a term of one year, someone from the issuing bank will follow up on the timetable and make sure that the timelines set up in your initial plan are being met. These loans are usually structured so that you only need to pay the interest on the loan over the course of the loan’s term, with the assumption that upon completion you will set up a new loan using the finished home as collateral for a mortgage.
Construction delays are fairly common, so make sure that the loan you choose has enough padding in it to allow for these, especially if you are building somewhere that has unpredictable weather.
Again, if you are buying a new home as part of a planned community, this part of the process will be taken care of by the builder. You’ll simply need to choose a lot and you’re on your way. If you need to buy land on which to build, you’ll need to find a lot and secure financing for it. When looking for a lot, make sure to have any potential purchases inspected by an experienced inspector who knows what kind of home you plan to build. Even though you are unlikely to have final building plans at this stage, you should go in with a clear description of the size of the home, what type of foundation you would prefer it to have, and any special land features you are interested in, such as pools or outbuildings. Become familiar with home styles in your area so you and the inspector will be speaking a common language during the inspection process.
If you’re fortunate enough to be able to pay cash for the land, the value of that land can be used as collateral for some or all of your construction loan.
You will need several permits and inspections throughout the process of building your home. Your state and local governments will be able to provide a guide that will walk you through the various permits you need and all of their attendant fees. From there it will be up to you to make sure that the permits are kept up-to-date and that the inspections occur on schedule.
Another option is to hire a permit service that will oversee all of this for you. This might be worth the fee if you are not organized enough to make sure that you don’t incur fees for lapsed or missed permits or inspections. A permit service will guarantee the timely execution of all the necessary paperwork, so if you’re likely to miss a deadline or two without help, it could, in fact, be cheaper.
Choosing an Architect
There are many resources for pre-made house plans, which can greatly cut down on your design fees, but of course they won’t be fully customizable. At the same time, they won’t be completely ready to use upon purchase, as they’ll need to be adjusted to fit the land, weather, and your needs as much as possible. For this, you’ll need an architect.
Whether you’re hiring an architect to update existing plans or design a fully custom home, the steps in finding and vetting them will be similar. To begin with, you’ll want to gather referrals from happy customers or recommendations from builders, designers, and other related professionals in your area. This will give you a group of prospective architects with good reputations who you know are reliable to work with. Next, check out the websites of each person or firm. There should be a full bio and lots of information about the process of working with them in whatever capacity you need. Don’t hesitate to call and ask questions. A free initial consultation is the standard for the industry. When you get there, ask the following questions:
“What problems can you foresee on a project like this one?”
“What are your fees, and when would they need to be paid?”
“How long will a project of this scope take, including permits and inspections?”
Hiring a Builder
A builder’s role is to manage all of the contractors that will perform the many types of work that go into building a home. It’s a time-intensive and, at times, stressful job. Builders also make sure that the logistical requirements of a construction site are met. Things like electricity, water, materials, and worker resources all need to be looked after. If you are experienced with this and want to serve as your own builder, it’s still usually a good idea to have a professional come out and look at your site and plans to make sure you haven’t overlooked something that will end up costing you dearly later. Some homeowners choose to act as a builder/homeowner hybrid while paying a professional to oversee the work in a less hands-on way, but for a lower fee. On the other end of the spectrum is a full-service builder who will do all of the procurement and oversight, but will charge more for this. Make sure you are honest and thorough when you assess your abilities to contribute as a builder. In most cases the experience and expertise that a professional bring to the table make them a worthy investment.
With these basics in place, you’ll be ready to start the process of owning your own newly built home.