Custom Home Construction: Insights on Custom Home Estimating & Building in St Cloud MN by Home Builder, Craig Schoenberg
Designing and building a custom home is a large project—one that requires intense preparation from both the contractor and the homeowner. Fortunately, the first step is simple: you need to get an idea of what you want.
“When people come to me, the biggest thing is figuring out where they are at in the planning process—have they looked at any plans?” said Craig Schoenberg, owner of Schoenberg Construction. “Often I recommend that homeowners get online and look at building plans or look through some home magazines to give them a better idea of what’s out there.”
The Custom Home Construction Estimating Process: Exploring Options from a General Sense to Specifics
Once homeowners have started to figure out what they might like in a general sense, Craig sits down to meet with them and discuss their options—covering aspects of the home such as exterior finishes, types of windows, cabinetry, flooring, siding, and many other selections that need to be addressed during the estimating process. He said it’s also important for homeowners to consider what they want out of their properties. A couple’s first home will likely have a different set of features and needs than a home that is intended to last through retirement.
After clients find a specific home design that reflects their custom home tastes, Craig starts to work on a detailed, preliminary project budget that includes costs for permits, debris removal, subcontractors, and other costs related to custom home construction in Saint Cloud, MN.
Typically, Craig said, he can give clients an estimate of the total home cost at this point in the project planning. Unfortunately, he noted, “more times than not, it’s higher than what they anticipated.”
“Building costs are rising,” he said. “If it’s more than what they want to spend…I’ll help them find ways to cut costs.”
If the client still wants to move ahead with the project, Craig finds either a home designer or a drafter at the lumberyard to create a final floor plan. This detailed floor plan provides a much more comprehensive look of the project and the required materials. Electricians, plumbers, and the lumberyard can then give more accurate estimates of the costs and timeline for materials and labor. With so many steps involved in creating the final home price, Craig admitted that working out a realistic budget can be an arduous task.
“I don’t want to overprice or mislead somebody and tell them it’ll be $175,000 or $200,000, and then reality sets in when you get the preliminary plans and it costs $300,000,” he said. “I don’t want to lowball people to get their work. It’s a dirty tactic.”
However, for many people, a custom home is well worth the costs and decision-making that go into it.
“People are a little leery of houses that were built during the boom or that are going into foreclosure,” Craig said. “They want something that feels new.”
Custom Home Building Benefits & Timelines
Custom homes also offer homeowners the chance to design everything exactly to their own specifications. From wood stains to appliances to under-cabinet lighting, a custom home gives buyers the opportunity to live in a space that is perfectly suited to their wants and needs.
In many cases, the planning stage is the true variable in the process. Craig said that planning can frequently take two to three months—but often stretches out even longer, depending on the homeowner’s other commitments. Building timelines depend on the size of the home and the amount of detail and complexity involved, but Craig noted that “you can generally build a 2,400 square foot home in six months.”
Because many people want to get into their new homes by the beginning of the year, it’s important to start early on. The ideal time to begin building a custom home is in late spring. Once the last of Minnesota’s winter frost has gone out, contractors can get the foundation in place and the home is then well on it’s way to being completed by fall.
Though building a custom home is a lengthy process, it’s one that can reward a family for many years to come. Of course, homeowners have to be committed to the project before they get started—and they have to have faith in their Saint Cloud General Contractor.
“You’ve got to trust your builder,” Craig said. “It’s a partnership. Together, you’re building a quality home that will stand the test of time.”
In fact, Craig said that this partnership is one of his favorite parts of helping families build custom homes.
“When a client tells me that I’m going to build their homes, it’s a good feeling,” he said. “It’s rewarding when someone puts that kind of trust in you.”
Craig at Schoenberg Construction, of Saint Cloud MN, is highly skilled at Custom Home Construction. He always gives honest, fair bids with no lowball, fake pricing and there’s no sales pressure, EVER! Craig never uses cheap materials and never engages in sloppy workmanship, and his company is known as one of the top construction companies in the St Cloud Minnesota area because he INSISTS on doing every job EXACTLY right.
Give him a call today at 320-252-0911 for your no-obligation consultation.