In Business Since 1995

Frequently Asked Questions

Your architect or mine?

Architects, like many other professionals, base the cost estimate of a project and their fees upon the anticipated time and the difficulty of the design. Although they do not charge by the hour, they attempt to assess the client based on the changes involved and the client’s ability to make decisions.

If a client can start with a general concept and then make modifications based upon specific individual needs, as happens when using our architect, there are significant time and cost savings. Our budget process is more accurate based on our familiarity with the architect. Thus, our bid is more likely to be lower than if we were using an unfamiliar architect.

How do we specify designs, details, and features in our home?

Forrest Homes utilizes a team approach, which allows us to involve different skill sets. The architect designs the layout and determines the room sizes and flow of the home. Chris uses her decorating skills, experience, vision, and client input to assist in making selections while paying particular attention to cost and impact on the budget.

How much time does the project take from start to finish?

Once the lot is identified and secured, the preliminary plan process can begin, which usually takes at least three months. This is based upon the initial plan acceptance, allowing us to prepare the drawings to enable the engineer to design the foundation and structural plans.

Typically, this requires two to three months and can be done simultaneously with the completion of the architectural plans, including elevation, lighting, and interior details. Once the engineering, final architectural plans, and documents are prepared, the city inspects the plans (typically taking two to four weeks.) We work to demolish the home and close into the construction loan so that once we receive the city building permit, we are ready to begin construction.

The construction process requires eight to twelve months, depending upon the design’s size and complexity and the homeowner’s ability to make selections. Changes are inevitable, but plenty of time is allowed for selection decisions through our construction communication process. This minimizes change orders, which can slow the building process and add cost.

What are the estimated building costs?

Building costs are based on the size, design specifications, and features of the home. Our computerized budget program allows us to arrive at a quick estimate based on the size and allowances of the specifications. Without the cost of the lot, homes run from $150 to $250 per square foot.

How is the project financing handled?

We have working relationships with several local banks. We ask that you meet with their loan officers, and collectively, we determine compatibility. We prefer that one of these banks provides the construction loan to the homeowner. The homeowner will deposit 20% of the project cost with the bank at the loan closing and pay monthly interest costs during the construction process. At the completion of the home, the homeowner will obtain a loan to pay off the construction loan and then close on the home.

What is the construction financial draw process?

Once we determine the budget for the home, the bank specifies percentages for various stages of completion and releases funds based on the completed status. Based on our funding requests, the bank hires an inspector who visits the home to monitor periodic stage completion.

With the homeowner’s approval, the bank funds the draw request for new construction and larger projects. For smaller projects, the homeowner cuts a check. This allows us to pay vendors and subcontractors for completed work. We have the vendors and subcontractors sign lien waivers stating they have been paid.