Make The Best Choice For Your Custom Home


By Dave Lunden
Timberlake Design/Build

In the custom homebuilding business, everyone understands what a roofer or carpenter does, but things get murkier when it comes to a professional builder’s role. It may seem like the professional builder functions as a captain of a ship, navigating you through the process, signaling the crew when it’s their time to perform. And while that is definitely a major aspect of what they do, it doesn’t speak to the value that hiring a professional builder can bring to your custom home.

In fact, the earlier you enlist a builder, the more cost-efficient your project will be. Because they are so dialed into the industry, they understand the costs, potential issues, and possibilities of your design. Bringing a professional builder into the design process in the early stage can help ensure your budget is preserved, while still delivering on your dreams. This is key because homeowners often don’t understand why one home’s cost per square foot may be greater than another’s, despite the homes being similar. A professional builder can explain your home’s costs, as well as offer seasoned suggestions as to how to get more of your wants fulfilled within your budget.

Once the design is complete, it’s time to secure the proper permits. This requires experience in coordinating with a civil engineer to prepare the necessary documentation to obtain approvals from the local authorities. Working with a builder who has extensive knowledge of the engineering and approval processes will result in plans that are efficient to build.

Professional builders also have close and longstanding relationships with high-quality subcontractors. Because they are a source of ongoing work for those contractors, the builders often secure the work at lower prices, enabling you to get more for your money.

Once the project is underway, your builder should:

•Keep the job on schedule, ensuring the subcontractors and materials show up at the right times. Anything from weather events to late deliveries can impact schedules, so the builders readjust accordingly to keep the project moving forward.

•Inspect and oversee the work performed by the tradespeople. Because professional builders have insight into each trade, they can ensure things get done properly and meet high standards.

•Solve and prevent issues. There are so many moving parts involved in the construction of a custom home. An experienced builder can anticipate issues before they arise and effectively address other issues in a timely manner.

•Deliver a beautifully finished home. In the end stages of construction, scores of finishing touches need to be done before the home is truly complete. Builders walk the house with homeowners to prepare a punch list at the end of the project. This allows them to hand over the keys to the home of your dreams.

•Protect the homeowner by holding the required licenses, insurance and safety practices, as well as ensuring the builder’s subcontractors do, as well. The builder’s longevity means they will be around to address warranty and any issues going forward.

Building a custom home is a huge undertaking for a homeowner. There are numerous decisions to make throughout the process. However, when you work with a reputable professional builder who has navigated that process countless times, you can rest easy knowing you’re in good hands.

Dave Lunden is the president of Timberlake Design/Build. If you have any questions about the custom homebuilding process, you can reach him at 443-837-3105 or


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