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Our most commonly asked questions

We know building a custom home is an exciting yet complex process with lots of decisions to make. To help you gain clarity and confidence through every step working with us, we've put together answers to some of the questions we hear most often from future homeowners.

Browse the categories below to find expert insights that speak to you. Discover what sets our custom approach apart and how we seamlessly guide you from initial inspiration through move-in and beyond. We look forward to addressing any additional questions as we learn more about your vision and bring your ideal home to life.

Our decades of combined expertise in building and renovating stunning custom residences fuels our passion for collaborating with you to achieve your wildest dreams. You imagine it, we build it - that's our promise. Contact us today to get the conversation started!

Build Process:

Q: What makes your company different from other home builders? 

 

A: As a custom home builder, we offer personalized service and the capability to bring almost any home design imaginable to life. Our team has over 45 years of combined experience constructing custom homes and renovating in this region while paying close attention to quality craftsmanship and incorporating cutting-edge technologies.

 

Q: How long does it take to build a custom home?

 

A: The timeline for building a custom home can vary greatly depending on factors like the home's size and design complexity, permitting processes, weather delays, etc. But generally you can expect the process to take 9-12 months from starting the design plans to finishing construction.

Q: How much land do I need to build a custom home?

A: Required land size is extremely variable depending on factors like planned home square footage, lot shape, septic needs, community requirements and more. Many stunning custom homes have been built on lots under an acre. We can guide you on ideal lot specifications once we understand key attributes of your vision.

 

Q: What foundation options do you offer for custom homes?

 

A: We offer multiple foundation types for custom homes including concrete slab, crawl space, and full basement foundations. The optimal choice depends on factors like your budget, home design, and site conditions. We can advise on the best foundation during the planning process.

Q: How can I customize the home automation system and smart devices in my new home?

 

A: Home automation is highly customizable - we can integrate smart lighting, thermostats, locks, cameras, shades, appliances and more that you control seamlessly from interfaces like voice assistants, tablets, or phones. We will collaborate to create a smart home tailored to your lifestyle.

 

Q: How long is the warranty coverage and what does it include?  

 

A: Every new custom home and major remodel we build is backed by a minimum one-year warranty covering defects in materials and workmanship. Additionally, many items such as the roof, HVAC system, windows etc. often include longer manufacturer warranties we pass on to you as well. (Mechanical is a 2-year warranty, and 10 years for structural.) 

Q: How often can I expect updates during the building phase?  

 

A: Communication is vital so you will get continuous updates through weekly calls/meetings, email, phone, and site visits. One of our best ways to keep our clients feeling connected and educated on their build is by sending touch-point emails. These emails explain what each step of the build is, the timeline, and the trades we partner with. We want you fully informed about each step and available to promptly answer any questions that arise during construction.

Q: What energy efficiency practices do you implement when building?

 

A: All our home builds utilize best practices for efficiency like optimized insulation placement/levels, high performance windows and doors, LED lighting, right-sized HVAC systems, air sealing, and more. We also extensively integrate solar, tankless water heating, EV chargers and smart home automation based on the homeowners’ sustainability goals. We are proud to be a designated Green Path Builder. 

Q: How do you approach remodeling versus new construction?

 

A: For remodeling, we focus heavily on retaining and enhancing the existing architectural character you love while modernizing spaces. This is different than new construction where everything is designed from the ground up around the client’s lifestyle vision.

 

Q: What does the remodeling process look like from start to finish? 

 

A: The process starts with a consultation to establish your goals, assess the site, and sketch initial ideas. Next, we develop detailed plans and secure permits before demolition & construction. We like to have all of our trades set up on a tight schedule, and all the materials ordered and ready for delivery before the project starts to have as minimal disruption as possible. Throughout the project, we emphasize clear communication until the stunning, refreshed home space is complete.  

 

Q: What are some good candidates for remodeling in my home?

 

A: Excellent remodeling candidates tend to be kitchens, bathrooms, expanded master suites, and aging parts of the home infrastructure (roof, siding, windows, etc). Outdated kitchens in particular can have one of the highest returns on investment if upgraded wisely. We can advise on the best targets in your home.

Design:

 

Q: Will I have input on designing my custom home?

 

A: As with all of our custom home-building projects, you will have complete input over the design including floor plans, exterior elevations, interior finishes, and special details that make your home unique. We welcome collaboration with clients throughout the design process to create a truly customized residence. 

Q: What is the difference between a green home and a healthy home?

 

A: A green home prioritizes environmental sustainability through eco-friendly practices and materials, a healthy home emphasizes creating a living environment that supports the well-being and health of its occupants by promoting clean air, natural light, and non-toxic materials. At Style and Structure, we can achieve both. 

 

Q: What custom home amenities are most popular right now?

 

A: Some of today's leading custom home trends include open-concept entertaining areas like gourmet kitchens and outdoor living spaces, smart home technology integrations, multi-generational suites, and sustainable building features.

Q: Can you incorporate universal design/aging in place features?

A: Yes, we specialize in building custom homes with universal design principles and aging in place features like no-step entries, wider hallways/doorways, curbless showers, comfort height toilets, outlets at multiple heights, lever door handles, and more. Just let us know your accessibility needs. 

Q: What types of architectural styles do you build?

 

A: We specialize in designing and building custom homes in popular architectural styles like Craftsman, Farmhouse, Traditional, Mediterranean, Contemporary, and Modern. We can also incorporate elements from multiple styles to achieve a unique blended design suited to your vision.

Q: Can you match the style of my neighborhood when building my custom home?

 

A: Absolutely - we carefully evaluate the surrounding homes to identify common architectural details, materials, and styles so your new residence complements the neighborhood aesthetic. We can seamlessly match your community's look and feel.  

Q: How do you source materials for custom home projects?  

 

A: We have established relationships with vendors across the region to source quality materials for construction and finishing. For unique, specialty items we tap into our global network to procure one-of-a-kind pieces that add bespoke touches reflecting our clients’ personal tastes.

Q: What customizations does the process allow for?

A: Virtually every aspect of the home can be customized to your personal needs/tastes - floor plan layouts, exterior styles, interior finishes, smart home tech, specialty storage, integrated audiovisual, accessory buildings like pool cabanas, and even unique add-ons like wine cellars! Let us know your dreams.

Q: Do you have architects and designers on staff or do you bring in outside talent?

A: We have incredibly talented architectural designers and interior designers in-house who have won awards for stunning custom home creations across the region. However, we also embrace partnering with outside architects or designers hired by clients if preferred - we are committed to bringing your custom vision to life.

 

Q: What is the benefit of using your in-house designers versus me hiring my own architects or designers?

 

A: Our designers intimately understand our proprietary building approach and have established relationships with local vendors and tradespeople. This seamless integration results in a smooth process from concept to completion. However, we welcome collaborating with your own dream team if you have specialty designers in mind.

 

Q: If I want to use outside architects for my custom home, how does that impact the building process? 

 

A: We pride ourselves on our ability to seamlessly partner with outside design talent you provide while handling construction and trade coordination ourselves. If you have a separate contract with architects or designers, we all align efforts through shared tools and constant communication for the most efficient results tailored to you.

 

Q: Can you recommend designers that fit specific styles if my aesthetic vision is already defined?

 

Absolutely! We have in-house designers who have done many designs and styles. Over the years we have also cultivated relationships with talented designers across the region who specialize in styles like modern, farmhouse, Mediterranean, and more. We are happy to refer those whose portfolios closely align with the vision you describe to us.

 

Q: Where do you source unique materials needed for custom home projects? 

 

A: One benefit of our custom approach is the capability to source distinctive materials from all over the world if they fit our client’s vision. From reclaimed wood beams from barns in Wisconsin to Tuscan tile from Italy, we leverage our industry network to procure one-of-a-kind pieces that make each home totally personalized.

 

Q: If I have a specific product or material in mind, are you able to track it down and incorporate it?

 

A: Absolutely! No matter how unique or obscure a material is, just point us in the right direction and we will utilize our contacts across manufacturing industries globally to find it and integrate it seamlessly. We pride ourselves on delivering completely individualized homes.  

 

Q: What are some of the most memorable specialty sourcing requests you’ve fulfilled for custom homes?

 

A: One client requested a hand painted wall mural onto wall panels from Europe. We successfully had it flown in and local experts were able to install the delicate masterpiece! We also recently designed and built a wine-tasting room addition featuring 1920s brick reclaimed from a historic Chicago firehouse full of character. We laid it in a herringbone pattern on the floor and it turned out stunning. 

Q: How does the global sourcing process flow? Do I need to be involved in contacting international vendors? 

 

A: Not at all! Simply convey what items intrigue you and your desired outcome. We take care of harnessing our network to locate vendors, manage procurement logistics, international shipping, and clear customs on your behalf for a smooth experience while eagerly fulfilling your unique material dreams.

Budget:

Q: Can you work within my budget to design my custom home?

 

A: Absolutely! Our team excels at delivering one-of-a-kind home designs tailored exactly to each client's unique budget, lifestyle needs and preferences. One of the most unique processes we have compared to other builders is to complete your design and selections before the home has started construction. We use planning tools and get bids to lock in materials and prices to provide accurate cost estimates so there are no budget surprises down the road.

Q: Can you incorporate green and energy-efficient features?  

 

A: We specialize in building high-performance custom homes that minimize environmental impact and energy costs. Some popular options we recommend are solar panels, tankless water heaters, HVAC systems with zone control, spray foam insulation, ENERGY STAR-certified windows/appliances etc. Just let us know your sustainability goals. 

Q: How do you determine pricing for custom home builds? 

 

A: Pricing is determined on a project-by-project basis depending on the size of home, architectural complexity, interior finishes selected, site conditions and client priorities. We provide comprehensive price estimates after collaborating on the initial plans.

Q: Is it less expensive to build new or renovate an existing home?

 

A: Generally speaking, remodeling an existing home tends to cost less overall compared to the expense of purchasing land and constructing an entirely new custom residence. However, variables like the home's condition, desired finishes, construction costs in your area, and more also impact the project budgets. We can provide estimates for you to compare.

 

Q: How do you help clients stay within their budget during the custom home process?  

 

A: We use transparent pricing and advanced building software to provide detailed estimates so there are no budget surprises. Throughout the process, our project managers closely track spending and provide regular budget updates. We also work collaboratively with clients to adjust plans if needed to align with financial goals.

Q: Do you only build luxury custom homes? What about more modest budgets?

 

A: We have over 45 years of combined experience constructing exquisite high-end custom residences. However, we also specialize in building beautifully designed homes aligned with more modest budgets. We work with each client to implement a custom plan suited to their unique budget and lifestyle.

 

 

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