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Here are some frequently asked questions from our customers:
What kind of regulations are there in New Braunfels that could limit what or where I build?
Where you build will determine the type of permitting/inspections that are required. For example building inside the city limits requires different permit requests than those outside of the city limits. We also may have municipalities and/or HOA review committees that require approvals before the start of construction. Rest assured that we will handle all of the paperwork required and let you know what type of timeline to expect based on our experience with these agencies.
Can you tell me about your community give-back program?
Of course! We are very proud of our “ Home builders New Braunfels give-back program.” As a company, we certainly are in this business to make a living and provide for our customers and our employees. However, we are also very focused on helping our local community and especially extending our hands to help those that are the most vulnerable in our society. Who do you consider the most vulnerable? In our experience, we have found that foster children desperately need the support of their community. The foster care movement is a project that is very close to the heart of each member of the Scotch family. The Scotch family has adopted one child and foster-adopted two other children. Psalm 68: 5-6 says: “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families…” We believe that every community should do its part to help those who are vulnerable. To do our part, Scotch Construction Inc. donates a portion of our profits for every new home we build. The donation goes to a local foster care agency of the home owner’s choice and is made in the home owner’s name. This represents an effort on our part to step in where we can and support the most vulnerable members of our society. Many businesses do good for the city, town, or community in which they preside. Our hope is that this donation habit forms the cornerstone of our business’ philosophy on life: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Our interest and effort to abide by the Golden rule is reflected in our philosophy and our business practices.
We like to say that we seek to build homes as if they were our own. This means that the materials we recommend, the subcontractors we employ, and the recommendations we make, are only made from the perspective of asking ourselves this question: how would we want this decision made if it were our home? One of the unique things about Scotch Construction Inc. is that, when the situation is appropriate, we will make recommendations that are efficient, effective, and cost-efficient. Allow me to provide you with an example. Unlike many people you can employ that can build your home, we will make recommendations from a practical perspective. Of course, if you have your heart set on a design, we will in no way try to “talk you out of it.” However, if you are seeking counsel and want our opinion, we will usually err on the side of whichever options is most aesthetically pleasing as well as cost-efficient. In other words, we will never pressure or advise you to do something more expensive than you expect to pay or for a service or finishing that goes beyond your budget or desires. We are practical people and prefer practical and straight-forward solutions when possible! When there are questions of taste like flooring options, window, door, paint, or lighting selections, we will certainly step aside and let you make the decision. But if you want our opinion, we are happy to give it! To return to our main point: we try to do business in a way that reflects the golden rule in all that we say and do! Focusing on our outreach to the foster-care community keeps us in line with our values.
What does it cost to build a custom home in the current climate?
First, as you can understand, the economic climate fluctuates from quarter to quarter and prices tend to fluctuate as well. However, we have noticed a trend over the past ten years or so in the South Texas custom construction market: prices for concrete, lumber, and labor have crept up. If you built a home in the 1990’s or earlier and are seeking to build again, we highly encourage you to consider us but be prepared for a difference in cost. From our perspective, building a hundred dollar a square foot house is virtually impossible for a custom home builder as things currently stand. We tend to start our construction projects at, on average of course, about one hundred and fifty dollars per square foot. That would be considered our baseline price and would likely include decisions that may be considered compromises for many of our customers such as a composition roof and batt insulation as opposed to a metal roof and foam insulation. In what range do we build on average? That depends year-to-year and project-to-project. Right now, we are probably building in the one hundred and seventy to one hundred and eighty price range, on average. Hopefully these numbers give you some idea of what we build. Prices are a somewhat challenging thing to discuss just because what we do are custom projects and the variability is very great in our company. On one home, we may be building at one hundred and seventy-five dollars per square foot and on another, it may be two hundred and fifty dollars per square foot. There is a great variety in the customers we work with and build for so an exact range is difficult to produce but circling back to what was mentioned previously, we tend to build in the one hundred and fifty dollars and above range.
Can I visit the job site frequently? Can I talk to subcontractors? Can I direct them as they work?
Job site visits are of course allowed! It is your home! However, we only ask that you visit after or before work hours or on days in which the subcontractors are not working. First, this is important for your own safety. Job sites are full of people working, sometimes on ladders with tools and wires on the floor. Sometimes, job sites are messy! We try our very best to clean them up – especially after the framing process. But visiting job sites without us during work can compromise your safety. We strive to keep both the subcontractors and the homeowners safe. We recommend visiting job sites with us after or before hours. Of course, exceptions are always made — our meetings with you during the build process will likely take place on weekdays and there will be people working at the site.
Next, talking to subcontractors. Of course, exchanging pleasantries with our subcontractors is encouraged. However, digging into inordinate amounts of work-related discussions can create problems for the cohesion of the subcontracting team. The relationship we try to cultivate between our subcontractors and our customers has several characteristics: First, after you sign a contract you entrust us to manage the job. This means that we are involved in the delegation of tasks, scheduling of work, and quality control inspections before you see the work. Carefully documenting work as it happens or visiting sites too frequently can sometimes distress homeowners and lead to them potentially losing sight of the forest from the trees. Please be assured: if something is not right, we will make it so before the project is complete. We stake our reputation on getting details right. It is what has propelled us to being the highest-rated Home builder New Braunfels has. Let me go into this in a bit more detail. Sometimes as layers of the process progress small issues crop up that are easily fixed. This is just the nature of construction. Sometimes little things go wrong – a wall is bumped or a door is scratched. Trust us, we have been here before and provided creative and useful solutions to these issues. Second, our subcontractors report to us for all tasks. This is a key part of the relationship because it ensures that we retain the understanding of what work is being done, and quite frankly, the responsibility. Not respecting this rule can lead to confusion from subcontractors as to who is actually making the day-to-day decisions on the job sites. Do you want a detail added? Perhaps there’s a framing detail or trim detail you want to be changed? Please give us a call or text and let us know first. We are the top-rated custom home building company in New Braunfels for a reason and keeping up with customer communications is certainly one of our strengths that we work at every day.
Lastly, can you direct them as they work? Please don’t! Our subcontractors are professionals and quite simply are the best of the best! They work faster and more efficiently by themselves and are financially incentivized to do so. The faster the subcontractors finish, the faster they are paid. But thankfully, they work at an appropriate pace. Our subcontractors know that they must do the job well. Tim Scotch is famous for his eagle eye and for spotting small imperfections in the build process. Our superintendents are instilled with the same desire to achieve excellent work that there exist several layers of quality control review. First, our subcontractors do their work. Second, our superintendents check that work and direct corrective measures if needed. Third, Tim Scotch triple checks the work. And fourth, if you like lists, YOU get to see the product at this stage. Sometimes clients see work halfway through this process. Of course, that is only natural but waiting until quality control is done if probably the best way of going about it.