This is Part Two in our Construction Lunch and Learn Series…Start here for Part One!
Grab your lunch and read on to learn more!
Do I Need an Architect?
Not if you use Joyner Homes as your builder! Architects design homes and they’re definitely capable and qualified to do that! But, what they don’t do is build houses. So, from a budgeting standpoint, they aren’t able to give you as accurate of a budget on what you are telling them to design. And, they design the structure of the home, but don’t necessarily pick out everything that goes into the home, so it makes it a little more difficult from a budgeting perspective.
For our Design/Build homes, our approach is to start with the homeowner’s budget. We will talk through the basic features, and then we will work on a design that we know can be built for that budget! It’s not any fun for anybody to go through an entire design process on a home only to find out that they have to sacrifice all of the fun things they wanted in the home. Or, even worse, learn that the home just can’t be built for their budget!
Our recommendation is to find a builder that you feel good about first. We all are pretty competitively priced and we all come in about the same when we’re bidding apples to apples. Find a builder that you feel like you want to work with for the next year and then go from there. And speaking for nobody else but Joyner Homes, we give you a plan, and a budget, and a scope of work that is detailed out to every faucet and fixture that you’re getting in the home before you have to make any commitments with us.
P.S. The best place to start if you are interested in our Design/Build Process is our Customer Worksheet!
Tell Us More about the Floor Plan Collection
While we do have a design-build process as describe above, we also have a collection of floor plans that we’ve curated over the years. Some of these homes we have already built – some more than once! So, not only can you see the floor plan, but if we have built that home before, you can go through and find blog posts and pictures of the inside and outside of the home.You can find all of this on our Floor Plan page.
The other bonus with the plans in our collection is that all of those homes pre-priced. So it can give you an idea of, “Okay, I want a four bedroom home with main floor master and a screened porch.” You can get a pretty good idea of where some of those fit in terms of budget.
The homes in our collection are really well refined and they don’t just look good, they’re very livable. They’d been tested. As we have people living in these homes, we get feedback of things that worked, or that they loved, or things that we would want to tweak a little bit. And, as we have the ability to build those homes again, you get the benefit of those improvements.
Slab or Crawl Space?
One of the biggest questions we hear on a regular basis is about slab foundation versus a crawlspace. Of course, if somebody knows they want a basement, they know they want a basement, so that’s an easy foundation question. But, what really is the difference between slab and crawl and what do we suggest?
Historically, the crawlspace is the way people built homes if they didn’t have a basement. Basically, it is a home built with a wood floor system supporting the main level, and it has the ability to literally crawl underneath it where you’ve got dirt or gravel. This enables access underneath the floor to things like plumbing, or drain lines, etc. It was important to be able to access some of those things in the past, when some of the technology or products weren’t as good and needed more maintenance or repair. A basement, by contrast, is basically a home on a slab, but it’s just built down below the grade. So, anybody who’s got a house on a basement, has a house on a slab. That’s the main base level.
What we’ve found over the years, with the slab foundation, is that it has really been an improvement in a number of areas…
Structurally, it’s concrete, so there is no flex and no squeaks in the floor. Additionally, with a crawl, there is special sub-floor treatment that can drive up costs.
We’ve also found, in our patio homes where people are trying to eliminate stairs from their lives, that a slab home really fits the bill. It can be built a foot lower to the ground than a home on a crawl space, because they sit on the same foundation. The wood subfloor and structure is about a foot thick. So, we can step right into a slab home without a set of stairs there, whereas on a crawlspace, you might need two to three steps. Actually, it is even possible to get a zero entry so someone could roll right into the home.
Also, there is no maintenance with a slab foundation. On a crawlspace, you can have ventilation issues, moisture issues, and even rodents!
But, the biggest reason why slab foundations have become the preferred option is simply cost. The crawlspace is about halfway between the cost of a basement and slab. So, with a basement, there is additional square footage that is usable. With a crawlspace, there is nothing other than some maintenance and half the cost of a basement.
So, when people are choosing a basement, we say, “Great. Let’s do that!” If someone does not want a basement, our suggestion is to go with a slab because of the cost savings fewer issues to deal with down the road.
Stay tuned for Part 3!