The Milton American Process
Whether you start with a drawing on a blank sheet of paper or an existing set of plans, we will help you plan, create, design and build your home the way you want it. Building a new home can be a very exciting and rewarding experience. It is one of the few times in your life that you will get to watch something that you design/buy being created. The very nature of a true custom home means that you decide on the location, design, amenities and finishing touches and we build you dream; essentially, becoming partners in a shared vision. Throughout the process, communication is essential. The builder’s success in personalizing your home depends on effective and open communication. We like to believe we are more than home builders, we’re problem solvers. Give us a challenge and let us figure it out.
The Milton American 10 Step Process
Step 1 – The Initial Consultation:
Generally this meeting occurs at our office. You’ll meet with a builder’s representative to discuss your particular needs about your future home. Bring us ideas, drawings, and photos to best describe what you want in your new home.
During this meeting, you’ll view floor plans, discuss included features and consider the feasibility of building on the property. We will show you examples of our past and current work, introduce members of our management team and offer suggestions to help you with key elements of your project including design, budget, timing and finance options.
We talk you through the building process and show you how we plan for your construction, making it cost effective and eliminating challenges and surprises along the way.
Step 2 – The Feasibility:
Once you become serious about evaluating a specific property to build your home on, Milton American will take a fully refundable feasibility deposit (price will vary depending on the scope of work). A Milton American representative will meet you on site to walk the site and discuss the placement of the home.
The representative will assess soil, grading issues, paving needs and other site constraints. They will use their observations to develop a preliminary budget including soft costs for permitting, wells, septic and utilities. They will also review the applicable development and zoning code issues that may affect the property. All of this information will be presented to the customer at the next step.
Step 3 – The Builder Consultation:
This meeting occurs within 10 days of the feasibility meeting. This meeting is a candid discussion that will uncover challenges and risks of building on your chosen site. You will meet directly with the job site supervisor and the builder’s representative, to discuss the site’s feasibility for building. At this point, we will give you a preliminary cost analysis for your review.
Step 4 – The Design:
If the preliminary cost of construction is acceptable to you as the buyer, the design work will commence. We require a signed Design Contract and a non refundable deposit at this point for design services (price will vary depending on the scope of work). The Design Contract engages the services of our design team.
Alternatively, if you are already working with an architect, we can work in conjunction with you and your architect to perfect your plans and provide all possible cost saving options.
If you have decided to use our design services, we will provide you with full design consultation, construction plans and coordinate engineering services. You will have the opportunity to choose structural configurations, including fireplaces, lofts and bedroom options, windows, doors and types of bathtubs and showers. This phase generally concludes with a Fixed Contract agreement between you and Milton American, Inc.
Step 5 – The Fixed Contract:
Once the design is completed and ready for permit submittal, we provide a lump-sum Fixed Contract. The Fixed Contract states our intention to do business together and outlines the basic scope of work to be completed, a detailed set of specifications, allowances and cost for your home. From there we are ready to begin construction.
If you already have architectural and engineered plans including specifications, we provide the lump sum proposal, sign the Fixed Contract and begin construction.
Step 6 – The Pre-construction meeting:
Your dream is about to become reality, during this meeting with your job site supervisor and the builder, you will have the opportunity to see the permitted construction plans of your home and clarify how your options and upgrades will be executed. Milton American will review the construction process with you. We will also have a preliminary construction schedule available. This will be the final point at which you can make any major plan or design changes.
Step 7- The Construction Process:
The start of the Construction Process signals a major milestone in the Milton American Process. This is when the decision making starts to payoff. We will break ground on the new home. From the Initial “Pre-Construction Meeting” where you are given a complete overview of the building process, to the “Weekly Meetings” on-site with your job site supervisor to discuss any questions, concerns or decisions necessary, you will appreciate the Milton American attention to detail and open lines of communication.
It takes approximately 90 – 120 days from the start to the finish of building the home depending on size and difficulty of design. Due to the time requirements for construction, you will have many opportunities to view your home as it is being built. An outline of the building process is listed below:
· Site Preparation
· Exterior Envelope (Roofing, Windows, Doors, Siding & Masonry)
· Rough In (Plumbing, Electrical, Security & HVAC)
· Gypsum Wallboard
· Final Grade and Exterior Amenities
· Interior Trim
· Hard surfaces (Tile, Vinyl, & Countertops)
· Fixture Trim Out (Plumbing, Electrical, Lights, Security & HVAC)
· Punch List
“Nothing is happening”
In order to keep your stress to a minimum, expect several days during the construction of your home when it appears that nothing is happening. This can occur for several reasons (i.e. material shortages, subcontractor delays and extreme weather conditions). Stages of work are scheduled days or weeks in advance of the actual work. Occasionally, one subcontractor will complete its work ahead of schedule. Sometimes their task takes longer than anticipated. When either occurs, schedules have to be adjusted. Progress also pauses while the home awaits numerous inspections. This is part of the normal sequence of events and may occur at several points in every home. Finally, keep in mind that Milton American would rather wait a few days for the best craftsman or products than hurry the process.
Step 8 – The Certificate of Occupancy:
The home is nearly complete at this point of the process. Your job site supervisor has ordered the final inspection of the home. Once the final inspection is approved, the local building jurisdiction generally issues a certificate of occupancy. Typically, the escrow or closing company will be required by the buyer’s bank to supply a copy of the final inspection or certificate of occupancy prior to closing the transaction. You will also meet your job site supervisor at the home for a final walk through at this point. This is the time to voice any concerns you may have about the construction or finished quality of the home. They will write down a detailed punch list of any items that need attention. We will make every effort to complete these items before your scheduled move in date. However, due to circumstances out of our control (i.e. material and subcontractor delays, conflicting schedules, the homeowner move in date is moved up), the punch list may not be completed until after you have moved in.
Step 9 – The New Home Orientation:
We want you to be comfortable in your new house, so we are there to walk you through your home at its completion. After the final punch list is completed, our job site supervisor will give you a complete orientation of the home and how the systems work. They will review walk trough items. They will also give you the one-year limited warranty and homeowner’s manual. This manual gives detailed instructions on the warranty, care and maintenance of your home including the structural, HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems. At the conclusion of the new home orientation you will be given the keys to your new home.
Step 10 – Follow Up
Our lines of communication reach beyond the day you move into a Milton American home. In addition to our one-year limited warranty, we offer, in writing, our “30-day” service. At Milton American we will respect and appreciate your interest and attachment to your new home. Your input will always be welcome. It is your new home, and you are the customer. Accordingly, there are no dumb questions. Contact us if you have any questions at all!