Frequently Asked Questions

Action Builders FAQs

Can I finish some of the inside work myself?

We are certainly glad to help the customer save money by letting them finish some of the interior work.  However, the problem comes when the customer cannot do the work when the builder has the work scheduled or cannot complete the work during the same amount of time a subcontractor’s crew can get the job done.  In my experience, customers doing interior work has lead to delays in schedule which ultimately costs the customer more money in the long-run on interest payments.

Can I use a discount company to purchase items for my home?

Discount companies can certainly be used to purchase items for your home.  We do caution our customers to make sure they allow enough lead time for the item(s) to come in by the time the work is scheduled to be completed.   Even by planning ahead, if your item(s) is on backorder status, it still could cause schedule delays.   One potential problem is if, for example, enough tile is not initially ordered to complete the flooring in your home, it could take 2-3 weeks for the additional tile to come in.  By then the flooring subcontractor is on another job and your job has to be fit in on his schedule.   Another thing to consider with the discount company is that they usually ship/deliver to the trucking company.  The customer is responsible for paying for the items to be loaded and delivered to the construction site. Also, should the items be delivered earlier than is needed on the job, the customer is responsible for storing the items at a location different from the construction site (so they won’t be in the way of work being done) and then having the items delivered when they are needed. Keep in mind that any delays will cost the customer additional money with interest payments.

Can you give me a price based on a print-out from the internet of a house plan?

Internet house plans are extremely difficult to price accurately because they do not show the elevations, ceiling heights, special ceilings (treys, barrel, coffered, vaulted) and trim, window and door dimensions, and most importantly, they do not show any room dimensions.  Many times they do not show special features the architect has designed for the outside of the home such as stone, shutters, special shaped windows, arches, etc.    I can provide a potential customer with a ballpark figure for the home based on an internet drawing with the understanding the price will probably go up once the home plan is ordered and re-priced based on actual plans.

Can you give me a square foot price to build a home?

Action Builders Inc. is a custom home builder.  Therefore, we price your home based on what you want to put in it.  If you choose to put granite throughout the home and lots of hardwood flooring, it will cost more than someone building the same house and not using all granite and using carpet.

What is the difference between a custom builder and a tract builder?

As a custom home builder, I sit down with my potential customer with their house plan and find out what they specifically want in their home based upon their budget for the home.  Most minor changes to the plans can be made with no problem.

A tract builder typically has a collection of house plans and designs for the customer to choose from.  They also have standard and upgrade packages.   Because they generally build the same house over and over again, their plans are pre-priced with standard options.  The customer can then add upgrades as they desire and can afford.  Many times a customer will find a tract builder to not be as flexible in making requested changes.  In most cases if the tract builder has actually developed the subdivision they are building in, they don’t have as much money tied up in the lot price (as would the custom builder) and can, therefore, typically build one of their plans at a lower cost.  A tract builder tends to not be as flexible as a custom builder.

When is the best time to start a home?

The best time to start a home is in the Spring to late Summer.  Once daylight savings time comes, in general, most subcontractors do not work as long of hours.  The “rainy season” can also become a factor.  As long as the house is dried in before this time,  the delays are minimal with the exception of finished concrete and landscaping.  Finished concrete costs more in the winter months as calcium and other quick drying ingredients have to be added in the concrete.  Typically if a home is started in late October or during the winter months, the builder will experience delays due to weather and it will take longer for the home to be built…which results in the customer having to pay interest for a longer period of time.

When looking for a home plan, what features add more cost to a house that I may wish to avoid if I am on a limited budget?

Outside columns will add to the hard costs of construction as they cannot be figured in the heated and cooled square foot price.  Although paladian windows do add to the exterior looks of the home, it also adds to the cost.  Large “southern-home” style front, back, and side porches will add to your cost in framing labor and material, handrails labor and material, and painting labor and material.  You also have to factor in the ceilings for the porches which will add framing labor and material.

Which should I purchase first the house plans or the lot?

If at all possible try to pick the lot and the plan at the same time.  In addition to looking at the width of the house you must also factor in between 24’ and 28’ for the drive and turnaround.   Also the subdivision set backs and easements must be taken into consideration.  If you have already purchased the lot and need to know what size house will fit on the lot, call me and I will be glad to set up a meeting with you to discuss your options.

Why do you add additional square feet to the house for the brick?

Typically, the square foot amount shown on the house plan does not include the brick.
Because there is a cost associated with brick on your home, it adds between 3-6% to the square feet of the house to include the material (brick, sand, mortar) and labor.

Why do you have to pay for an unfinished basement?

Even though a basement is unfinished, there are still construction costs associated with an unfinished basement such as the concrete slab, windows, doors, exterior wall insulation, rough plumbing (if applicable), exterior brick, keyless lights in ceiling, interior 2×6 load bearing walls, etc.  Most of the above items must be done in an unfinished basement per Code.

Why do you have to pay for unfinished storage space/rooms?

Unfinished above-ground rooms are approximately 65-70% completed if not more.   The exterior wall framing, roof, subfloor, windows, and insulation must be done to meet Code.  All that is left is the electrical, drywall, paint, trim, and flooring.

Why is it difficult to get an accurate cost for excavating when quoting my home?

If the lot is cleared or just a flat lot with no trees, quoting the excavating costs is simple.  It can become difficult to quote the excavating for a basement home when the lot is fully treed where you can’t determine the slope of the lot up front.  By not knowing how much the lot slopes, it is hard to know how much excavating will need to be done.

Will it make a difference in price if I go from 8′ ceiling in my new home to 9′ or 10′ ceilings?

Keep in mind when you change the height of a ceiling from 8’ to 9’ or 10’ that you will first of all add more framing costs in labor and material for the extra 1 or 2 feet you are adding.  This will also add more area outside the home to be bricked which will affect labor and material.  When you get to the finishing phase of the home, you are adding more drywall and paint labor and material.  Also a larger hvac unit may be required for the particular floor(s) you are adding the ceiling height.

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