Categories: Building a Custom Home, WhiteStone | Posted: May 5, 2018
How do we help customers turn their dream home into a reality? At WhiteStone Custom Homes, we start with something we call Value Engineering.
Value Engineering is our way of living up to our tag line of “Practical Luxury®.” We want to provide you with the best house possible within your budget. Whatever the budget, we don’t want to waste your money. We’d rather put your money to good use in ways that add value to the home, but don’t add excessive costs. So we examine the plan for your home with a critical eye, playing devil’s advocate with every inch of the blueprint and floor plan to ensure that there are no hidden costs, surprises, wasted money or efforts.
Something as simple as the flooring in your living room can take on great meaning when you match the kind of tiles or hardwood flooring you are using with the actual size or dimensions of the room. Will you end up cutting a fourth of your tiles, or lopping off two feet of every eighth floorboard, because of the dimensions?
Building a home from scratch allows us to closely examine every foot of every room, match it to the variables in your fixtures, wall coverings, etc., and “Value Engineer” the home for maximum value and minimal cost from the front door to the attic insulation.
People come to us for very specific reasons, and oftentimes those reasons involve significant life changes that are occurring within the family unit. The reason our homes are not only custom built but custom designed is because there is no cookie cutter formula or template that works for every home buyer.
Maybe your children are leaving the home and you’re looking for a smaller, sleeker, and more streamlined and open floor plan to fit your new lifestyle. Maybe you have two children in college who still come home from time to time and need room, but not as much room; or just one room. Maybe you’re adding children and need more room.
Maybe you’ve just gotten divorced or remarried. Maybe you’re newly single and are looking for that ultimate “Sex & the City” bachelorette pad or man cave, or maybe you’ve just married into a blended family a la “The Brady Bunch!”
Whatever the personal issues in the home, you’re ready for a change and we want to take charge of the process for you; Value Engineering helps us do just that.
When clients come to see us, they often know “exactly” what they want but not quite how to get it. They may know they want a pool, but not what shape, how big or how deep. They may know they want a built-in island in the kitchen but do they want the sink there, or a mini-fridge underneath, or a marble baking top, etc.
To avoid confusion, we have a variety of forms that we ask clients to fill out that guides them through the process, digging for details and slowly drawing them down a “design funnel” until they have narrowed their choices down enough to make definitive, deliberate decisions.
One such form is our Concierge Form. As the name implies, this form acts as a do-it-yourself guide to your new dream home. (You can find the actual form below, PLUS on our website at http://WhiteStonehomes.com/.) It lists such categories as:
- General must have items (i.e. view of hills, warm feeling, Tuscan elevation, lots of closet space)
- Kitchen must have items (i.e. stainless steel appliances, gourmet serving island, two dishwashers)
- Garage must have items (i.e. three car, built in cabinets, epoxy floor covering, freezer plug, air-conditioned, surround sound)
Through every room in the house, plus the front, side and back exterior, every bathroom, closet and cabinets, we walk you through it, step-by-step. We get you familiar with industry specific terms, like “judges paneling,” “Tuscany elevation” and “full arbor.”
For every room or category there are five lines to help list the major needs from the minor, drilling down deeper and deeper on every choice, until it’s clear to you what exactly you want, what you can live without, and what compromises may need to be made to reach a livable budget.
It may sound clinical, but as you go through the process, complete with visuals and even 3-D modeling, if needed, you can feel the excitement build for each new client. This is where dreams become a reality, where the sometimes hard choices are made, but where the picture becomes real and solid in their heads.
By the time we’re through filing this in, everyone knows what to expect; you, me, the builder, the designer, the sub-contractors, we’re all on the same page together.
Figure 1.1: The WhiteStone Custom Homes Concierge Form