Whether this is your first time building or renovating a home, or you have previous experience, the best advice we can offer to anyone considering this adventure it to have fun and enjoy every step of the journey. With a hard-working, talented team on your side the building experience should be a rewarding one, resulting in the home of your dreams that will be filled with wonderful memories as the years go by.
At Dewson Construction we are proud of our ability to lead your talented team through the building process, making your dream a reality. We are committed to working with you through open communication with all team members, management of all project details, careful attention to the budget and schedule and control over subcontractors, suppliers and vendors.
Dewson Construction will be at your side throughout the entire process, resolving any project questions or challenges quickly and to your satisfaction. You are our top priority! We are committed to completing your project with a focus on building your dream on time and in budget.
Building a New Custom Home – Choosing “The Perfect Lot”
One of the first steps in building a new home is to evaluate the lot on which you intend to build. There are many things to consider when doing site analysis.
The support of a trusted architect and contractor are vital to the over all process.
Items to consider include :
- solar conditions
- wind conditions
- site topography
- potential restrictive covenants
You will need to determine the best point of access, a sound area for construction, areas for wells (if needed), sewage disposal systems and outdoor activities (i.e. swimming pools, ponds, tennis courts, gardens, etc.) Initially, we recommended that you look beyond the goal of identifying the actual placement of the residence to see how these decisions will impact the long-term use of the land.
Once land usage items are evaluated, Dewson Construction will work with you on the ultimate placement of your home. We often build a “two-story” scaffolding structure on-site to allow the entire team to view the surrounding areas from the upper levels to assist with the layout of second-story rooms. Your team needs to be aware of deed restrictions, as well as local building codes and zoning to avoid any issues during construction.
If you need support in finding “The Perfect Lot”, Dewson Construction may have one or more lots available for your consideration. Our in-house land development team is constantly working with several realtors in the Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey areas and would be happy to assist you in your search.
Selecting A Contractor
Building or renovation home is a large financial and emotional investment. Be sure to select a company that can masterfully manage the building process. By selecting the best contractor for your project, you will have a rewarding and successful experience as your project comes to life.
To ensure you are selecting the right contractor for you, we suggest you evaluate a contractor based on character, reputation, experience and knowledge in the construction business. Ask yourself the following questions as you go through the selection process:
- Will communications with the contractor be easy and will the contractor take the time to understand exactly what your vision is?
- Is the contractor passionate about what they do and do they have a sincere desire to satisfy the client?
- Is the contractor upfront and honest with you? Will they realistically set your expectations for the process including budget and timelines?
- Does the contractor have testimonials from past clients? How many have referred or re-hired the contractor?
- Does the contractor have strong and established vendor relationships, enabling you to get the best pricing, service and materials?
- Will the contractor provide you a list of referrals to contact directly?
Quality should always be expected when building a new home. Here are some additional items to consider when selecting a contractor:
- Is the company financially stable and do they plan for the future?
- Does the general contractor and field management team have “hands on” experience in construction enabling them to be more aware of all the details, big and small, and the quality standards required throughout the entire construction process?
- Does the contractor have the ability to complete your project on time and within budget?
- How often will the budget and the schedule be updated and discussed with the client?
- Is the contractor creative and capable of helping you realize your vision throughout the entire process?
- Will the contractor keep you, the client, involved throughout each step of the process to ensure your satisfaction with the final product – your new home?
Designing Your Home With An Architect
The architect is an integral part building a custom home construction team. An architect can also be a valuable asset in major home renovations or additions. Dewson Construction has developed strong working relationships with many area architects, each with unique style and strengths. We can help guide you to an architect or you can select one on your own. Whether we help you select an architect or not, here are some things to consider:
- Evaluate the style of home that appeals to you and find an architect whose style meets your personal requirements. Ask for sample floor plans and photography from prior projects.
- Building or renovating your home requires “team players” and the architect must be willing to be an active participant on “your team”.
- Communication is critical. The architect must be able to listen to and articulate their thoughts with all members of your team.
- Scheduling is very important. Be sure to talk to the architect about their workload and availability. Ask specifically if they have the time to devote to this project to meet your required timelines.
- Ask specifically about compensation. Architect fees can be based on a percentage of the total cost of construction, a cost per square foot of construction or a flat fee. Understand the cost implications to you.
Selecting an Interior Designer
Deciding on whether or not to use an interior designer is a very personal choice and is based on the needs of an individual client. Many clients are comfortable working directly with the architect and builder in designing the interiors of their home and making the necessary selections. Dewson is very capable of assisting their clients with selection finishes. Some clients, however, are more comfortable having an interior designer assist them with the process. Depending on the size of your project, an interior designer can end up being a very cost-effective resource. Most have direct relationships with lighting, furniture and fabric manufacturers. Dewson Construction has strong relationships with many area designers and would be happy to assist you with your decision.
If you choose to use an interior designer, you need to determine how involved you want the interior designer to be while in the pre-construction phase of the project. Here are some things to consider:
- Evaluate your personal “style” and find a designer that meets your needs. Ask to see photography from prior projects, or better yet, have the designer take you through a few projects.
- Ask the designer if they have direct relationships with their lighting, furniture, fabric etc. resources.
- Ask the designer if they have established subcontracting relationships that may apply to your job, ie, for drapery or wallpaper.
- Communication is critical, the interior designer will become another important member of your team and will be integral in making decisions with you.