Contact Us: 214-682-6279 mike@mikecusackhomes.com

FAQ's

What is the step by step process for building a custom home or remodeling

Pre approval and plan design

First things first, you should visit a financial institution and get pre approval for the house you wish to build. In the past I have worked with clients who visited the architect and started to design their new home and afterwards could not obtain financing. Once financing has been approved then design the house with a budget in mind

Budget and Contract

The builder and the customer will have a meeting to discuss various finish out and design aspects of the house. You may wish to consult a decorator for this process. Once all the details of the selection process have been completed the construction budget will be prepared and discussed. After the budget has been agreed to by the builder and the customer a contract will be prepared and signed. The contract and budget will be taken to the bank for the financing.

Engineering and Permitting

A soil test will be done in order to examine the soil condition of the lot. The soils test will be given to the structural engineer along with a copy of the blueprints so that the foundation plan can be designed. Once the engineering has been done these documents along with the blueprints will be taken to the city for permitting.

Foundation

Your lot will be graded and placement of the house decided upon. Form boards will be set and piers will be drilled and poured. Next the plumber will put all the underground pipes in place. The foundation will have rebar or cables put in place and the pre pour inspection will be done by the city and once the green tag has been given the slab will be poured.

Framing

The frame will be erected and the rough for the plumbing, HVAC and electrical will be installed. As the builder I like to walk the house with the customer and the electrician to go over the placement of all plug, switches and fixtures. Inspection will be done by the city and the foam insulation will be installed

Cabinet selection and drywall

The builder, customer and the cabinet man will walk the house and layout the cabinets. At this point the customer will discuss all aspects of the cabinet design such as paint or stain grade and species of wood. Hang and finish the drywall.

Doors trim and paint

The builder and the customer will meet and discuss all door and mill work selections. The next step may be one of the most crucial selections of the finish out, the builder; customer and the paint contractor will choose paint and stain colors. Once the colors have been chosen samples will placed on the walls and trim for approval. Then a stain sample will be applied on a piece of the wood used in the cabinet construction. This is an important detail because it is very difficult to get an accurate color sample otherwise. After the trim doors and paint samples have been approved then trim is installed then painted.

Masonry

Tyvek house wrap will be installed. Brick, stone and mortar color will be chosen. For house with a stucco finish we will use the same process for choosing paint colors. The stucco contractor will have a color sample for each color selected and the customer will approve the colors to be used for the exterior finish.

Flooring

Carpet, tile and hardwood will be selected and installed. Granite color will also be chosen at this stage.

Walk-thru

The walk-thru will be done and all issues will be addressed. All touch up paint will be done. It is customary for a second walk thruogh between the builder and the customer in order that you are completely satisfied that all issues have been addressed.

Move in

The move in is when we walk the house and answer any operational question you may have about the various systems in your new home. The customer receives all keys and may take possession of their home.

Plan Development

After the initial meeting we should have all the information we need to start a work on the floor plan. Once we complete the initial floor plan we will have another meeting to make changes to our conceptual plan. We don’t always hit a homerun on the first try and in those situations we roll up our sleeves and we keep the design process going until the customer is happy with the floor plan design. When we get the floor plan approved the customer may feel the need to involve an interior designer. Sometimes when an interior designer gets involved in the process changes may need to be made to the floor plan. Most changes that are initiated by the designer are small however there are times when these changes will have a major affect on the structural aspect of the design. So when changes are made to the floor plan they need to be addressed because they will affect the exterior elevations. Once all the changes have been made to the floor plan then the next step is the exterior elevations. Just as we do with the interior floor plan we will work with our clients until we hit a homerun. We believe that the exterior of a house is just a beginning. The houses that Mike Cusack Homes design and build have great curb appeal, but the real appeal is the inside design and finish, we strive to design a house that will encompass the taste, personality and lifestyle of our clients.

Give Mike Cusack Homes a call to discuss the design process and answer any question you may have about the construction process.

Accurate Budget Development

We will use all the information that was gathered during the development of the house plans to start the construction budget. The construction budget will put a price tag on all the various components of the construction process. The items listed in the construction budget will take into account engineering cost, permitting fees, labor, materials and in particular all items pertaining to the allowance schedule. The allowances schedule is an accounting for the allotted funds that will be used by the customer to buy things like but not limited to appliances, lighting fixtures, carpet, and tile and of all the items in the budget this is where overages come from. At Mike Cusack Homes we realize the tendency to change allowance selection so we spend a little more time discussing these choices in hopes of avoiding overages. In consideration of this fact we suggest an allotment of additional funds to help with last minute changes.

Our construction budget covers everything that goes into the construction of your new home from A-Z. Our years of experience and expertise help us to craft a budget that will assure the customer that the house they designed is a house they can afford.

Mike Cusack Homes takes a lot of time working with our vendors and subcontractors to make sure we offer our customer the best value of price and quality. Our customer should know that our budgets are usually accurate to within 2- 5% unless the customers exceed their allotments on the allowance schedule or there are changes made during the construction process. A change order is used when the customer makes a change to the construction drawings or has an overage on the allowance schedule. Our budgets are very accurate because we spend a lot of time discussing the various options that may be used in the construction of their new home. The time we spend in meetings discussing the specifications of the house will allow us to make an accurate construction budget that will assure the homeowner that they will get the house that we designed and committed to build for them.

At Mike Cusack Homes we are committed to deliver our customer the house as we designed it and to come in on budget. So feel free to make an appointment to discuss your dream home.

All of our customers can take comfort in the fact that if an issue does arise in their new home they will receive prompt service from our skilled craftsman. You call and we come, it really is that simple. Everyone at Mike Cusack Homes appreciates the trust and faith that all of our customers bestow in us and we do not take that trust lightly. We will be there in times of trouble. We have plenty of past customers that will qualify that statement. Most of our past customers still call us from time to time to ask questions and get advice about the house and we are happy to maintain that relationship. We look forward to hearing from you for any project that may have planned for the future.

Mike Cusack Homes prides itself on the customer service it gives all of their customers so if you want a builder to take the time to explain the building process give us a call We offer unmatched TLC.

Detailed Specifications

As a part of our design process, Mike Cusack Homes prepares a very detailed list of specifications. Specifications will cover all of the items considered to be allowances and all other materials used during the construction of the house. This process will allow us to accurately price the construction cost of your new home. The specification sheet will detail everything from the PSI. of the concrete, the gauge of electrical wiring used, what type of framing material will be used for wall studs, sheathing and on down the list until we spell out all the details of the construction materials used the on the house we build for you.

The specs sheet we will go over with you will be more detailed than most builders offer because we feel that an informed customer is a happy customer and happy customers are good customers. As the homeowner becomes familiar with the construction process and the various materials used throughout the house there will be fewer misunderstandings. Open and honest communications between the builders and the customers makes a very pleasant building experience.

The specifications go room by room and cover thing like paint colors, lighting, door knobs, hinge colors until every detail throughout the house has been discussed and put in writing. The written specifications will be discussed and any questions will be answered and if necessary changes will be made to the specifications so that both parties are satisfied with all the details of the construction process, then both parties will sign the specification sheet. Once the specifications have been agreed to then the construction budget will be finished. The specifications along with the construction drawings and the construction contract make up the construction documents.

Mike Cusack Homes invites you to give us a call to discuss your design and build project or custom remodel.

Inspections and final walk through

We consider the inspection process to be an important part of the construction process because as the builder this is where we exercise quality control. Throughout the construction process Mike Cusack Homes will provide inspections through the governing municipalities and or third party inspectors. The home owners will be assured of the quality of the construction in their new home. During various stages of construction Mike Cusack will have scheduled walk through with the homeowners to discuss a variety of items such as placement of all electrical plugs and switches, cabinet layout, and inspection of the interior wall partitions for any last minute change before the sheetrock is installed. Mike Cusack wants to make sure that the customers are satisfied with every aspect of the construction. As things come up during the walk through process a punch list will be compiled and all items will be addressed and corrected to meet the customer’s approval. Our goal at Mike Cusack Homes is to include our customers in the construction process in order to assure them that they receiving a well built house.

Upon completion of the home a final walk through will be done with the builder and the homeowner and any defects or issues will be addressed and corrected. We will answer any questions about the operation of the various systems in the house. Once we have completed the final walk through the Homeowner will be given a file that contains a list of all selections that were made, this list will show the manufactures’ for the tile, paint and carpet, appliances brand and model numbers. The list will also provide phone numbers for the stores in which these products were purchased and phone numbers for the HVAC, Plumbing and Electrical contractors.

Mike Cusack Homes would like to invite you to come in and discuss your next project with us and allow us to explain our building process to you and answer any question you may have.

What if I need to make a change order during construction?

The part of the building process that no one wants to talk about is the need for a change order. The reason no one likes to talk about them is the unpleasantness that arrives from the additional cost required when a change order is used. Changes Orders are required when any changes are made to the construction drawings or specifications that result in additional expenses or overages on the allowance schedule. Whenever a change to the plans or the specification is requested by the customer then the changes will be priced and a written change order will be made. Once the customer agrees to the additional cost of the change order the work will be started. In some cases the construction will necessarily stop until the change order is priced and signed. In accordance with the construction documents all change orders must be paid for before any related purchases or work will be done.

Our goal at Mike Cusack Homes is to avoid unnecessary change orders by thoroughly and completely discussing the building process and all the various option available for the construction of your home. As the builder we want to make sure that the customers receive all the needed information from the vendors during the selection of the allowance items. This will eliminate most misunderstandings and help avoid any overages in the allowance schedule.

We invite you to call Mike Cusack Homes to discuss the various architecture style and options available for the construction of your new dream home.

Does Custom Home Come With a Warranty?

The builder and customers relationship does not end when the keys are passed from the builder to the homeowners; in fact it is just the beginning of part two of the relationship. The vendors, the subcontractors and the builder will be available to help with any and all issues that may arise after the move in. The homeowners may rest assured that when they need us for any reason we will only be a phone call away. Usually after a new owner moves in there will be a need to talk to the builder for Q and A time, all they need do is call the builder on the cell phone, that’s right just call the builder on his cell phone. You may schedule a time for the builder to come over shortly after move in to address any problems that have been found and we will send over the necessary people to address the problems. The most common issue that arises is nail pops and hairline cracks in the sheetrock and in the woodwork. Those issues will be repaired at the end of 11th month after move in. The small issues in the sheetrock and woodwork are common issues do to the initial settling of the wood framing and the operation of the HVAC system. The HVAC system will draw moisture from the house and the wood building materials used for the construction of the house will contract causing slight cracking in the trim work and drywall. We wait until the end of the first year because generally after the first year those issues disappear..

All of our customers can take comfort in the fact that if an issue does arise in their new home they will receive prompt service from our skilled craftsman. You call and we come, it really is that simple. Everyone at Mike Cusack Homes appreciates the trust and faith that all of our customers bestow in us and we do not take that trust lightly. We will be there in times of trouble. We have plenty of past customers that will qualify that statement. Most of our past customers still call us from time to time to ask questions and get advice about the house and we are happy to maintain that relationship. We look forward to hearing from you for any project that may have planned for the future.

Mike Cusack Homes prides itself on the customer service it gives all of their customers so if you want a builder to take the time to explain the building process give us a call We offer unmatched TLC.