Custom Homes FAQs

Custom Homes FAQs

What You Should Know

  • What are the typical timelines for building?

    Our homes typically take between 7 and 14 months to build, depending on the size, design and complexity of the home and building site.

  • What are the top 5 cost considerations for building a custom home?

    Square footage, bedrooms and bathrooms, site conditions, location and architectural details.

  • Should I hire an architect first or a builder first?

    The builder, architect and owner relationship should be built by considering all these at one time. A builder can help an architect with site elements, material selections and providing budget guidance. While we have many home designs to choose from that can be modified, selecting an architect early in the design or home plan phase will allow you and the builder to collaborate immediately and move your project forward. we have architect recommendations, and did you know? we have three accredited architects on our team, just ask us!

  • What is your availability for new custom home starts?

    The decision to commit to a project requires careful thought by a builder and landowner. the right fit of people and schedule is important. before committing to a project we carefully vet our subs, vendors, and resources, so we can provide guidance on a realistic start time and completion date.

  • What are the financing options for building a custom home and what is a typical down payment?

    Financing options vary from project to project. We recommend partnering with a lender with a proven custom home process. Generally, a 20% down payment is required. Did you know that sometimes the equity in your land can be applied to your down payment? As us for our custom home referral list.

  • What areas do you serve?

    Kittitas Count and east King County near I90. Ask us if we are building near you!

  • What are the best interview questions to ask a Builder?
    1. Who will be my point of contact throughout the build?
    2. Who on your team is working on my project?
    3. How am I kept updated on the project?
    4. How much time will you need from me?
    5. What is your team's experience in projects like ours?
    6. What is your building philosophy?
    7. What are the biggest considerations in meeting customer expectations?
  • What types of "in-house" services do you provide? Does Trailside self-perform any trades?

    In short, Trailside does not 'self-perform'. We feel it is a conflict of interest to expect you to utilize an in house carpentry, or framing, or foundation team. Instead, we find the best combination of quality, schedule, and price for all subcontractors and vendors. In this way, you can see us as your 'owners rep' or overseeing your project, on your behalf, rather than as a means to keep our crews busy. With this mindset, our team can find, manage, and if necessary replace subs and vendors if a problem arises.

  • Custom Homes FAQs

    Initial Questions

  • What are the steps to take?

    Interview your builder. Get tips from a builder on how to interview architects or designers. Find and research a construction lender who is a good fit for your project. We can provide lender, designer, and architect referrals, just ask us.

  • What do I pay for and when?

    There are costs in planning your home and preparing for construction. We refer to these as the Pre-Construction expenses, and they may include architecture, engineering, landscape planning, and permits. Or, select one of our home plans to avoid the expense of architecture. or select one of our homesites that may have permits, plans, and be 'ready to build'.

  • Will you build on a lot I own?

    Yes, much of our work includes building on customer owned homesites. Often we assist with feasibility, design and early stage construction including utilities, before building a finished home.

  • Can you also help me find a lot for my custom home?

    We love the land selection process! yes, we can absolutely help. we can provide early guidance, or let you know about lots we own or control, and which may allow you to start your home much earlier. contact us to find out more, about lots and homesites we may be able to help you with.

  • Custom Homes FAQs

    General Info

  • What are the full services you provide?

    We provide early, pre-construction planning services, home construction services, and of course provide warranty service after your home is finished.

  • Can you design anything I want or do I have to chose from pre-selected plans?

    We can help move your 'back of the napkin ideas' to a fully designed home.

  • Can I use an interior designer of my choice?

    Yes, absolutely, you can use any architect of your choice. In addition, we are excited to share our deep list of referral resources, including providing introductions to our on staff design professionals. If you're looking for inspiration or to save time and money, consider using our thoughtfully envisioned home designs, luxury interior packages and options all of which are customizable.

  • Do you provide yard and landscape design services?

    Our job is to provide you with the comfort of selection and vetting of all professionals.

  • Do you offer custom construction financing?

    We take pride in finding the very best resources in construction lending. Call us for more information.

  • How do you build in the snow?

    One step at a time! And sometimes, with a little extra care around the snow and ice.

  • Can you start homes in any month of the year?

    Yes! Every month is a new challenge, whether that's due to dry and hot, or snow and ice. But we can begin at any time of year to meet your schedule.

  • Do you do land feasibility studies?

    We often meet our future customers during their land selection process. Call us to learn more.

  • Do you obtain our permit or do we have to?

    Absolutely, we will obtain a permit on your behalf.

  • Do you design/build or have plans I can choose from?

    Yes, we 'design' and we 'build' . We pride ourselves on our ability to provide feedback on your plan development so we can ensure your budget and schedule and specifications are being attended to. However, we also build fully designed, completely specified homes and enjoy the opportunity to 'get going'. Even if you already have your permit, we are interested!

  • If I need an architect, can you help?

    Yes! Ask us, we know lots of them.

  • Do you have designs I can select from?

    Yes! With years of experience in designing homes, we are proud to offer a wide range. Please view our Custom Home Library.

  • What are the benefits of choosing a plan, or designing from scratch?

    Let's talk! designing your home can be a rewarding, very personal, and creative experience.

  • How do you manage costs in a custom build?

    Carefully, every day! Our industry has gotten uniquely challenging. We are fortunate to have many projects underway simultaneously. This provides us with opportunity to price things in 'real' time, and to be able to contract for subs and vendors at the ideal time to ensure those costs will be held through the build. We use historical costs, and associated forecasts to estimate the constructed cost of your future home. We then provide options to adjust the budget accordingly, and we continue to provide budgets and updates regularly throughout your home build.

  • How long does it take before you can start the home?

    Depends. If the lot is ready, and you select a home plan that is already designed it can cut down start times. Please view our Custom Home Options to learn more.

  • Do you have value engineering processes to help me save money?

    Yes!

  • Who will be working on my project?

    PM, CM, purchasing, design, administration, permit techs, accounting,

  • What team members will be working on my project?

    You will meet them as part of the project kickoff.

  • Do you build the home with your employees or do you manage subcontractors and vendors? Why?

    See above.

  • Can I make changes to your plans?

    Yes! inquire how. We'll provide suggestions and estimate impacts on costs and schedule.

  • Do you have finish packages and can I make changes? Or do I hire a designer?

    Yes! We are proud to offer our many curated packages of interior and exterior finishes,

  • Custom Homes FAQs

    Initial Questions

  • Can you also help me find a lot for my custom home?

    We love the land selection process! yes, we can absolutely help. we can provide early guidance, or let you know about lots we own or control, and which may allow you to start your home much earlier. contact us to find out more, about lots and homesites we may be able to help you with.

  • What are the steps to take?

    Interview your builder. Get tips from a builder on how to interview architects or designers. Find and research a construction lender who is a good fit for your project. We can provide lender, designer, and architect referrals, just ask us.

  • What do I pay for and when?

    There are costs in planning your home and preparing for construction. We refer to these as the Pre-Construction expenses, and they may include architecture, engineering, landscape planning, and permits. Or, select one of our home plans to avoid the expense of architecture. or select one of our homesites that may have permits, plans, and be 'ready to build'.

  • Will you build on a lot I own?

    Yes, much of our work includes building on customer owned homesites. Often we assist with feasibility, design and early stage construction including utilities, before building a finished home.

  • More questions?

    Connect with one of our representatives today!

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    The download link for the Architecture Tour Guide is below.

    SEAN NORTHROP

    Founder & CEO

    Sean has worked in real estate development and place-making since 1993. He is passionate about the outdoor lifestyle and sharing it with others. Sean is a visionary leader – having assembled a team of like-minded individuals with skills and talents that span the spectrum of home and land development, architecture, interior and landscape design – and more. He is a creative, flexible and collaborative partner who is truly invested in delivering your dream of the perfect mountain retreat. Away from the office, you can catch up with Sean exploring with family and friends in the Cascade Mountains, the San Juan Islands, or discovering the many neighborhoods throughout Seattle.

    SARAH SKRYABNEV

    Marketing & Customer Relations Manager

    Having spent most of her life in Seattle, Sarah is proud to call the Pacific Northwest home. With an extensive background in Sales and Customer Service, she is extremely accommodating and is driven by results and client satisfaction. Sarah enjoys meeting new people and celebrating milestones which makes helping those seeking to build a custom home or buying a newly completed, move-in-ready home, a perfect fit. Prior to joining Trailside, Sarah most recently held the position of Sales and Marketing Manager for a luxury King County homebuilder, responsible for land acquisition, sales, and marketing. Professionally and personally, Sarah is known to build lifelong relationships with those around her. She spends every ounce of her free time with her husband, two lovely children and likes to unwind by exploring new recipes or planning events with her friends and family. Whether traveling or working in her local community, you are sure to find Sarah with a welcoming, cheerful spirit and smile on her face.

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