How does the building process work?
It begins with a homesite and a home design. Some clients have everything ready before contacting us. Others need assistance with site selection, home design, or even both. Once those are complete, we are able to provide a bid and spec sheets for the project. Next we send your designs to permitting and engineering. Then construction begins! Selections are made throughout construction, and we guide our clients through what decisions must be made and when.
Why should I choose you over a high-volume builder?
Buyers should choose the format that best meets their needs. There is no right or wrong option, but there are definitely differences between high-volume and custom builders.
High-volume builders build a large number of homes annually, often in the hundreds or even thousands. They offer their own catalog of floorplans that are typically available to build on their own specific lots in master-planned communities. These floorplans are often built repeatedly within a community, a region or even nationwide. Optional, pre-determined plan changes may be available (for example: the option to change an office into a 4th bedroom), but custom changes are rarely allowed. Selections and finishes are generally chosen at the builder's preferred design center, and choices are usually limited to a set of pre-determined options. "Upgrade" options are typically available, but these are frequently offered at a higher markup than the standard selections. Many high-volume builders offer a great product, and their format can be a great option for buyers seeking a streamlined process.
Custom builders are different because most can build any home plan on any lot. Because custom builders tend to build a small number of homes each year, customer service is often more personalized. Changes are not limited and can be made at any time. Specialty features such as wine rooms, swimming pools and outdoor kitchens are not uncommon in custom homes. Finishes and selection options have no limit and may be chosen from anywhere, thus ensuring that each home is truly unique. In addition, there is no extra markup for premium selections. Custom homes are a great option for buyers wanting a more personalized experience, those wishing to build in a specific location and for buyers seeking a large variety of unique features and premium selection choices.
What sets you apart from other custom builders?
First and foremost, Vogel Builders is committed to quality and integrity. That includes our business relationships, our designs and the structural soundness of every project. We strive to make each home unique. We use high-quality materials, and we offer unique features in nearly every home we build. We consider every aspect of each design to ensure we are building the perfect plan for each particular lot. In addition, we research design trends, visit trade shows and stay up-to-date on product innovations to enhance our homes. We have been recognized by the leading home-building organizations in Austin, the state of Texas and Nationally for our outstanding work. Our goal is to "get it right" every time.
What is your rate per square foot?
This is our most difficult question to answer. Because we build all over the Austin area and every home is customized for each individual client, our price per sf varies greatly, and it depends entirely on the client. As a rule of thumb, it is generally easiest to estimate price/sf by researching prices of homes for sale in the neighborhood (or similar nearby neighborhoods) where you plan to build. Homes in the same neighborhood tend to have similar features, lot sizes and HOA requirements, which results in similar pricing per square foot. Finding homes for sale with similar features to your own wish list (i.e. metal roof, 4-car garage, solar panels, etc.) is a great way to get an idea of what to expect budget-wise. Keep in mind that brand new construction tends to be a bit higher per sf than existing, older homes. The more information a prospective client is able to provide regarding their own specific expectations, the more accurately we can estimate a price range.
Can you build on challenging lots?
Absolutely! In fact, we love challenging or unusual lots. Oddly shaped lots or lots with high amounts of topography offer great opportunities for the most unique homes, and we enjoy the challenge of creating a one-of-a-kind home to perfectly fit a unique site. It is important to keep in mind, however, that challenging lots can be more expensive in the long-run due to additional lot preparation and structural safety requirements.
What style do you build?
We build YOUR style. While most of our spec homes lean toward transitional in style, our custom clients are always in control of styling their own homes. We have built everything from a very traditional, nostalgic throwback to "Grandma's house" to an ultra-modern, high-tech home on the lake. There is no standard, and there is no right or wrong.
Do you own lots?
Yes. At any given time, we typically own a handful of lots. These lots are reserved for custom clients and spec homes. Our customers are not required to build on our lots, but are welcome to explore our inventory. We also may have access to lots in developments that may not be available to the general public.
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Can I choose anything I want for my home?
Yes- within codes and restrictions. We adhere to all current building codes, and we must also comply with your specific HOA and City guidelines/restrictions. However, these codes and restrictions are typically reasonable, and rarely cause issues. Assuming no issues arise, the answer to the question is Yes! This is YOUR home. The sky (and possibly your budget) is the limit. We will provide you with specs when we bid your project. These will serve as an expectation guide for the types and “levels” of products that fit within our agreed-upon contract price. As long as your selections fit within your custom budget guidelines, you have the freedom choose anything you like. That's what makes your home custom.
How much of my total budget should I spend on the lot?
Most of our clients ultimately spend between 15% and 25% of their total budget on their lot. Special circumstances do exist, but we do not advise spending more than 30% of one's total budget on a lot without first having a tentative design in mind and researching building costs in the area.
How does the selections process work?
We work with several local companies that specialize in flooring, lighting, plumbing, cabinetry, etc. Some of them also have locations throughout the United States, which aids the selection process for our remote clients. We also have relationships with several reliable online resources. We will guide you through the process to let you know what selections need to be made, and when. Some of our clients do their own searching and shopping, and want very little guidance. But most of our clients are happy with the wide variety of selections that our sources provide, and opt to use our trusted vendors.
Do you have floorplans?
We do not own our own floorplans. However, we work closely with several local architects and designers that do have stock floorplans. Most of our clients find that it is easiest to peruse these stock plans and begin with a design that includes features that meet their wish list. Then they make changes to customize the home to fit their own needs.
What is the typical length of the custom home process?
If necessary, the design phase itself typically takes 3-6 months. Once design is complete, the project enters into engineering, permitting and final estimates, which can potentially take an additional 2 to 3 months. The actual construction of a custom home usually takes between 8 and 12 months. *As a result of the pandemic and product delays, longer times should be temporarily expected.