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Commonly Asked Questions

Q: How long does it take to build a home?

A: Building a home is a great chance to build a relationship with a builder. Most of any project is typically spent in the planning process. If you have plans or a very solid idea of what you want, we can keep the planning and budgeting phase to as little as 1-2 months, depending on the size of your project. However, we have worked with clients on the design of their projects for as long as two years before we break ground. Once the plans budgets and financing are in place, the duration of the project mainly depends on the size (and at times, weather). While small homes and additions take approximately 3 – 6 months to complete, larger projects may require close to a year.

Q: Do I need a licensed contractor if I am building a home?

A: Yes. A licensed general contractor can help you plan your project and ensure that mistakes are not made at your expense. Although some places might say that you can save money by being your own contractor, this is not be so. Because we use materials and subcontractors on a regular basis, we receive discounts that you would not receive on your own. We use reputable sub-contractors and can hold them to their bids, something you may not be able to do on your own. Also, because we devote ourselves to your project on a full time basis, we ensure that the project keeps on schedule. The longer it takes to complete your home, the more it will cost you (think mortgage interest, your current housing costs, and utilities on a new home that you aren't living in--just to name a few!) By having an experienced, reputable contractor like us overseeing your project, you can rest assured that the final budget, schedule, and quality are what you expected.

Q: Why should I use a Design & Build contractor?

A: There are several advantages to working with a Design & Build contractor. Advantages include a controlled final cost, working with only with one entity, and freedom to begin construction before the entire design is complete. For more information about Countrywide Construction & Design, LLC Design & Build services, please contact us directly.

Q: What is an average square foot price?

A: Just as the average cost of a college education or a new car can vary greatly, so can the cost of your house. With a custom home there are so many choices in products and different characteristics of lots that a "rough guess" at a total price or square footage price would not be fair to the builder or the home owner. At Countrywide we look at all the costs associated with your home and site before we give you a budget for your project.

Q: What comes first--plans or the site?

A: Typically, you would have your home site before looking at any plans. The unique characteristics of a site such as slope, spacial restrictions, and views all affect the design of the home. Ideally, we design homes to accommodate and accentuate the features of your site. However we at Countrywide are flexible! If you have home design ideas but no land yet, we can work with you to help select a site that will give you the home features you want.

Q: In a bid, what are allowances and how do they work?

A: Allowances in a bid are used for items in your house that are selected or determined after construction has begun. Examples are lighting fixtures or a traditional well. Let's say you have a lighting fixture allowance of $1,000.00. When you select the fans, chandeliers, scones, etc. to be installed in your home, the exact cost of the fixtures you pick will be more or less than the $1,000.00 we budgeted. If you use $906.00, we will issue a credit to you of $94.00. If you use $1,202.00, we will create a change order for the additional $202.00 which will increase the total of your contract.

In an effort to be as accurate and complete in our bids, we use as few allowances as possible. But some costs just cannot be determined until construction has begun, and allowances give us a way to use our experience to offer you an estimate on the total costs.

Q: Can I build a custom home on a budget?

A: Yes. Any builder can create a beautiful home when a homeowner has an unlimited budget, but it takes an innovative builder to create a beautiful home on a fixed budget, a tight lot or when zoning and covenant restrictions are present. A custom home doesn’t have to mean a large, expensive home. We customize a home to fit within your budget and we listen to our clients so that we know what is important to you. If a home office is what you need customized or a kitchen designed for entertaining is what you are looking for, we work with your design to save you money in other areas of the home so that you can focus your budget on what is important. We also pride ourselves on making our homes energy efficient and solid so that you don’t have high energy or repair bills after the house becomes your home.

Q: How are Countrywide homes more energy efficient?

A: Essentially, we take the time to do things right unlike other builders who take short-cuts. We make sure that all exterior walls are completely sealed with vapor barrier. We wrap windows with Ice & Water Shield to prevent water and air infiltration. When designing a walk-out basement, we pour our concrete floors to ensure that there is no gap for air/insects to enter. These are just to name a few. Some of the measures we take seem simple and insignificant, but when combined they mean lower energy costs for you. We also help you select more energy efficient building materials, heating and cooling methods, and appliances.

Q: How can Countrywide help me improve my current home?

A: There are many ways to increase the value, efficiency or curb appeal of your home. The first thing we would do is visit you at your home and listen to what you think is the best improvement. We ask the right questions to determine your needs and the potential needs of the house. Based on your answers, we may suggest lower maintenance siding, updated windows, a face lift for your kitchen, or the best ways to finish off the unfinished basement. Whatever you're looking for, we can help.

Q: The kids are gone and I'm ready to remodel. Can you help?

A: Every parent has dreams about how they will use that extra space once the kids have left the nest. Whether it will become a multi-purpose guest room, a new home office, an exercise room, or be integrated into a new master suite, we can take that room and work with it to create whatever it is you’ve been waiting for. When we visit your home we will explore the space you have to work with, take detailed notes based on your wants and needs, and offer suggestions based on our experience.

Of course, we’ll also make sure you have a nook somewhere for photos and memories so they don’t feel too forgotten.

Q: What can I do to avoid a remodeling horror story?

A: Remodeling can be an unpredictable endeavor at times. The best way to avoid surprises is to be as thorough as possible in the planning process. Our 3-D design services can show you a virtual image of what your addition or remodeling plans will look like when combined with your existing house. A reputable, experienced contractor like us will know what questions to ask and what to look for in and around your house. Although some things we cannot predict, such as rotten lumber within the walls, by inspecting the location of the project with open eyes we can minimize the surprises. Also, we bid our remodeling projects with as much detail as possible so that you can be more comfortable with your total budget.