top of page
  • How do you determine the cost of a home?
    Subcontractors, Materials, & Builder Fees We estimate the cost based on our most recent numbers from subcontractors for labor, and from suppliers for materials. Since the price shocks of the COVID pandemic, we do regular price checks on big-ticket materials such as lumber, brick, and concrete to ensure our estimates are as accurate as we can make them. Our builder fees are based on a cost per square foot so even if labor/materials prices go up with inflation, our fees do not. Allowances & Shopping Items Estimates for shopping items are initially based on the general “level” you say you want in your home (per our pricing tool). Vendors typically have a range of prices, so we try to match those prices to our general levels. However, once you are actually shopping, your price will increase/decrease according to the exact items you choose.
  • Do you offer any pricing incentives?
    Generally we do not offer sales or “deals,” because what you pay is what the project costs. We pass on all our builder pricing to you. Many of our vendor-partners give us lower prices than you could get retail with them, and we just pass that on to you. Often builders take their vendor discount, mark it up slightly, then charge you their marked-up price which is still cheaper than retail, but gives them a kickback. This allows them to give “incentives” because they can discount their kickback. We do not take any kickbacks from subs or vendors.
  • What is included in the base price of each home? What comes standard and what is extra?
    The base price of your home includes construction of the home and a parking pad. Our quality of construction is the same regardless of the price, home features, size, and allowances change according to your needs and budget requirements. The general specifications generated from the pricing tool will describe our assumptions for the given price estimate of your home. Site & Financing Costs Because other site- and financing-related costs vary widely by customer, we do not include them in our base construction price, and we have no way to know most of them when we give you an initial price estimate. We can, however, help you estimate them as we learn more about your land and needs during Design. Examples of these costs are well, septic, shops, fences/landscaping, walks & drives, loan closing costs, and risk insurance.
  • What are "Site & Financing Costs?"
    Site and financing costs are any costs related to your construction project that are 1) required to get the build going but are not knowable until we see your lot, 2) not directly part of the construction of the house, but are part of your overall project or loan, or 3) unable to be estimated without knowing more about your location, your lot, and your financing situation (cash vs. loan). They include: Land Prep: - Land clearing and/or levelling (some lots require additional fill dirt, mowing, etc. before a home can be built) - Specially engineered slabs (if your lot requires a special slab as determined by a soil test, that may incur additional cost) - Surveys if needed - Utility locations (if for some reason standard 811 is not available) Site Items: - Utility hookups (tying into city service vs. installing septic & well) - Driveways (including gravel, paved, dirt), sidewalks, and flatwork other than the parking pad and porches that come with your construction price. - Shops / Outbuildings - Pools - Fencing - Landscaping - Mailbox - Other items aside from the actual house Financing & Insurance: - Closing costs - Mechanic's lien costs - Risk Insurance to protect your home-in-progress from loss due to natural disaster / theft Depending on your needs, many of these may not apply to you. And if they do, we can help you estimate them during Design. We always want to be clear on what is included in our pricing, and we don't want you to forget about anything!
  • How does Builder's Risk Insurance Work?
    What is Builder's Risk Insurance? Builder's Risk Insurance protects the build against loss due to natural disaster or theft. For example, if a tornado destroys a house halfway through the build, the work would need to start over. Builder's Risk Insurance covers those costs to re-build. In that way, it acts like Homeowner's or Renter's insurance. Who Pays for My Builder's Risk Policy? Generally, the party with the biggest financial stake in the project is the one to purchase the policy. For builders who own and build on their own lots, their investment is at risk, and they tend to cover this cost. Because we are Build-on-Your-Land builders, we have no investment in your property, and our financial stake is low. If something happens to the house, we will mourn the loss for our client, but ultimately will not lose any assets due to it. Therefore our fees do not cover Builder's Risk - it is a cost you will pay directly. We can get a quote for you, or you can go through the insurer of your choice. Is Builder's Risk Insurance Required? Builder's Risk Insurance is required by lenders. Cash customers can opt out of it, but we do not recommend it as it is an unnecessary risk for ultimately a small amount of money. How Much Is Builder's Risk Insurance? Premiums range from about $450 - $3,000 depending on the location, size, and cost of your home, and the deductible you choose.
  • What is a Mechanic's Lien?
    Any time a new home is built, there are certain risks involved – 1) the owner is at risk that the contractor will take the money but won’t finish the home; 2) the builder is at risk that they will do the work, but not be paid; 3) and both the owner and builder are at risk that someone will file a lien claiming additional payments are still outstanding. A mechanics lien acts as risk protection and convenience for all parties involved. It essentially treats your property as collateral to ensure we and our subcontractors will be paid. Once your home is finished, it also gives you documentation that there are no unpaid construction cost claims against your new home. By setting up a lien at the start of the job, the rights and obligations of all parties are clearly set forth in writing, and we become legally required to produce a bills-paid affidavit and to release the lien once construction is finished and all bills are paid. A mechanic's lien is standard for any construction loan done in Texas, and will be included in your closing costs, should you finance your build. If you are a cash customer, we will issue a lien at the beginning of the project, and will release it via a bills-paid affidavit once your house is complete and all bills are paid.
  • Why Did the Cost per Square Foot Change in My Estimate?
    The Short Answer: $/sf is a metric most builders use when giving people pricing ("I build for about $160/sq.ft. + site costs"). Since we offer different "levels" of houses, with different allowances, options, and footages in our pricing tool, our $/sf is anywhere from the $140s to the $180s, so we don't have a standard answer. Instead, we provide that number for each specific estimate just so people have something to compare with other builders' talking points when they are first talking to builders. Once you're designing, the overall price is really what you need to be tracking to make sure you're comfortable with it and with the features of the house. The Longer Answer: The longer answer is that $/sf changes because of the fixed versus variable costs of construction, and the features & allowances in your home. There are several types of cost in a house: Some costs change according to footage - for instance, lumber costs a certain amount of money per square foot because the more footage you have, the more lumber you need. Those are variable costs (they move with size). Some costs are fixed and do not change with footage. For instance, in a 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 car garage house, you will need 2 toilets, 2 bathroom sinks, 1 shower, 1 tub-shower, and a 2-car garage. Whether the house is 2,000 sq.ft. or 2,500 sq.ft., you will need the same number of items. In this example, the footage of the garage doesn't shrink if the house is smaller, since it still needs to be big enough to fit a car. Allowances are determined by your actual shopping. Likewise, some features cost more than others in a house (2-story ceilings cost more than flat ceilings). If you spend MUCH more or less money on an item or feature, that will affect your $/sq.ft. even if your house size doesn't change. An example (numbers are illustrative): House 1: 2000 sq.ft., 3 bed, 2 bath, 2 car garage Lumber @ $7/sq.ft.: $14,000 Plumbing for 2 toilets, 1 tub-shower, 1 shower, 2 bathroom sinks: $5,000 2-car garage: $33,000 Vinyl Plank: $3.50/sq.ft.: $7,000 Total Cost: $59,000, or $29.50/sq.ft. House 2: 2500 sq.ft., 3 bed, 2 bath (same house, just bigger) Lumber @ $7/sq.ft.: $17,500 (the total changed b/c footage changed and more lumber was needed) Vinyl Plank: $3.50/sq.ft.: $8,750 (the total changed b/c footage changed and more vinyl plank was needed) Plumbing for 2 toilets, 1 tub-shower, 1 shower, 2 bathroom sinks: $5,000 (doesn't change) 2-car garage: $33,000 (doesn't change) Total Cost: $64,250, or $25.70/sq.ft. Higher Footage = Higher Price, but Lower $/SF than House #1 House 3: 2000 sq.ft., 3 bed, 2 bath, 2 car garage (same size, lower vinyl plank cost) Lumber @ $7/sq.ft.: $14,000 Plumbing for 2 toilets, 1 tub-shower, 1 shower, 2 bathroom sinks: $5,000 2-car garage: $33,000 Vinyl Plank: $2.00/sq.ft.: $4,000 Total Cost: $56,000, or $28/sq.ft. Lower Allowance = Lower Price and Lower $/SF than House #1 Obviously there are many other fixed, variable, and allowance/feature costs in a house, so the example above is just a mini version of what happens to the full cost of a house. Because of this, our $/sq.ft. is not one flat number. When you make changes, that number also change. Any builder who gives you a flat rate $/sq.ft. that doesn't change as your house evolves is likely either 1) overcharging you, or 2) very disconnected from their actual costs, and you might get surprised with cost overruns later.
  • How long have you been in business?
    Ron has been building homes for over 47 years. We’ve been in business as Building as Partners since 2017, when his daughter Katy began working with him.
  • Are you fully licensed and insured?
    There is no license for residential general contractors in Texas, but we will register with a city/township as required for your build. That said, we do carry liability insurance as a company.

Frequently asked Questions

bottom of page