Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How much do you build for per square foot?
A. We build in wide range. $160 / per SF to $290 / per SF.
The main 3 components that drive the cost of your home are:
The difficulty of the site
The complexity of the structure
The level of finish
You’ll be the one who decides how much your house costs.
Q. How long have you been in business?
A. McCreary Homes has been incorporated since May 1988. LJ began building in Tucson in 1986. Prior to that 1980 to 1986 LJ worked on a building team and for a developer. His mother says he’s always had a knack for putting things together.
Q. Can we visit some homes you’ve built?
A. Yes. Our customers are proud to show people their home. Many of them visited some themselves.
To respect our clients privacy and insure your seeing an example that will best represent what you want, we require an initial meeting in our office. We can then best match your requirements and expectations with the home you’re visiting.
Q. Is custom home building for me?
A. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in existing homes out there, then it seems that designing and building your dream home is for you.
Building a custom home is a process. Like any process, you need to relax into it. Patience, flexibility, and decisiveness are good qualities to have for homebuilding. It all turns out. People always love their homes. What we do at McCreary Homes is educate our customers about the process and expectations. This evens out the ups and downs and makes the ride a smoother one, for both of us.
Q. How long does it take?
A. Generally speaking about 12 to 18 months from the beginning of design until you move in. This is outlined in a little more detail on the page called “The Building Process”.
It all depends on the difficulty of the site, the complexity of the structure, and the level of finish. These are also the items that drive the cost.
Q. How do I choose the right building site? It seems like it would cost a lot more to get some of them ready to build on verses others.
A. Yes, that’s true. Site development or site prep costs can vary widely. For those in the lot selection process, L.J. visits with them on site and gives feedback as to the “buildability” of one site verses another. Slope, rocks, utilities, access, all impact cost. The visit helps you determine the real cost of the site.
Q. I sometimes have difficulty visualizing what’s on the blueprints. Can I change things while the house is being built?
A. Yes. Besides being able to work with a team of professionals when you design your dream home, another advantage of building your own home is that you’re able to make decisions as the project takes shape.
Q. How do you handle changes or alterations after the agreement is signed or after construction has begun?
A. When you request a change we will write it down on a change order request form for you to sign. Having something in writing leaves less chance for misinterpretation.
Q. Do changes add very much time to my move in date.
A. Yes. Every change, no matter how small, will add time to the homebuilding process. The amount of time will be determined by how many changes you make and how extensive they are. The good thing is that you can make them and have your home be just the way you want it. Be patient. In the end, it’s all worth it.
Q. How long does it take to make a change?
A. Depending on the stage of construction and type of request, your change may be implemented as soon as the next day or two. However, some changes may be more extensive and will involve design and structural issues. Perhaps even building department and homeowner association approval.
Q. Are changes usually more expensive than if the item was included in the first place.
A. Usually that’s the case depending on what it is. Picking out a different paint color or carpet that costs the same may not add anything unless it’s done at a time after the other material or supplies have been purchased. Changes and alterations are a double-edged sword. They allow you to have it your way, but are generally more expensive than a hamburger.
They can be potentially costly in both time and money. There are many hours of behind the scenes administration and on site coordination to insure a change gets implemented. They are the bane of custom homebuilding. However, they’re usually worth it in the end.
Q. How do I pay for a change? Is it just added on to the bank loan?
A. Usually the construction loan to build your home is just for the amount of the original agreement. Unless any provisions have been included in your construction loan to pay for changes, you will need to pay for the changes as they occur. These would be additional “out of pocket” costs you would incur as your home is being built. It’s a good idea to discuss with your lender the possibility of having a contingency fund for changes set aside and included in your construction loan.
Q. What’s considered a change?
A. Anything that is different from the original agreement or an alteration from the blueprints that the house was priced from.
You may decide on a different tile, carpet, light fixture, faucet, or appliance. You may learn of a new item that’s become available while your home’s being built. You may see something during a site visit that wasn’t visualized during design. You’re stock portfolio may split and increase 200% leading to a revised budget. Let’s think about that one for a while.
Sometimes the building department or building inspector will require something that wasn’t on the original set of plans. Whatever they request will need to be a part of your home in order to pass building inspections and move forward with the project.
Q. Can I visit the job site during construction?
A. Yes. For insurance and safety purposes you’ll need to schedule site visits with the job superintendent. Visits usually work best after construction hours in the afternoon or weekends. You’ll also be better served with scheduled visits by having the superintendent’s undivided attention.
Q. I have a friend who sells appliances. Can I provide some of my own material or supplies?
A. Yes. We will include provisions in the agreement to install the items, however, you will be responsible for payment and getting the items to the job site. Any warranty issues regarding those items will be the owners’ responsibility. Just let us know beforehand so we can include installation.
Q. Is it worth it?
A. Absolutely. When you’re finally in your new home relaxing, and it’s just the way you want it, you’ll be thrilled. You’ll have a home your proud of because there’s so much of you in it. You’ll have a home you can entertain friends in or just spend peaceful relaxing times by yourself. You’ll have an investment in time and money that will appreciate greatly into the future. You’ll think back at how wonderful the process was and say, “I’ll never do that again”. Just kidding. It’s up to you how you feel at the end of the day. Some folks love it and want to do it all over again, and some folks, well let’s just say, don’t.
Q. What kind of warranty do you provide?
A. McCreary Homes follows the warranty guidelines set forth by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors. A copy of these guidelines is available from the Arizona Registrar of Contractors in Phoenix.
McCreary Homes also follows guidelines set up by the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association “Certified Custom Builder” program. A copy of these guidelines and criteria for acceptance is available from SAHBA or from our office.
Manufacturer warranties apply to those particular items.