WHERE TO BEGIN
If you are ready to live in a High Cotton home, use this contact form to set up a meeting! Wherever you are in the process, we can provide guidance on achieving your end goals. We are happy to arrange tours of our current builds for you to see our work or provide references from previous or current clients. We love to meet new customers early in the process to establish an idea of how we can meet your needs and deliver a home that performs for your lifestyle.
Continue reading below for more detail on the steps in our building process or call to talk to us now.
Press Ext 1 for all custom home building questions
We love to meet our clients early!
In the initial meeting, we want to connect on a personal level to understand your wishes in a home. This is a great time for us to exchange ideas for the build, discuss design taste and explore the goals you have in mind. The early groundwork allows us to get an idea about your lifestyle needs, and it also gives you the chance see what we can offer. During this meeting, we will explore the areas in your home that will bring your family the most value and discuss the total investment that you have in mind.
Upon deciding we are a fit for each other, we will begin the process of drawing house plans. Most importantly, we are here to guide you through each step of the process.
If you need some design ideas before our initial meeting, be sure to check out our Pinterest page featuring the homes we built!
HOUSE PLANS AND DESIGN
To us, a custom home should reflect the uniqueness of a family's lifestyle and design taste. We take pictures, ideas and wants, and our design team creates a custom set of plans that will perform for your lifestyle. By having a draftsman and interior designer on our team, clients can ensure their home functions for their specific goals, all while having superior curb appeal and exceptional design. We incorporate elements of universal design into our plans, such as curbless showers, and we can go even further to make our homes an investment into the future for those wishing to age in place.
We also have the ability to create a 3D model. This allows us to provide you with a better way to visualize the design, and it makes it easier to identify changes or mistakes before construction begins. Prior to your design meeting, we will give you an idea packet with "homework" to help you explore what features will give your home optimal performance for hosting events, working from home or enjoying hobbies.
We do allow clients to bring us plans that were drawn by a reputable architect or draftsman. Plans may require additional work by our design team to make them ready to build. Accurate house plans guide the entire construction process.
When choosing or creating house plans, keep in mind:
They should be exactly what you want; we will verify details such as window placement and size, location of cabinets and sinks, number and width of garage bays, etc. Even small details can be costly or impossible to change once construction begins. In addition, the cost estimate is based specifically on these plans. Any change to the plans would also be reflected by a change in the construction cost.
The house you choose must be suited for the building location you purchase. If you can't tell how the house will look on your lot, we can help!
Porch square footage; porches typically have close to the same per square foot construction cost as living space, but will not be included in the square footage on your appraisal. Basically, just keep in mind that porches can add cost to your home and may not be reflected in the appraisal.
If you need help finding, creating or revising house plans, please do not hesitate to contact us.
As part of the Southern Living Custom Builder Program, we have access to over 1000 exclusive house plans through the Southern Living House Plans Service Collection, created by respected architects and designers throughout the nation. Please ask if this is something that interests you!
High Cotton Homes currently builds anywhere throughout northwest Alabama. If you need a location for your home, we can provide guidance. We are able to look at different building sites and get an idea on the suitability of the location for your home.
If you already have a home site, we will take care of any tree removal or earth work that needs to be completed during the pre-construction phase.
After the initial meeting and house plans are finalized and approved, we will then begin working on your personalized construction estimate. Our goal before we begin the estimate is to identify the level of finishes that you want in your completed home. This is the time that the client would communicate with us any particular details that you would love to have in your home, such as custom reclaimed flooring or woodwork, home automation, high end appliances, dog washing stations, luxury tubs, steam showers, etc. The more we communicate on your desires, the more accurate our estimate. If you do not have specifics in mind yet, that is okay, too! We specialize in educating our customers on the products and features that will bring value to their home.
We respect that a home is often one of the largest investments our clients will ever make. After the estimate is complete, we meet with our clients again to go over line items in order to make sure the estimate reflects your final expectations. We feel superior design, energy efficiency and adaptive living features all add value to our homes.
Remember you will have updates and access to all finances throughout your build through CoConstruct.
Most of our clients at High Cotton Homes choose to use a construction loan to fund their build. After you have secured a building site and the estimate is completed, you will take the house plans and estimate to the bank of your choice. You will go through their approval process that includes an appraisal to determine the completed value of your home. At that point, they will set a closing date and the loan can be distributed according to their terms. If you do not have a bank in mind, we can give recommendations for institutions with which we have worked successfully in the past. We will work with you through the entire process to secure the financing for your build.
Once your loan has been approved and a closing date has been set, we begin scheduling the construction of your home!
OTHER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
How involved do I need to be with the build?
The short answer is you may be as involved or uninvolved as you like. You will need to make certain decisions for the finishes of your home, and those will be scheduled out for you on CoConstruct. The schedule on CoConstruct is a great way we communicate with our clients to keep selections and the build on time. We have built homes for clients who are currently living in other states, so we are also able to take the reigns and make decisions for our clients if needed. You may visit the job site as often as you like, but someone on the team will make visits to ensure quality and progress.
How long does it take?
This is difficult to answer because there are some variables we cannot control, like weather, product availability or shipping delays on special order selections. Other factors such as home size or complexity can make a difference, too. However, if all selections are completed on time and weather cooperates, our homes are typically built in around 12 months. *2021-22 Update*- due to product shortages and supply chain issues, our build times are more unpredictable. Rest assured we are still working to complete our homes as quickly as possible.
How much does it cost? What is your price per square foot?
It all depends! At High Cotton Homes, your custom home is truly custom. This is why we shy away from ever just guessing at a square foot price. There are many variables in the finishes that will impact your total investment, and the value of a home is much more than price per square foot. We offer detailed estimates before building rather than speculating cost. Once the build begins, all invoices with High Cotton Homes are totally transparent with the use of CoConstruct, so you have the ability to monitor the cost at every step. Check out our Question and Answer Session blog, Week Three, with Will discussing Estimates, here.
How accurate are your estimates?
An estimate is just that; an estimation of construction costs for your home. It is impossible to factor in everything that can occur during construction. The more we know about your building location, material selections and design taste, the more accurate our estimates. However, unexpected things happen when building, such as fluctuating material costs or change orders, and those will impact the accuracy of our original estimate. Also, when you meet with us initially, it is hard to give an accurate estimate without having finalized house plans. A "ballpark number" per square foot may be significantly different once we see the house plans you desire to build. So in summary, our estimates are much more accurate when we have a 1) finalized set of house plans, 2) know the build location, 3) know your design selections and 4) no changes are made during construction.
Is land included in the estimate?
No. Our estimate is for construction of the home. Land purchases would be an additional cost.
How do you charge for your services?
High Cotton Homes currently does a "cost plus" approach with our contractor fee. This fee is based on the total construction value (not the estimate), plus a percentage for our oversight.
Why do we have to sign a contract?
Contracts between clients and home builders are legally required by the Alabama Home Builders Licensure Board. Please be wary of any contractor who does not ask you to sign a contract when building your home. Because we both design and build your home, we will sign a "Pre-Constrution Agreement" which covers the home design and any prep work required to start construction. Then we have our "Construction Contract" which is signed prior to the beginning of construction.
Do you offer design services without construction?
Maybe! Please call and inquire about your specific project.
Do you do remodel homes?
We do some home renovations when our schedule allows. We typically do whole home and not single space remodels (ex: not just the kitchen or bathroom). Clients interested in a whole home remodel go through a similar design-build process as our new builds, and we ask homeowners to consider an alternate place to live during the construction phase.