What Everyone Wants to Know

 

How long has J. Timothy Builders, Inc. been in business?

J. Timothy Builders incorporated in 2000 and has been successfully building quality custom homes ever since  throughout the Walworth County area and Northeastern , IL


What size of homes do you build?

To us, the size of your new home or remodeling project does not matter, quality does!


Do you only build new construction homes, or can you handle a remodeling project?

New construction is the majority of our business, however we can handle any large remodeling project as well.  Our extensive experience and team of professionals enable us to manage remodeling projects more flawlessly than the majority of “remodeling contractors”.  We understand the “unforeseen” obstacles that may come up in any situation and know how to quickly and efficiently resolve them in order to keep your project moving along and stress free!


When is the best time to build a custom home?

Any time is the best time. The majority of people believe that a new home should be started during late spring through summer, due to our winters. However, it is very common for us to start projects in the fall, since we often tear down an existing home on one of the lakes and our clients would like to enjoy the full summer season. This timing allows us to have the new home completed by the beginning of the following summer. We put a lot of resources into the beginning of the project, so a substantial amount is completed before winter arrives. We also “weatherize” the job site and products, if necessary.  By taking these two steps, we avoid any issues that winter weather may cause.


What is the starting process?

Once you have decided that you would like to build a custom home, the very first thing that needs to be done is to purchase the new home site.  Often times, our clients involve us in this process, because we are able to add a lot of insight as to what type of home can be built upon the site you are considering, including size restrictions or obstacles not easily recognized. 

Next you need blue prints drawn for your new home. J. Timothy Builders, Inc. draws plans for our contracted clients at no extra charge. However, if you choose to go with your own architect, we often collaborate in order to achieve the exact design you desire and ensure your new dream home will be within your budget. This initial phase typically takes a couple of months. 

Once blue prints are completed, we have them sent out to bid with our subcontractors. This phase takes approximately 2-4 weeks, depending on the complexity of the project. We then sit down with you to go over every detail, making sure it is exactly what you want, prior to presenting you with our contract.

Upon signing our contract, we will begin the permit process and then start building.


Do we need our own blueprints to build our home with you?

We are more than happy to build from blueprints you may already have, or we can also work directly with any architect you may have already chosen.  However, J. Timothy Builders, Inc. is a full service company dedicated and experienced with taking clients from the beginning design phases all the way through the completion of the home.  We look forward to working with each and every client to design and draw their professional, custom blueprints.  The best part is the savings you will have when designing and building your home with us.  Once you have decided to commit to J. Timothy Builders, Inc. to build your new home, there are no costs to you for the blueprints you designed with us.


If we decide to build with you, what should we expect after contracts are signed?

You should expect the same personalized and professional service that led you to this point. Every client of ours is special, and treated that way.

In our opinion, this is a very exciting stage, because you start to see your project evolve.   We will immediately begin the permit process which can take anywhere from 3-4 weeks.  During this time, we will meet with you to provide all the information needed to guide you smoothly through the entire construction of your home. This will include amenity selections that need to be made, deadline dates, supplier contact information, and much more.  Once we have all permits, we are able to begin the building/remodeling process. 


How much per square foot do you charge?

As a true custom homebuilder, there is no set square foot price.  Due to the variety of architecture and amenities in the home, the price per square foot will change based on the total square feet in your home.

For Example: If you take a contract price including all the amenities you would like in your home, and divide it by 2000 square feet, you will get a much higher price per square foot than if you put all the same amenities into a 4000 square foot home.  Dividing the contract price by a larger home gives you a lower price per square foot.

 

Is a cost-plus contract or a fixed price contract better for me?

We have successfully worked with both types of contracts.  It depends on what makes you most comfortable.  

With a cost-plus contract you get an estimate upfront and the final build cost is not determined until the home is complete.  We recommend using this contract for larger homes because there are too many decisions that need to be made throughout the building process. 

With a fixed-price contract, the builder provides the homeowner with an exact build price based on the homeowner's specifications.  This takes most of the risk off of the homeowner and places it on the builder.  Most homeowners are more comfortable knowing their exact cost up front and are willing to pay a small premium for this peace of mind.

Whichever you choose, rest assured that we still negotiate the best possible pricing for you and  provide the same quality and experience throughout the project.  



What do you include in your fixed priced contracts?

We want our clients to know that when we provide them with a contract price, we have included everything to complete their home to the exact specifications they expect.  Our clients seldom have change orders, because we take the time to meet with them prior to bidding out the home to find out their exact needs and desires. 

Our complete contracts include: permits, all site improvements and necessary requirements, all requested amenities, professional cleaning, and much more.


What are allowances?

Allowances are a dollar amount set aside for choosing the amenities (floor coverings, countertops, cabinets, etc.) for your home. When bidding the project, if these items haven’t been chosen yet, allowances are used to budget for these items.

Are my allowances adequate enough for what I want in my home?

This is a very important component of a contract to compare when choosing your builder. Many builders want to make sure the end total cost “appears” to be low, so often you are left with low allowances.  We determine allowances by what our clients tell us they would like to have in their homes.   This way, our bid price may be higher than our competition at times, but  we make sure you have enough money in your allowances to have what you truly want, instead of adding changes later.  It also gives our clients the flexibility to save money along the way if they choose to spend below their allowances, because we pass that savings directly on to you.


Who is on site making sure the project is running smoothly if I can’t always be there?

A great reason to build with J. Timothy Builders, Inc is the size of our company.  We are a small company truly dedicated to you, the client.   The benefit to you, is both Jon and Christine are the front line  and overseeing everything.  There is no breakdown of communication because we do not rely on  “Superintendents” to relay information back to us.  We are extremely hands on and whenever you have a question or concern, you are able to contact us directly at all times.  


Do you routinely work with the same subcontractors?

We pride ourselves on high quality.   To ensure consistency in the quality of our homes, we try to work  with the same subcontractors.  We feel it is important to create an experienced “team” who understands and meets our level of expectations.  


What if I already have some subcontractors that I would like to work with on my home?

We understand from time to time a homeowner may  prefer to use a subcontractor that they are familiar with, or may be a licensed contractor themselves.  We are open to working under these circumstances; however, we do require the subcontractor to be licensed and fully insured.  


Do you provide a home warranty?

We are very confident in the high level of quality in our homes and we do our best to provide our clients with stress free home ownership, as well as provide a 1 year home warranty.


How will you work with me if I live in another state?

The majority of our clients live out of state, so we have extensive experience with this situation. We schedule meetings on the same day you are in town to be efficient with your time.  We provide a Selection Sheet at the beginning of the process, which lists target dates for choices, so clients can plan their time and avoid the need for last minute decisions.

We also use conference calls, email, and texting, as well as accommodate weekend meetings. 


What type of financing do you provide?

J. Timothy Builders does not provide financing for your home; however, we do work closely with several lenders and would be happy to refer you to them in order to help you secure financing.

We try to provide answers to the most common questions, but when it comes to custom home building, every client has their own vision, now is the time to contact us to discuss your project in depth.  We look forward to talking with you.