SUMMARY OF YOUR TYPICAL HOME SPECIFICATIONS
Division 1- General Conditions
Included in the cost of a typical custom home package are the following administrative and operational expenses that are often overlooked in the construction documents and contracts. These include the home appraisal costs, closing costs, construction interest, construction loan fees, builder’s risk insurance, title insurance, and a portion of the builder’s office overhead expenses. In addition, this category of costs often includes special equipment and tool costs, scaffolding, ladders, temporary fencing, signage, hardware, equipment rental, delivery fees, cleaning, and final closeout expenses. Other job related costs such as blueprints, drafting and design fees, permits, electrical connection fees, supervision, special inspections, waste disposal fees, and temporary facilities such as electricity, toilets, and water are not usually included in the Performance Specifications, but any of this information can be added upon request at an additional cost.
Division 2- Site Work
This work includes, in accordance with specific project requirements, all expenses for ditching, removal of trees, installation of culverts, excavation of the driveway, clearing the building pad, digging of the footings, installation of fill material, installation of a sewage disposal system or sewer connection, installation of a water line, water meter, water hydrants, telephone line, electrical line, backfill against foundation, and fine grading the site within a 50 ft. radius around the house. Unless specified otherwise, typical driveways are 20 ft. wide x 100 ft. long, built with onsite materials. Water line trenches are a minimum of 4 ft. deep. Upgrades: Fences, gates, hammerhead turn-arounds, cul-de-sacs, parking pads, landscaping, gravel surfacing, irrigation lines, drywells, and a propane tank. Exclusions: Water wells, drainage ditches, logging, property boundary locations, soils and compaction testing, and debris removal.
Division 3- Concrete
Included in this category of work is the preparation, form-work, and installation of all concrete footings, foundation walls, porches, steps, interior and exterior slabs, foundation vents, #4 reinforcing steel in foundation, fibermesh slab reinforcing, embedded anchors, sonotube columns, and application of curing and sealing compounds. Generally two #4 continuous rebar are installed in footings, horizontal rebars at 18” o.c. in stemwalls, and vertical #4 at 24” o.c. in stemwalls. Footing and foundation wall concrete is a minimum of 2500 psi, 5 sack mix. Bottom of all footings are a minimum of 24” below finish grade. Sidewalks generally receive a broom finish. Basement, patio, garage and apron slabs receive a smooth trowel finish. Concrete porches are anchored to the foundations and have concrete steps. Footing drains are installed in areas with impervious soils. Upgrades: Driveways, curbs, sidewalks, dyed concrete, mixture additives, stamped patterns, parking apron slabs, patio slabs, and exposed aggregate slabs. Exclusions: Pump trucks, material testing, and special inspections.
Division 4- Masonry
Our company does not typically supply masonry elements in our homes, except as an upgrade. Masonry work includes all stone and brick veneer wainscotings, column wraps, planters, chimneys, fireplace facades, ceramic tile work, brick, glass block, concrete block, ecology block retaining walls, splash blocks, cultured stone, marble, granite, pre-cast water fountains, garden statues, and similar items using these types of masonry materials. Special grouts, mortars, finishes, sealers, seismic anchors, grout ties, and curing compounds are also included. Exclusions: Structural design, grout pumps, scaffolding, special inspections.
Division 5- Metals
This division of project costs includes typical bolts, nails, flashings, anchor bolts, steel straps, and all types of metal fasteners needed to construct a home. ½” x 10” anchor bolts are installed in 6 ft. o.c. Simpson, or equal, joist hangers and hurricane anchors are used for connecting framing members according to code requirements. Upgrades: Wrought iron railings, circular staircases, special steel fabrications, steel I-beams, tube steel columns, and any special anchors. Exclusions: Craning, welding, engineering, painting.
Division 6- Framing, Wood & Plastics
This category covers all framing lumber, foundation forms, roof trusses, framing and finish carpentry labor, interior trim, cabinetry, sill material, shelving, stakes, blocking, bracing, and pre-finished trim stock and door assemblies. All sheathing, wood shingles and sidings, shutters, lattice, decking materials, pressure treated lumber, timber and glue-laminated beams, timber posts, plastic piping, screens, and all materials necessary to complete a home are included. Upgrades: Wall paneling, wood stairs, spindle railings, vinyl siding, vinyl soffits, shutters, plastic decking, and an endless selection of trims and moldings. Exclusions: Moisture content of lumber and material defects beyond our control.
Division 7- Thermal & Moisture Protection
All materials and labor for insulating and sealing our homes are covered in this category. This generally includes installation of a 6 mil plastic vapor barrier in crawl spaces, an R-30 batt insulation in the floor system, R-38 blown-in cellulose in the house ceiling, R-19 batt insulation in the exterior walls if natural gas or propane heat is used, and R-21 cellulose if electric heat is used, R-11 batts at the interior of the foundation walls, and often 2” rigid foam insulation at the perimeter of exterior foundation walls. All cracks in the house are sealed with foam insulation and a vapor barrier is installed over the interior face of wall insulation under the drywall. This section of work also includes ridge vents; gable vents; soffit vents; tyvek building wrap; and three-tab composition shingles. Upgrades: Hardboard, steel, and vinyl sidings; metal and laminate composition roofing, and additional insulation in walls and ceilings. Exclusions: Defects in materials beyond our control.
Division 8- Doors, Windows, & Glass
This work includes all doors and windows. The exterior pre-hung insulated entry doors and fire rated assemblies between house and garage are usually steel swinging doors with raised panels. Exterior doors are generally painted only one color on both sides. Two color doors are extra at $50 each. Interior doors are usually pre-hung, colonist-type, raised panel swinging doors, painted white. Closet doors are usually by-pass units. Any pocket doors or café doors are normally finished to match the others. Overhead, non-insulated sectional doors are typically installed in our garages. Upgrades: Insulated overhead units, wood veneer doors, door glazing, French doors, atrium doors, and bifold doors. Exclusions: Shower and tub-shower doors, unless as an upgrade.
Our standard windows have insulated double glass and are white vinyl horizontal sliding units or fixed thermal pane units, unless specified otherwise. Each bathroom usually receives a surface mounted medicine cabinet with mirrors. Upgrades: Casement units, skylights, awning windows, and triple glazing. Wood windows. Recessed medicine cabinets. Exclusions: Window grids, argon gas, low-E glazing, unless as an upgrade.
Division 9- Finishes
The interior doors, trim, walls, and ceilings are typically painted white or almond. The exterior doors, window sills, and casings are also painted white. The utility room, kitchen, pantry, and bathrooms usually have vinyl flooring for durability and ease of maintenance. The master bedroom, living room, family room, stairs, and other bedrooms generally have carpeting. Drywall textures are typically light orange peel on walls and light skip-trowel on ceilings. Interior outside drywall corners are usually square (90o), but they can be upgraded to round corners for a small additional cost. Toilet accessories such as towel bars and paper holders are usually chrome. Exterior paint is limited to one color as a rule. Upgrades: Wall paper, wall paneling, wainscotings, wood wrapped window jambs, hardwood flooring and ceilings, colored paint, ceramic floor, wall, and countertop tiles. Exclusions: Any trim or finish material that is not paint-grade, white, unless as an upgrade.
Division 10- Specialties
This category of work includes things that are not typically installed in our homes. These may include such items as: free standing propane gas stoves, fireplaces, built-in shelving, water fountains, entertainment centers, built-in china cabinets, built-in bars, bridges, back-up generators, lockers, operable partitions, security systems, surround-sound systems, fireplace-log kits, hot tubs, special lighting, special doors, and any special finishes, furniture, or equipment. Upgrade: Unless these items are part of a custom design, they are all upgrades on our standard homes.
Division 11- Equipment
Our company provides certain kitchen appliances with every home. These include a dishwasher, range-oven unit, and a range hood. Since most of our homes are connected to septic tanks, the health department restricts the usage of garbage disposals. We allow a $750 allowance for propane or natural gas appliances and $550 for electric units. Our company does provide a small overhead door opener in the garage and an electric water heater as standard equipment. Upgrades: Any upgrades such as trash compactors, wall ovens, oven-microwave units, central vacuum systems, or down-draft range tops are typically paid for by the owner as an extra. Exclusions: Refrigerators, washers, dryers, and micro-wave ovens are usually provided by the owners.
Division 12- Furnishings
As a general rule, our company does not provide any furnishings in our homes. Occasionally we may be requested to install window blinds or curtains, or ceiling fans, but most owners provide their own. Upgrade: Unless these items are part of a custom design, they are all upgrades on our standard homes.
Division 13- Special Construction
This category of work addresses special construction for design elements that are normally not provided in our homes. This work includes custom features such as sunrooms, greenhouses, saunas, pole frame shops, pools, ponds, RV garages, horse barns, planters, and similar items. Upgrade: Unless these items are part of a custom design, they are all upgrades.
Division 14- Conveying Systems
If an owner requires special conveying systems such as elevators, stair-lifts, dumb-waiters, and similar equipment, then you must select the equipment and acquire model numbers, colors, and details so it can be listed as a part of the home design. Upgrade: Unless these items are part of a custom design, they are all upgrades from our conventional home packages.
Division 15- Mechanical and Plumbing Systems
Heating and air conditioning equipment usually involves a 60,000 btu furnace fueled by natural gas, propane, or electricity. All duct work is usually 26 gauge rectangular, insulated type, sealed with mastic to prevent duct leakage, and sized for cooling and low air noise. Sometimes the round, flex-duct is used in attics and floors where it is insulated. Systems include supply outlets and return inlet grilles. Upgrades: Heat pumps and hydronic floor systems are available. Additional gas piping stubbed to patios, stove, etc. is extra. Exclusions: Humidifiers, humidistats, high efficiency air filtration systems, fresh air intake with motorized damper, and garage unit heaters, unless as an upgrade.
Plumbing fixtures are usually white, faucets are chrome. Two outside hose bibs and two yard hydrants are normally installed in most homes. A propane tank is installed adjacent to the house, unless the house is total electric. Propane gas piping is supplied typically just to the range, and water heater, but can be extended as an upgrade to the clothes dryer, stove, or stubbed out for a future unit heater in the garage or barbeque on a back deck. Our homes usually have fiberglass tub-shower units in the bathrooms, white toilets, enameled steel sinks in the lavatories, stainless steel two-bay kitchen sinks, and rough-in water supply, drains, and venting for a clothes washer and dryer. Usually two hose bibs are provided on the exterior of the house and two yard hydrants for ranch homes more than 150 ft. from the street. Upgrades: Jetted tubs, shower units, toilet styles and fixture colors, numerous faucets, and shower doors are available as upgrades. Exclusions: Irrigation systems, additional yard hydrants, residential fire sprinkler systems, well pumps, and similar items, unless as an upgrade.
Division 16- Electrical Systems
Our company provides a $350 allowance for light fixtures, which does not usually include ceiling fans. Anything above this allowance is paid for by the buyers separately. The typical service includes a 200 amp service, standard white outlets and switches, rough-in for a ceiling fan, 3 phone jacks, and 2 television outlets. The meter main is installed up to 100 ft. from the breaker panel with an allowance of $500. Exhaust fans are included above the range and in the bathrooms. Door bells are installed at the front door. Wall outlets are installed roughly every twelve feet along interior walls of the house according to UEC code regulations. Upgrades: Anything above the allowances is an extra to be borne by the owner. Special 220 volt outlets may be provided as an upgrade, but generally only two are provided in a home; one at the range and the other at the clothes dryer. Other upgrades include such items as: wall heaters, yard lights, pumps, RV outlets, recessed lights, auxiliary circuits, cat-5 wiring, security systems, dedicated computer circuits, hot tub outlets, and similar features.
Note : The change order policy I recommend is that for any and all changes that result in additions or deletions to a custom home shall be made by written change order, to be signed by the builder and customer, prior to ordering any materials or equipment or beginning the work. A credit should be issued for any deletions and deductions will be made at closing. Extra work should be either paid for by the customer directly, or added to the mortgage loan.