Unless you’re working with a client who’s been through the custom home building process before (a rarity), chances are the future homeowners who come through your dealership’s doors will have lots of questions.
That’s a good thing. Anyone considering building a custom home should go into the process feeling fully informed and confident. As a Barden Independent Dealer, your job is to guide the client through the entire custom home building experience and quell any reservations they may have.
While all clients and their custom home projects are unique, there are some questions that our independent dealers field.
We’ve rounded up the most frequently asked questions and their answers -- as well as a few resources -- to shed light on the Barden custom home building method.
1. How Much Does a Custom Home Cost?
By far, this is the #1 question Barden Independent Dealers are asked. It’s more surprising when a client doesn’t bring up price.
The truth is it’s nearly impossible to answer this as every client is different and so are their homes.
All Barden homes are 100% customizable, and there’s rarely a client who doesn’t make some adjustment to their preferred floor plan. Those alterations -- whether it’s choosing granite countertops over Formica or installing a custom-shaped window in a sunroom -- all affect the home’s price.
There are other factors, too, that impact a custom home project’s final bill and are subject to change, including:
- Site prep
- Permit fees
- Material costs
- Interest rate
The bottom line: A Barden custom home’s costs are subject to a variety of factors that aren’t set in stone. Working closely with the client, an independent dealer can help create a project that’s in line with the available budget.
2. Is Barden Building Products a Custom Home Builder?
In short: no. Barden homes are built by our independent dealers using our Fast Track Framing System with structural components made by North American Truss (our manufacturing division), the crews they hire and manage, or by the homeowner themself.
Barden Building Products is a building solutions company, providing a host of services to our independent dealers and their clients, such as:
3. How Long Does it Take to Build a Custom Home?
It depends on the client and their custom home plans.
In general, if a client has the lot where they’ll build and their financing, the custom home construction timeline takes about a year to complete. Key milestones of a custom home project include:
- Design and planning, which involves both the independent dealer and client working together to develop a blueprint of the home. The length of this part of the process depends completely on the client and the level of customization and revisions required to create a home they’ll love.
- Obtaining permits, which depends on how fast the municipality in which the home is being built processes the paperwork and grants permits.
- Site prep and manufacturing, during which the independent dealer oversees getting a lot ready. At the same time, Barden Building Products’s team designs the wall panels and trusses and begins manufacturing for just-in-time delivery.
- Construction, the most visible part of making a custom home a reality. As soon as the home’s panels and trusses arrive on-site, work begins. The home is made weather-tight within two weeks.
Resource: Our Custom Home Building Checklist provides a detailed view of each step of the custom home building process.
4. What is the Role of an Independent Dealer in a Custom Home Project?
First and foremost, a Barden Independent Dealer is a client’s partner, there every step of the way.
An independent dealer’s role in a custom home project depends largely on the type of dealership they run.
Some independent dealers are consultants/contract managers, handling all elements of a custom home project except for the actual construction. They’ll either help find and manage a construction outfit to complete the build or work directly with a client who’s acting as their own builder.
Other independent dealers are builders as well and will handle a home’s construction.
Regardless of dealership type, all Barden Independent Dealers work closely with their clients from day one until the project is complete, assisting with or managing:
- Design and planning
- Obtaining permits
- Site preparation and manufacturing
During construction, an independent dealer is the client’s main point of contact, consolidating the lines of communication.
5. Should I Build Now or Wait?
The answer to this question depends on the client and their reason for asking.
If a client needed to be in a new home yesterday, then building a custom home may not be the best option. No matter the size or layout, all custom homes take time to plan & construct.
However, a client who is waiting for costs to decline may find his or her strategy backfire. Commodities markets are volatile -- the pandemic showed us that with lumber prices and shipping costs. Delaying getting started could put the client in a position where they’re unable to take advantage of lower prices because they simply weren’t ready to buy.
Contrary to popular belief, weather conditions are not a reason to wait on starting a custom home project. In addition to the prep work (design, obtaining permits), there’s plenty to do before actual construction starts. And even if there’s snow on the ground, a builder is still able to get to work -- yes, that includes putting in a foundation.
6. What is Panelized Construction?
The panelized manufacturing and construction process brings together the versatility of traditional (stick) building with the speed of modular construction.
Through this building method, a home is constructed using precision-engineered wall panels and trusses -- all made in our factory -- that are shipped to the building site and immediately put together.
Like stick building and unlike modular construction, panelized construction allows for a client to design a home that absolutely meets their needs. And it’s not hard to alter floor plans to accommodate those special wants or accessibility considerations that are must-haves. Every home Barden builds is tailored exactly to the client.
Representing efficiency with our Fast Track Framing System, a Barden custom home’s construction time is similar to those of a modular home -- only taking a few months to finish before move-in day. Because a stick-built home is constructed completely on-site from the ground up, it takes much longer for the home to be ready.
In short, Barden homes are built more precisely and efficiently than any stick builder and offer a range of customization and quality that can’t be found with a modular manufacturer.
7. Why Should I Build With Barden?
Building with Barden represents choosing efficiency, quality, and flexibility.
Our custom home building method is one that’s been refined over seven decades and it’s client-centric. As we’ll always point out, all Barden homes are 100% customizable and can be adjusted to meet a client’s budget without making major sacrifices.
Unlike other home building outfits, the client is always in charge and involved in the entire process. In other words, a client isn’t just handing over money and hoping for the best.
The independent dealer is there to make the entire process run smoothly and be one the client is glad to have invested in.
Finding Your Clients Have Other Questions?
Our Custom Home Building Guide covers everything a client needs to know about building a Barden home: