Frquently Asked Questions

At Signature Builder’s, Inc. we know that building a custom home of any size is a great commitment of time, energy, vision and financial resources.  We think it’s exciting to work with our customers and our team to collaborate on visualizing, planning and constructing a Signature custom home.  We also strive to educate our customers on the building process, so we have prepared this set of “frequently asked questions” and answers to help you understand our approach to the creation of your unique home.  We really look forward to meeting you and are happy to answer any question at any time.

  1. We’re thinking about building a custom home, but have never built before.
    What are the things we should consider?
  2. How is Signature Builders, Inc. different from other home builders?
  3. Do you have model homes or is each home built from scratch?
  4. How do we pick a good location and lot?
  5. We know what kinds of features and general style we want.  
    How does this get turned into a plan?
  6. How long will it take and how much will it cost?
  7. How do we work together during the construction phase and
    what if we make a change in the middle of the project?
  8. How do you handle problems?
  9. What is your warranty?

1.  We’re thinking about building a custom home, but have never built before.
What are the things we should consider?

Some considerations are the same for building a home and buying an existing home, such as location, affordability and the suitability of the home for your lifestyle.  Many builders offer a set of floorplans and models to choose from and many allow the homeowner to choose things like fixture colors and styles.  But deciding on building a custom home opens up an incredible and exciting array of possibilities for people who have looked at these options and found they don’t meet their needs or they just don’t fulfill that vision or dream.  When building a custom home, you need to be prepared to commit some time, especially in the planning stage.  This is where your list of “must haves”, “like to haves”, and “if we could only” features begin to take shape.  At the same time, you should be settling in on a lot, considering financing options and choosing a builder.  One of the key elements of custom home-building success is in the high degree of communications between the builder and homeowner.  Look for builders who are experts in listening, collaboration and really work to keep you informed.  Insist on meeting your key contact and make sure you are comfortable and have confidence in his/her ability to lead you through the process.  Check references and talk to previous customers.  During construction, you will need to make a myriad of decisions on the details.  And in every project of this size, there usually are some unexpected challenges, including weather.  So be prepared to continue your commitment of time and insist on a schedule for construction, communications and good follow-through and assistance from your builder.   As you can see, building a custom home takes time and commitment, but fortunately it almost always is an exciting and rewarding challenge, with the resulting custom home a reflection of you.  For more information see:  http://www.mbaonline.org/

2.  How is Signature Builders, Inc. different from other home builders?

Signature Builders, Inc. combines the professional expertise and rigorous disciplines of the commercial construction industry with a passion for great home designs, quality construction and a personal dedication to building trust in relationships with our customers.  We build only a handful of homes each year so that every project gets personalized attention.  Bert Butterfield, owner and founder, will work directly with you from start-to-end, and then work hard to make sure you’re still satisfied after you’ve moved in.  We build homes like they were our own.  To us, each house isn’t a home until everyone is willing to put their signature on it as a gesture of pride and accomplishment.  For more info see: Our Philosophy

3.  Do you have model homes or is each home built from scratch?

About every eighteen months, Signature Builder’s Inc. will design and build a model home, usually in conjunction with the MBA (Metropolitan Builders Association) Spring Tour of Homes or the grand opening of a subdivision.  We use this opportunity to work with new technologies offered by our vendors and suppliers that we think will meet the test of a Signature home.  For us, model homes are a focal point for new ideas and fresh concepts, as well as a showcase for our favorite Signature features, such as open floor plans, striking entryways, elegantly functional kitchens, beautiful stairways and of course distinctive fireplaces.  We love to brainstorm with our customers in our model because it provides the perfect backdrop to visually explore ideas, define needs, talk about features and figure out how the home we build for them will be uniquely theirs.  Of course, we offer our models for sale as they are built, and many times a prospective customer will decide to make it their own long before it is finished.  But we always make sure to reserve time to “show off” the latest Signature model home so we can meet new people to brainstorm with.

4.  How do we pick a good location and lot?

As in many areas, finding the right place to build can be challenging.  There often is great competition for lots in good locations, especially in good school districts for those families with children.  Signature Builders, Inc. can help you find one that’s perfect for your family.  We always look for that special “something” in a lot, perhaps a slope for an exposed lower level and a great view.  Some customers look for building opportunities on a golf course or by a lake.  With this in mind, Signature Builders, Inc. is constantly on the lookout for these special lots, and oftentimes will invest in a great property or lot just to secure it for a future customer.

5.  We know what kinds of features and general style we want.  
How does this get turned into a plan?

Every customer at Signature Builders, Inc. becomes a partner with Bert to plan and build a custom home that reflects their unique needs and style.  During the planning process, Bert meets with you multiple times, in your home or office or at the Signature office, and at whatever time works with your schedule.  This is to ensure that all areas are discussed and nothing is overlooked.  He educates his clients on the building process and various options, often providing advice and direction based on his experience.  He shares detailed information so you fully understand every design feature and know what to expect step of the way.  To support these discussions, Bert uses written communications and a detailed spreadsheet to document and clarify decisions on your project.

6.  How long will it take and how much will it cost?

Every home-building project is different when it comes to duration and costs.  There are a lot of variables in size, lot preparation, features and the time it takes to plan and build a home.  Signature Builders, Inc. believes that time spent with customers to plan their dream home is key to ensuring there are no disappointing surprises.  Every aspect of the home is accounted for – there are no hidden costs or extras.  And you can be assured that we take our commitment delivering your home on schedule very seriously.  We are very proud of our track record on building custom homes on time and within budget.

7.  How do we work together during the construction phase and
what if we make a change in the middle of the project?

Besides regular planning and update calls and meetings during the project, Bert makes sure you can reach him, and that he can reach you.  We understand the busy schedules of our customers, and will go out of our way to facilitate convenient times and ways to meet or talk to you.  Although rigorous planning usually uncovers all elements of design and technical issues, sometimes ideas occur or a change in a product or feature is desired after construction is started.  In these cases, Bert and his team will work with you to explore options and identify the best solution.  The resulting change may or may not require additional costs, but in all cases you and Bert will agree on a documented plan of action so there are no miscues or surprises.  Because of the high degree of collaboration many of our customers have found that their changes are identified early enough to avoid major impacts to the schedule or budget.

8.  How do you handle problems?

As in any complex building project, unexpected things can happen.  Because of the close working relationship you will have with Bert Butterfield and Signature Builders, Inc., most issues never escalate into problems.  There are many times during the building process where walk-throughs occur spontaneously and in scheduled on-site meetings.  Bert and his team have a keen sense of detail and a dedication to follow-thorough on action items and issues that even the most discriminating customers have come to trust.  When a house is completed, you and Bert will conduct a detailed walk-through to identify any finishing touches.  The items on this “punch list” are scheduled and completed to coordinate with your move-in and with your schedule in mind.  You will find that Bert is “on call” long after you move in to help make sure you are satisfied with your home.

9.  What is Your Warranty?

Signature Builders, Inc. follows the Metropolitan Builders Association guidelines by offering a one-year warranty.  But the company also knows that its future success depends on satisfied customers, and will not hesitate to respond to customer concerns after the home is built.  The relationship and trust built during planning and construction serves everyone well.  Bert sums up this philosophy by saying, “I like to treat people the way the way I want to be treated.  I like to treat people fairly and give value for the dollar.”

Signature Builders, Inc., W295 N1765 Prairie Wood Court Pewaukee, WI 53072
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