About Our Process
Even under the best of circumstances, creating a custom home is a daunting task. While clients have achieved success in their respective fields, most prospective custom home buyers have little personal experience in home building and often find it challenging to know where or how to begin. Richard became frustrated over the years when far too many prospective clients shared stories of heartbreak upon receiving bids from contractors that far surpassed their expected costs. That frustration became the fuel for developing a meaningful process so that homeowners could achieve their home building dreams without the surprise sticker shock.
Richard has spent 15 years perfecting a unique system that’s inspiring and clear from the very first communication until project completion. To control costs, he partners with clients and works even more closely with architects to find ways to maximize the owners’ investment in the home. All parties involved have discovered that the collaborative results often far surpass the original design. We strive to make the experience of building your dream home be as simple, rewarding and hassle-free as possible. By carefully guiding clients through the whole process with architects, design review boards, and trades, Richard adeptly brings about stellar outcomes.
Setting Goals and Selecting an Architect
Our starting point for all our projects is simple: every owner has a dream and a budget. No matter what the size and scope of either may be, proper planning is paramount to success. Whether the budget is measured in the thousands or millions of dollars, allocating money wisely to achieve desired goals is essential. In the discovery process, Richard gleans from his clients what they want in a home and begins to conceptualize a plan that will work best for their lifestyle. Next, he meets with an array of award-winning architects with whom we share a working history to get their input ideas and sketches.
Often, after spending time with homeowners and speaking at length about their desired dream home, a preferred style reveals itself to Richard. With that knowledge, he can quickly select an architect renowned for that style and begin the creation process. Sometimes, though, he may collect samples from several architects for the client to review to get their sense on styling. He is known to negotiate effectively with architects to set their fees -- often at a reduced rate. Richard’s involvement is beneficial for them as well, and the proven flow of communication simplifies the task. Once the owner selects the basic sketch of a floor plan and perhaps front elevation style, the real work begins.
“From the beginning, you were the best in taking our wants and translating them into a comfortable living space. Your knowledge of what can be done, especially in the luxury style house, is phenomenal.”
PAUL J. FISHER & NANCY K. WATERHOUSE-FISHER
Finalizing Design Plans, Specs, and Pricing
In this phase, details become a focal point. Richard tweaks plans as inspired by customer conversations to achieve or surpass the homeowners stated goals. He then presents the plan along with a preliminary budget for owner review. Supporting documentation details assumptions made to arrive at the budget including allowance takeoffs based on typical selections used in creating realistic allowances for electrical and plumbing fixtures, appliances, etc. Once clients have thoroughly reviewed the proposed plans, estimates, and notes they will meet with Richard again to discuss questions, concerns, and desired modifications.
Once owners are satisfied with all three aspects — plans, pricing, and proposed finishes — Richard moves things along by submitting all necessary documentation to the Palmetto Bluff Design Review Board to gain design approval. Throughout the process, all information is shared with clients, architects, and any other interested parties to ensure that everyone is on the same page each step along the way. Since Richard intercedes on behalf of clients and expertly manages this process, the homeowner can comfortably release the reigns and put their complete trust in Richard Best Custom Homes. Richard, supported by his dedicated team, will take care of it all so you won't have to.
Building Your Dream Home
With the design approval complete, everyone's attention turns to actual construction. It surprises many to learn that even at this point, owners are under no obligation to move forward with the RBCH team. The goal of shepherding is simply to help homeowners get through this unwieldy process with their sanity intact. In fact, Richard's consultative service is complimentary during design. It is only during actual construction that he includes fees for any work performed. Having gone through so much together and seeing Richard's processes and communication skills first hand, very few have ever chosen to do so. This is yet another testament to Richard and his team's exception dedication to their clients and the trust that springs forth from it.