Building Your Dream Home Made Easy: FAQs You Need to Know

We've compiled our frequently asked questions about building custom and semi-custom homes with us.

Designing your dream home is an exciting adventure, but navigating the process can seem daunting. Don’t worry, Brett Lott Homes is here to guide you from the first spark of inspiration to moving in! This FAQ page answers your most pressing questions about building a custom or semi-custom home, working with a real estate agent, and even making modifications to perfectly suit your needs. 

When should I contact the builder in the custom home process and what if I have a real estate agent I am working with?

We suggest connecting with the builder as soon as possible. We can guide you through the process and help avoid pitfalls that may cost you time and money. There is no additional cost to talk to us sooner rather than later. We welcome real estate agents and are more than happy to work with you and your agent.

What is the difference between a custom and semi-custom home?

A custom home is typically a home designed specifically for you from the ground up and is usually built on land that you purchase or already own. A semi-custom home is when you use one of our floor plans and is usually built on one of our lots. Learn more about the distinct differences between custom home and semi-custom homes.

What are the advantages of buying a home already under construction (speculation home) vs building a custom home?

You are able to move into the home sooner. You don’t have to go through the selection process which some people find a little overwhelming. Sometimes we will add upgrades to our speculation homes to incentivize them over building a semi-custom home.

Can I make modifications to a semi-custom home?

Absolutely. You are spending a lot of money and it is your home and we feel you should be able to make modifications. That has always been our mantra. It is our job to guide you along the way and be transparent about the process and associated costs with modifications. 

Do you build custom homes?

Absolutely! We’ve been building custom homes since 1991. We have decades of experience with many custom homes under our belt and have built an excellent reputation for a great custom home experience. 

Can I provide my own appliances, materials or bring my own preferred subcontractors?

We cannot adequately control circumstances or provide warranties for materials or subcontractors that are not provided by us. We have long standing relationships with our trade partners and by allowing us to take care of all aspects of the building process we can provide you with the best experience.

What geographical area do you build homes in?

We build homes in the Tri-cities and surrounding areas including Burbank, West Richland, and Benton City. We do not build in Oregon. 

What if I have my own land?

Fantastic. We build homes for people on their land all the time. We can visit your property and discuss the process and things that may be required in the building process such as access to power, septic systems, well, and road access.

Is landscaping and/or fencing included?

Landscaping and fencing can always be included in our custom building projects. In certain developments landscaping and fencing are included with the price of the home.

What is the process for getting started?

Give us a call or have your agent contact us. We can meet and answer any questions you have. There is no cost to meet and discuss the process. 

Who can draw my plans for a custom home?

We do not draw plans in house but can give you some options of local plan designers and engineers. We do not build homes from plans purchased online or out of state. There are 6 building jurisdictions within the Tri-city area and local designers are aware of building departments requirements.

Will you give me a bid for building a new home?

After meeting we can give you a rough idea of what your new home would cost. If you proceed with building with us we will provide detailed specifications and pricing for your new home.

How long does it take to build a new home?

Each home is different but typical homes are about 6-8 months. More complex custom homes can take up to a year or more.

Can I make upgrades or changes once construction has started?

Yes. Any requested upgrades or changes are all detailed and priced out for you to review and approve before moving forward. No price changes to our original agreement will ever happen without your approval. 

Can I have access to the home once construction has started?

You are able to tour your home during construction by setting up a time in advance so we can accompany you. Since there are dangers on a construction site we want to make sure you are safe.

How does the selection process work?

We schedule separate meetings with you and our trade partners such as flooring, surfaces, cabinet designers, appliances and windows. We also provide an online customer portal where you can view and make selections at your leisure. 

Can I have a home inspection once the home is completed?

No problem. We are great but don’t claim to be perfect and are happy to have another set of eyes on the home.

How does financing work for building a custom home?

A custom construction loan is used by most people. There are variations in the type of loans and we can suggest some lenders that specialize in working with clients on custom home loans.

How does financing work if we want a semi-custom home?

If it is a home on our lot the loan is closed when the home is completed and ready for you to move into.

Do you have homes that are finished or under construction that are available?

We typically have homes under construction or completed. You or your agent can contact us for any information regarding current inventory.

After horror stories from people who worked with other builders, it was a scary proposition to decide to build a house. We picked the right builder. Brett was always available for questions and help. He would give us his opinion but would leave any decision up to us — no bullying or strong arming like I have heard with other builders. Any change we suggested Brett would make sure we knew the cost in time and money before it was started. We could see the respect all of his subcontractors gave him because he was such an up right person to work for. Anything that we needed changed got changed. Brett was right on schedule and we love our house.

– Michelle

Experience the Brett Lott Homes Difference.

Ready to get started building the home of your dreams? We’d love to learn more about your vision for your new home.