At the completion of the design, we provide our customers seven (7) printed sets and one electronic (.pdf) file of the Construction Drawings that can be used to build your custom home. Our Construction Set includes a cover page, floor plan, window/door schedule, all exterior elevations, roof plan, electrical plan, rough-in plan and cabinet elevations. Please see a sample below.
360 Panorama View
An example of what you can see during the design. Much easier to get a feel of the space and how it will look than with standard 2D dwgs.
Home Building Resources
Below is a list of Custom Home Builders that we have been working with over the years and are happy to recommend them for your project. We are always excited to work with new builders as well and the list continues to grow. They all serve different surrounding areas, and we can give you guidance during our consultation. Also attached is a list of Approved Sub-Contractors that we have used and were very satisfied should you need something accomplished on a smaller scale.
Custom Home Builders
Russell Brown Construction – (903) 496-2390
Timberline Construction – (214) 695-6232
Watermark Properties – (214) 507-6009
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How much does it cost to build a house?
A: Very difficult question to answer. This has many personal and geographical considerations. Construction costs in South Texas vary from Construction costs in North Texas. A single 2,500 sqft floor plan could have up to $200k variance just based on material and design selections. One owner/builder may have a base price that includes stained concrete, HVAC and window selections that meet the minimum energy requirements along with standard Formica countertops while another owner/builder may choose solid hand-scraped hardwood floors, 18+ SEER variable speed HVAC units, Double Pane w/Argon Filled windows and Quartz countertops. Floor Plan Design can also affect the overall price of the house. Qty of windows & doors, Qty of hips and gables in a roofline, Pitch of the Roof, Rectangular vs multi joggled exterior walls can all affect the overall cost of a house. This is probably the number one question asked to all people involved in construction, and it is not a simple answer. The best way to phrase this question, is to ask, “How much would this house (referring to an existing home or blueprint) cost to build?” Many builders have an “average cost to build”. This number can be given per area under roof sqft or living sqft. Based on a sample of homes they have built, they can quote you a number. However, once you have come up with a design, then that number may go up or down.
Q: Is Pinterest and Houzz Useful?
A: All online platforms are great for generating ideas. But remember, if it looks really and neat, it probably costs extra. If you are on a budget (who isn’t) and a builder has given you his average price/sqft, you can not expect to use “WOW” pictures from these sites for every room. This will blow your budget in a hurry. However, they are very useful for showing things that you like and is a great conversation starter. At Tracy’s Custom Homes, we can assist you with your budget and we can approximate how much that really cool feature might cost.
Q: How long does it take to build a house?
A: This is another open ended question, but depending on severe weather conditions, most builders will tell you 4-6 months after the form boards have been set.
Q: Why should I have a custom plan drawn vs buying an online stock plan?
A: A custom plan will be designed around YOUR lifestyle and how you live. It will also be based on current codes and what is trending in today’s architecture. Many stock plans were created in the 80’s, 90’s and even early 2000’s, which have dated architectural features. At Tracy’s Custom Homes, we sit down with you to go over how you plan to use the house and develop a flow that works for YOU. After designing over 300+ homes for individuals and builders, we understand that no two people live in a house the same way. Most of the time, we can get you a custom plan drawn up for slightly more than you can buy an existing stock plan, and it fits YOUR needs.
Q: If I have a detailed sketch of my dream house, does it affect the overall price to have Tracy’s Custom Homes create the construction dwgs?
A: Although we really appreciate your hard work, we still have to take your sketches and input them into our software, so it does not affect the overall price. I find many sketches do not include wall thicknesses, which can dramatically alter the total floor plan sqft or reduce room dimensions to undesirable sizes. By providing a sketch of what you like, that lets us know that you have thought about the way you want your house to work or look and is a great first step. We take pride in our work and will refine your ideas to create a unique custom home.
Q: What can I do to assist the design process and possibly speed it up?
A: Being prepared… General ideas of how you would like the house to flow. Pictures of exteriors of homes that you like. Pinterest or Houzz pictures that you like of different rooms. An idea of what you can afford. These are all things that will speed up the design process. We don’t charge for changes, and encourage you to make as many as you wish, but limiting the qty of changes will speed up the process.
Q: I don’t live in North Texas. Can you still design a house for me?
A: Absolutely. We have designed houses for the Texas Panhandle, South Texas, East Texas, Oklahoma and as far away as Colorado. We can work remotely via email, text and phone calls. Most of our business is in North Texas as our customers enjoy the virtual walk thrus and dynamic changes that we can offer in our office.
Q: Is it cheaper to build a two story house or a single story house?
A: This is a difficult question as well. We charge a higher design fee when working with 1-1/2 and 2 story homes as there are additional considerations that have to be taken into account. Location of stairs, ceiling heights, 2nd story roof lines and so forth. When it comes to construction, it is largely based on geographical area and your builder. Most builders prefer to work single story homes. Pour a slab, frame the walls and go. For 2 story homes, although you reduce the concrete footprint you have second story subfloor that costs additional material and labor as well as scaffolding is required for all exterior work. Most builders feel the additional costs associated with 2 story homes offsets the savings of a reduced footprint.
Q: How easy is it to add a Bonus Room?
A: As one builder discussed with me, who came up with “Bonus Room”? It is a not FREE. Bonus Rooms that are going to be used for additional bedrooms, gamerooms, media rooms, all require additional flooring loads that must be calculated into the original design of the house. You will need stronger (taller) ceiling supports over the 1st floor. Stairs have to be allowed for and you may or may not want additional windows in that area. Bonus rooms typically do not drive the overall roof design and you are occupying attic space. This creates odd shaped ceilings and varying interior wall heights depending on your existing roof line. There will be an expense for the additional subfloor, wall framing, HVAC and finish out. So they may be cheaper than adding the same sqft to the first floor, it is definitely not FREE.
Q: Now that I have found someone to draw my plans (Tracy’s Custom Homes), how do I go about selecting a builder?
A: Since Tracy’s Custom Homes works with many local builders in North Texas, we can definitely assist you in recommending some builders. I believe the best way to find a good builder is to ask your social media friends who they used, who they recommend? Word of mouth is the best recommendation that you can receive. Many of the great builders with excellent experience are not out there on social media or have attractive websites. The individual custom builders that are going to give you one on one time, are busy working with their clients, have small overhead and do not advertise much. So, although you may jump on Google or Amazon when shopping for a new vacuum cleaner to see what is out there, investing in your future home must be take the old school way of physically reaching out to your friends and getting personal recommendations. ALWAYS check references with any builder and have them show you a house that they built. We have some FANTASTIC builders in North Texas, but there are a few slick salesmen. You do not want to spend $200k-$500k with someone you don’t really know!