The Building Process
Your First Meeting
Scheduling Your First Meeting
As a custom builder, we do not have "per square foot" pricing. Your first meeting will enable us to design and build a home on paper in order to minimize any potential surprises. We ask that you be available for at least four hours for the initial meeting. If you are building on your own property, please bring your plat and health department approvals with you to the meeting. Contact Stephanie Langston, Anthony Clatterbuck's assistant (and daughter) to set up your meeting. Her cell phone is 540-825-1300 and e-mail is email@example.com. Stephanie is a licensed Real Estate Broker in Virginia and represents Graystone Homes, Inc. (required disclosure.) We welcome the participation of outside agents, please click here for our policy.
Founder & President
Your First Meeting
When you first sit down with Anthony, you will discuss design features that are important to you. We want to know how you envision your new home and how you will live in it. What are your plans for the future? Is this your first home or where you plan to retire? This information enables us to provide our best advice and guidance in selecting a design and features that will fit your lifestyle. We utilize a thorough and detailed process that we have developed over the last 20 years to precisely identify every component that goes into your new home. This "new customer meeting" takes about 4 hours to complete. There is no charge for the meeting or the initial bid.
If you bring your own plan or just a basic design, Anthony will work with you to ensure that the final design fits your lifestyle. If you do not have a plan already selected, Anthony will help you identify a design from our archives that can be tailored to your exact requirements.
You will also touch on some financing options . We will provide several lenders from which you may select, or you may bring your own lender.
Once we have identified a design and thoroughly discussed everything that is necessary to build your dream home we prepare a detailed contract proposal.
Pricing YOUR Home
The Bid Process
David Loy, Graystone's estimator, takes your detailed specifications developed from Anthony's notes and the plans you have chosen and "red lined" (marked for change) and finds out exactly what it will cost to build. The process usually takes between four and six weeks.
He is responsible for taking proposals from concept to contract, including the creation of the budgets and documents that will be the foundation for the entire construction process. He ensures that all the necessary materials are calculated to minimize waste and to meet the high quality standard that Graystone sets.
David reviews each plan for code compliance and structural feasibility, then works with our various suppliers to ensure that everything; from steel, floor and roof systems, to stairs and “stick” counts, are correct, accounted for and ready for purchase. He is also tasked with “R&D” (research and disregard), as so many new products are not yet tried and true it is our job to wade through the vast array of products and applications in the industry so that we know we are providing the highest quality products available.
Vice President of Operations
The Contract Presentation
Once we have completed the contract proposal, Stephanie will contact you to make an appointment to come and review the proposal with Anthony. We do not mail or e-mail our proposals, it is important that we explain every aspect of the highly detailed proposal. Remember, amenities may be added or deleted to fit within your target budget.
You will have 7 days from the presentation of the contract proposal to make your decision. If you choose not to proceed for any reason your $1000 home site deposit will be returned to you (if applicable.) If you decide to proceed, the home site deposit will become part of the construction deposit
Signing the contract
Another difference you will find when building with Graystone is the contract. This is no one page document that states you will buy a home from us. Our highly detailed contract clearly states the specifics of your home - think of it as building your home on paper. You know EXACTLY what is going into your home and what the obligations are on both sides. From the signing of the contract, the building process typically takes 4 to 6 months (depending on how many revisions to the plan are necessary.)
Working with Whitney
Whether you see her a lot, or just a little, Whitney Larkin is working behind the scenes to make sure that the financing end of the process is in place. She processes subcontractor and vendor payments, interacts with your lender, coordinates construction loan draws with you (if your loan is a construction perm) and facilitates your closing.
Choosing Your Financing
During your first meeting, Anthony will discuss which financing option is best suited to your personal needs. If you have already chosen a lender, you will need to provide Whitney with that information. If you have not selected a lender, we are happy to provide you with a reccomendation. We are "approved builders" with most banks and are happy to submit to the approval process with your bank if we have not already worked with them.
The majority of our customers choose the Construction Perm, or “one time closing” financing option. With this option, a 1%
deposit is required and the interest during the construction term is tax deductible to the homeowner. With the Construction Perm process, the land conveys to the owner at the beginning of the process and then five equal “draws” are made during the construction of your new home. Many Construction Perm programs allow the interest rate to be locked when the loan is closed at the land acquisition rather than at the end of the process. Builder Financing is different in that the cost of the loan and interest carry is built into the contract price of your home and therefore is not tax deductible. With this option, a 5% deposit is required. This option is only available to customers building on a home site owned by Graystone. Typically, this option ends up being a more expensive method of financing your home.
If you do not require financing to build your home, the payment schedule will be the same as with the Construction Perm.
Financing for Renovations, Remodeling and Additions will be tailored to the size and complexity of the project.
Whitney will contact you when your home is nearing completion to coordinate with your lender and settlement agency to finalize the process.
Getting the ball rolling...
Once you've signed your contract, we ask that you send your lender information to Stephanie so that she can send your signed contract and specifications to the lender. She will also put your lender in touch with Whitney to begin the process. Once we have a set of plans, we will send copies to you and your lender. The lender will then order an appraisal to be done. This can take anywhere from several days to more than a week (depending on both the bank and the appraiser.) Once the appraisal is in and deemed acceptable by the bank, we can submit for permits.
Behind the Scenes
We assign your superintendent based on the location and technical aspects of your home to ensure that you get the right man for the job.
ES Gillespie has over 30 years of experience in construction. He is our remodeling/renovation specialist. ES's positivity and hands-on approach, combined with his wealth of knowledge and flexibility enable him to work with even the most complex projects.
Tony Swift is a 3rd generation carpenter that has been with us since 1997. His background is in residential construction with an emphasis on green building. Tony's energy, knowledge and enthusiasm help drive the field.
Armon Webb has been with us since 1994.
The Permitting Process
Your superintendent deals directly with city and county officials to ensure that all of the proper steps in order to satisfy building and zoning regulations. We coordinate the various permits and inspections required to build your home. The first step is to obtain the well & septic permits from the Health Department. Then we apply for the zoning and building permits. The time it takes the various counties to issue the permits varies between counties and depends on their current workload. Before closing, we obtain the occupancy permit that will allow you to move in to your new home.
Missy Walker works behind the scenes to bring the individual components of your home together. She negotiates with subcontractors and vendors to ensure that we receive the best possible price on the materials for your home and then coordinates the delivery between the supplier and your superintendent. Our meticulous purchasing system enables us to order only the quantities needed for your home, thereby reducing both cost and construction waste. This enables us to maintain efficient cost control which equates to competitive proposal and contract prices to you, our customer.
As soon as you sign your contract we begin developing a full set of plans from your meeting with Anthony. We typically go through several "drafts" until Anthony and David are satisfied. The time it takes to process the plans depends on the amount of plan detail and number of changes if you customize one of our plans. Typically, it takes 1-2 weeks. Once we have a good set of plans to work from, Stephanie will send your lender a set of plans. Then, the lender can order the appraisal and we can schedule your site walk.
Your Next Mission:
The Site Walk
Once we have a working draft of your plans, Stephanie will call to set up a site walk with Anthony and your superintendent. You will have an active role in the process, so be sure to bring your walking shoes and dress appropriately for the weather!
During the site walk, we will determine exactly where your home will sit. We will offer suggestions as to the location and layout of the driveway and the location of basement windows and door may be changed to compensate for site conditions.
If your lot is wooded and you would like to keep certain trees in place, they will be marked at this time. While we can’t guarantee that we can save all of the trees that you want or that they will survive, we will make every effort to ensure that we follow your wishes.
Your home will be "staked out." This must be done after the corners of the drainfield have been marked. Stakes with colored ties will be placed at the corners of where the house will sit. The drainfield, BRL (Building Restriction Lines), topography of the lot, and the view you want are all factors considered when this is done.
The Selections Process
Linda Clatterbuck is Graystone’s selections coordinator. Her job is to help you through the process of selecting your home’s cabinets, kitchen design, floor coverings, electrical fixtures, plumbing fixtures, appliances, paint colors and more! The entire process usually takes around three visits.
You will visit our Selections Center – a design showcase where you can see many of the products that we use in our homes. Graystone’s “standard” products are not the normal builder standard – our “standard” products are the quality that many builders offer only as costly “upgrades.”
We pride ourselves in using the finest products and materials available. Members of our team attend the International Builder’s Show yearly and we constantly research and compare available products in order to offer the best to our customers.
While Graystone does have “standard” products, our selections process is very different from the typical home buyer’s experience. We offer an extensive array of choices, but we also have the ability to integrate new and unique products brought to us by our home owners. We regularly install custom features for our homeowners such as exotic flooring, custom cabinetry, elevators, custom sound and media systems and more!
Honey, we have a hole!
Once the house is staked out during the site walk and the building premit (or foundation permit) is recieved, we begin breaking ground. Your home site will be cleared and the basement dug.
All of our homes include a full basement (unless the homeowner specifically asks to exclude it.) If the site allows, we include a level walk-out from the basement.
After the foundation is dug, reinforcing steel is placed according to the engineer's design. Then lightweight forms are set up with openings for windows, vents, beams, and utility connections. Once the concrete is poured into the forms, anchors are installed along the top edge of the foundation for the framers to use in order to secure the wall to the foundation.
Once the concrete has hardened, the forms are removed and the concrete is treated with dampproofing. The dampproofing process involves applying an asphalt coating to seal the surface of the concrete. This prevents moisture from the soil from seeping into your home through the concrete.
Then draintile is installed to help channel water away from your foundation. The is especially important in Virginia, where much of our soil is the heavy clay type. A foundation drain tile system has four main components: the drain tile (pipe); the filter media (gravel); the gravel cover; and the water outlet. All of these elements must be installed for the system to function properly. The water outlet is simply the place where the collected water flows to. Your draintile is run to daylight before the excavating team returns to backfill around the foundation. This is the best situation, because your system depends entirely on gravity to work.
This is the most dramatic process. Your home will literally go from a hole in the ground to what can be recognized as a house!
Framing begins with the installation of the first level subfloor, followed by the walls. Graystone uses top quality glue and fasteners to secure the subfloor, which minimizes squeaks. Headers provide support across the tops of door and window openings and along the sides of the stairwells. Steel beams provide support for the floors. Solid sheathing is then applied to the frame to make the walls solid. We then cover the sheathing with TyvekTM house wrap.
Your superintendent will regularly check to see how work is progressing and ensure correct placement and size of walls and openings. He will also check to make sure that the openings are square. If it rains or snows before your roof is complete, don't worry! The materials can withstand a considerable amount of weather.
Roofing and Exterior Trim
Most roof designs use at least some engineered trusses (preassembled triangles composed of wood and metal parts.) The trusses are assembled in a factory and delivered to the site ready to lift into place. A crane lifts the parts into place and the framers then attach them in place. Then the OSB roof sheathing is applied to the trusses. Afterwards, holes are cut into the roof for plumbing, heating, and the fireplace (if you have one.) These holes allow for the vent pipes and a chimney. The holes are then sealed around the edges to prevent leaks. Then the roofing paper is applied beginning at the lower edges and proceeding upwards, with each row overlapping the previous one. Flashing is installed in the angles where two planes of the roof come together. The shingles you chose during the selections process are attached and a crew installs your exterior doors, windows and fascia (boards nailed to the ends of rafters).
Inside these walls
The Electrical Walk
During the electrical walk, you will meet with your Selections Coordinator, Superintendent, and the electrical contractor. This meeting will take place on-site. The electrician will temporarily place the electrical boxes in accordance with code and your specifications. During the walk, you will choose where to install your electrical outlets, light switches, telephone jacks, and t.v. outlets. Your Selections Coordinator will make suggestions as to the most practical placement, but the final determination is up to you (pursuant to code, of course!) Now is the time to add extra phone lines, freezer circuits, or floor outlets if you need them. and the rough-in work will take place before insulation.
Mechanical System Rough-in
The "HVAC" (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system is installed in two phases. During the first phase (called the "rough-in") the mechanical subcontractors install the framework for your HVAC system - the ducts, pipes, and wires.
Graystone uses “high efficiency” Trane heating units and air conditioners in order to improve the energy efficiency of your home, which translates to additional savings in energy costs for our home owners.
When the rough mechanical work is complete, the inspections on framing and the rough-in work will take place before insulation.
Graystone Homes uses two types of insulation: R13 fiberglass batting (which comes in sheets) and a blown-in cellulose product. The batting (shown at right) is installed between the interior studs and the highly efficient, sound-proof cellulose is blown in for the exterior walls and attic.
Insulation is rated based on a measure of a material’s thermal (heat flow) resistance called the “R-value.” The higher the R-value, the more effective the insulation. Your home’s energy efficiency is greatly impacted by the type and quality of insulation used. Effective insulation helps drastically reduce the amount of energy needed to keep a home warm in the winter or cool in the summer.
The R-value of the insulation alone is not enough to ensure energy efficiency. The insulation crew must make sure that crevices around doors, windows and vents are filled in properly.
Graystone Homes uses drywall that is (1/2 inch or 5/8 inch) thick. The drywall is installed in three steps: hanging (screwing or nailing the drywall into place), taping (covering the seams with a thin tape and then coating the tape and screw heads with joint compound), and finishing. The drywall may receive some dings and dents during the completion of the home, but don’t worry! We’ll send someone out to patch them towards the end of the construction process.
Exterior Trim and Siding
Once the drywall is hung, the finish material (vinyl, brick, or stone siding - depending on what you chose) is applied. The crew then installs door and window trim, columns (if applicable), gutters and downspouts, corner boards and shutters. Usually, your walkway will be poured around this time.
The trim crew begins by setting doors. Most doors arrive as a pre-hung unit. If your contract calls for crown mould, chair rails and fireplace mantels, they will be
added along with the baseboard and casing.
After the interior trim is completed, the painters are scheduled. First the painters
apply a prime coat. Then they do the prep work: sanding, filling nail holes, and
caulking trim to the drywall. Next, the paints and stains are carefully applied. This is followed by two finish coats. The walls are sprayed and then the enamel is applied to
the woodwork first. Like the drywall, the paint can be dinged or marked during
completion of your home, but don’t worry! The painter will return to make touch-ups.
At the end of the building process, a cleaning crew will come out to ready your new home for your arrival. The cleaning crew will remove any leftover debris, clean the tape and paint from your windows, vacuum the floors, wipe down countertops and cabinets, and generally ensure that your home is in top shape!
The Final Walk
Your superintendent will schedule a final walkthrough of the property prior to settlement. He will conduct the comprehensive "New Home Orientation" by demonstrating and educating you on specific components of your new home - the locations of your electrical box, water shutoff valves and many other functions within your home. During this Walk-Through, you will have an opportunity to point out areas of concern. We will make a list of all items that need to be completed or corrected and your Superintendent will schedule the appropriate crews to complete any remaining tasks.
The Certificate of Occupancy
Missy orders the final survey (showing the property boundaries, home, driveway, and any other improvements) in preparation for closing. Once construction is complete, the county’s building department reviews the inspection records, survey, certifications, and other documents in order to issue the Certificate of Occupancy, a vital part of the closing process.
Presentation of the Keys
After all funds are received and the necessary documents are signed, you will be the proud new owner of a Graystone Home! When you stop by the Graystone Office, you will receive your keys from Whitney.
Warranty and Service
Your new home will come with a complehensive Service Manual and Warranty. Please review both documents (you can also access them from the Customer Center on this website) and refer back to them. We ask that you take time at 60 days and 1 year in your new home to make a list of any items that you may find that need attention outside of the normal maintenance required. The form for submitting the list can be found in the Customer Center alongside the instructions for submitting.
Let everyone know about your experience!