An Experience Like None Other

The Custom Home Experience is a bit different than buying an existing home.  Here are a few things you can expect from your custom home construction experience.

The Custom Home Experience

Initial Meeting

Cook Residential wants you to enjoy building the home of your dreams.  However, this can be a frustrating time due to the volume of necessary decisions that need to be made.  Our Custom Home Process will help you navigate the many options and choices.  Our initial meeting will begin with a home questionnaire that helps us understand and prioritize your must haves

Financing and Establishing a Budget

We will need to establish a budget for your custom home.  This begins with an understanding of the amount of loan that you are comfortable with and payments you can afford.  We have in-house lenders that have many new home loan products or we can work with the lender with which you already have a relationship.

Custom Home Building | Custom Home Experience | Cook Residential

Lot Preview and Feasibility Assessment

We can build on a lot that you currently own, build on a lot that we own, work with your Real Estate Associate or use our Real Estate Associate to find a lot.   Cook Residential will preview the lot you have chosen to address any concerns with set-backs, grading, soil analysis, septic tank/field line layout and elevation of foundation/retaining walls.  A current soil test and survey are needed to complete this assessment.  Many lots may already have this information completed, however, we have a list of surveyors and soil scientist on hand to help complete this process.

Meet the Designer | Custom Home Experience | Cook Residential

Custom Home Design

If you are building an existing Cook plan from our Dream Guide with no changes – then this meeting is not necessary.  However, if you have changes to your plan then the next step involves meeting with our team to choose between either a fully designed custom home or a modification of an existing floor plan.

Your Custom Selections in our Design Studio

Visiting our design studio gives you access to the latest styles in home design with samples available for viewing.  Our Interior Designer will help guide you through pricing, trends, durability of the product and answer any questions you may have.  Many times you will need to meet with a certain vendor in order to finalize your selections.  When decisions cannot be made, you will have an allowance that will be budgeted.   Many selections that receive an allowance are appliances, electrical, plumbing, landscaping, and cabinetry.  Options can vary on these selections and we can schedule appointments with our vendors to ensure that all of your questions are answered.

Second Meeting with Designer

We will provide a proposed floor plan, elevations, lot layout and proposal on cost estimation based on your initial meeting.  This is a time that we can help value engineer your home and fine tune some of the selections to keep you in budget.  We want to make sure you like the floor plan, exterior elevations, and interior selections during this meeting.  We are always focused to keep you in budget and help get the most value in your new home.  You will need to either add or eliminate some selections.  Our Designer will get all feedback on the home plan if revisions need to be made.

Third Meeting with Designer

Your final meeting with our designer occurs after all decisions have been made with interior selections of your home.  Exterior and floor plan revisions are completed and we are focused on finalizing your plan.  We want you to have the home of your dreams so additional design hours can be purchased at $75 per hour if you are still not satisfied with your plan.

Contract with Cook Residential

Once your plan has been finalized we present the final proposal and all paperwork is ready to be completed.  We will then forward your contract to your lender and the Construction Perm loan is set in motion.

Lot Closing

Once you have closed your home loan for the lot- we are ready to begin construction.

Construction of Your Custom Home

Cook will begin the permitting process and lot clearing will follow soon after.  Construction time varies depending on the size of your home and external forces such as weather and permitting.

Construction Mortgage | Custom Home Experience | Cook Residential
Walkthrough during the construction process | Custom Home Experience | Cook Residential

Walk-Through and Change Orders

Several walk-throughs with Cook Residential will be necessary during the construction.  We want to be certain everyone is on the same page and communication is occurring.   Usually, three walk-throughs will occur. These are before the foundation is finalized, before electrical begins and a final walk through.  If you want to make a change to a selection that you have chosen then a change order may be possible depending on the timing of the change in the construction process. Cook Residential will provide you with a Warranty/Homeowner Maintenance Manual that you will use during all walk-throughs and this helps you understand the process.

Construction Draws

Construction Draws occur during the construction of your home.  Vendors that are used during the construction are paid with these draws.  Most lenders allow around five to six draws during the building process.  The lender will inspect the home before any draw is given.  This is an excellent check and balance system that keeps the homeowner informed during the construction process.

Completion/Final Closing

Your custom home is complete and move-in is scheduled.  Your final walk through has occurred and your construction loan is finalized.


Your beautiful new home has a one year warranty.  Walk-throughs are scheduled at eleven months after closing to allow your new home a complete heating and cooling season.  The 11-month walk-through will generate a punch list and we will cover all warranty items at this time.  One of our professional warranty representatives will correct all warranty claims during this time through your assigned warranty portal.  The Warranty/Homeowner Maintenance Manual will also provide you with valuable knowledge of the warranty process.

Cook Residential hopes that this short outline helps prepare you for your Custom Home experience.  We truly believe that “It’s not just any home… it’s YOUR home!”.  If you are interested in learning more about the Custom Home Process, then reach out to us to begin your conversation.

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