Amidst the striking landscape of desert vistas and red rock canyons, more and more people are building new homes in Southern Utah with the help of custom home builders like Dennis Miller Homes.
Custom home builders in St. George, Utah (and surrounding areas) can help you incorporate local materials, colors, and designs to create a home that embodies the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape while meeting your budgetary and lifestyle needs.
On top of that, a home construction company local to the area will also know how best to build in the fickle desert conditions and what common building mistakes to avoid. If you plan to build a home in southern Utah, avoid this article's top five home-building pitfalls!
After all, this is your chance to build your dream home in a dreamy environment. The journey ahead can feel long, costly, and sometimes overwhelming. But if you can work with a trusted home builder and avoid these common construction mistakes, you’ll end up with the home of your dreams in a vivid landscape of sunshine and natural beauty.
When it comes to building new homes, there’s no such thing as doing too much research and planning.
Don’t rush the planning phase. Your first step should be to write down a clear vision and goals for your custom home. What is important to you? What are some of your must-haves? Envision your future home and everything it needs to accommodate your family’s lifestyle.
The last thing you want is for an inspection to end in fines and disappointment. Research the area’s residential building codes and regulations before any serious planning.
Choosing a custom home builder in Southern Utah is the most critical decision you will make, as it will directly affect every step of the process -- for better or for worse. Research and compare custom home builders and custom home construction services. Scour review boards and portfolios until you’ve found a trustworthy builder to actualize your vision.
It is highly likely that, in the end, your dream home will cost more than you originally planned. One of the most common errors in building a custom home is failing to prepare for the following:
Expect unexpected expenses. Period. Many unforeseen costs can arise, from clearing trees to needing special permits or structural changes. Leave room in the budget for unforeseen costs (we typically advise between 10-20% of your overall budget) to not hinder construction or scramble to make up for a stressful lack of funds.
You may think you want a custom home fully loaded with all the bells and whistles but don’t underestimate the long-term costs of your decisions. Consider consequential expenses, such as electricity bills, maintenance fees, and other costs required to power and maintain your new living space.
When building a custom house, a critical mistake is managing all the financial aspects by yourself. Working with a trusted advisor and credible mortgage lenders can make a massive difference in the overall cost of building a new home.
A widespread construction mistake is to prioritize form over function. An experienced St. George home builder, like Dennis Miller Homes, can help you avoid these common pitfalls.
Failure to clearly and frequently communicate with builders and contractors can result in costly mistakes. Establish clear lines of communication with all parties involved in your new build. Keep their contact information organized and set clear expectations about your goals and priorities.
There are so many decisions that go into building a new home. It can be overwhelming sometimes, but if you don’t stay active in making decisions, you could delay construction or contribute to some costly misunderstandings. Any site builder worth their salt will invite you to participate in regular site visits and inspections. Attend whenever possible to ensure you are always updated on the process and any unforeseen issues.
We said it once, and we’ll say it again: plan for your future. As you build your brand-new home from the ground up, you have the opportunity to make wise decisions that will benefit you in the long run. Energy efficiency is one such example.
Don’t make the mistake of mindlessly following dated home-building traditions that incur hefty long-term expenses month after month. Take advantage of emerging breakthroughs to make your home energy efficient and sustainable! Spring for solar panels or geothermal energy systems to power your home, add skylights wherever possible, and choose water-wise landscaping designs.
Building a custom home in Southern Utah allows you to design your dream home from the ground up in a beautiful setting. Avoid these new home construction mistakes to save yourself a great deal of time, money, and a whole lot of stress. As long as you research, plan, and communicate, you can establish a powerful relationship with your custom home builder, resulting in a home as beautiful as it is functional and sustainable.
If you’re looking for a custom home builder in St. George, Utah, look no further than Dennis Miller Homes. We have the experience, expertise, and resources necessary to actualize your vision while avoiding all the common home-building mistakes. Contact us today to get started.
Investing in energy-efficient homes is a no-brainer. Not only are energy-efficient homes more comfortable and durable, but they'll also help you save energy and money. Homes built with energy efficiency in mind also help reduce your environmental impact by lessening emissions of greenhouse gases and conserving water usage. Energy-efficient homes, also known as green homes, are quickly becoming a standard for many homeowners.
If you're interested in energy-efficient homes in Utah, you'll want to find a reputable green home builder to ensure the job is done correctly. Not only is Dennis Miller, an excellent home builder, but we're the leading green home builders in Southern Utah.
Let's discuss the benefits of energy-efficient homes and how Dennis Miller Homes can build the energy-efficient home you've always wanted.
While we've introduced a few benefits of energy-efficient homes, let's cover more of what they entail and what they can do for you.
Working with energy-efficient home builders to design your next house means you'll have a home requiring fewer utilities to heat, cool, and light. As you can imagine, this means you'll benefit from cheaper utility bills.
Using less power and gas to make your home comfortable reduces its environmental impact. In addition, green homes use recycled and environmentally-friendly products when possible, contributing to an overall reduced environmental impact.
Drafty homes can be an uncomfortable way to rack up an expensive energy bill. Energy-efficient homes deliver improved insulation, ventilation, and smart thermostats that help control temperatures, making your home more comfortable and cost-effective.
When you build with green home builders like Dennis Miller Homes, you can incorporate as many energy-efficient features as possible. Here are some common and optional eco-friendly features we provide for our clients.
High-Quality Insulation Insulation is one of the most critical elements in a home. Not only does it keep your house warm, but it also helps to keep out the excessive heat we're known for in Southern Utah. We use only the highest-quality insulation to ensure your home is as efficient as possible. You'll also have the option of insulating specific parts of your home to increase energy efficiency and improve sound control.
The hot summers and cold winters in St. George require efficient heating, ventilating, and cooling solutions that run efficiently and don't drain your paycheck. Each home is designed to maximize utilities with energy-efficient HVAC systems and smart thermostats that give you the ultimate control over the temperature in your home.
Refrigerators, dishwashers, washers, dryers, ceiling fans, and lighting have evolved into efficient machines that can save you hundreds on utility bills annually. When you build a home with Dennis Miller Homes, you can choose the specific appliances you want. Look for appliances with an Energy Star tag, and aim for LED lighting that can last for years without changing a bulb.
Renewable energy options like solar panels are always available when building energy-efficient homes in Utah with Dennis Miller Homes. Solar panels can help you save money on your monthly electricity bills and allow you to generate electricity if the power goes out.
What's the benefit of building a custom energy-efficient home with Dennis Miller Homes? We allow you to customize everything about your home, including the energy-efficient features you'd like. We'll help you tailor your home's features to fit your individual preferences, allowing you to save as much money and be as comfortable as you'd like.
If you're not aiming for a completely customized home but would still like to build with us, we'll help you select the most energy-efficient home plans and features that suit your lifestyle and budget.
At Dennis Miller Homes, we recognize our responsibility to build energy-efficient homes. As the leading green home builders in Southern Utah, we remain committed to giving our customers the best building experience and providing them with a new home they'll love for years–one that's energy-efficient, comfortable, and beautiful.
Trusting Dennis Miller Homes to be your energy-efficient custom home builder in Southern Utah will benefit you in many ways. And when it's all said and done, you'll receive a green-home dream home to enjoy for years and years.
We take pride in providing you with a red-carpet experience from beginning to end, and we apply the same process no matter what type of home you build with us. To build a new energy-efficient home in Southern Utah, contact us today.
If you are ready to design a new custom home but feel overwhelmed by the almost limitless ideas for building a house, take a deep breath and start with the basics. Consider making a list of your new home must-haves, and try not to get immediately sucked into tiny details and all the personalized home finishes. Instead, think about your new custom home as a whole and visualize your space's big picture and overall look and feel. Focusing on the following eight essential custom home features will help when building a new house near St. George, UT, and provide new home construction ideas.
Designing a custom home is a significant investment and often a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so it is crucial to incorporate custom home features and enhance functionality and personalization when creating a unique home. Custom home planning pays off in the long run, particularly in Southern Utah, where you can incorporate striking natural scenery and beautiful weather for much of the year into your everyday living space. Whether you are looking for cool house features or new house must-haves, here are eight essential features to consider as you build your custom home.
Energy efficiency is one of the top modern home-building trends that will only grow in popularity as we look to preserve our earth and mitigate our environmental impact. When compiling your ideas for new home construction, energy-efficiency products, appliances, and systems should be considered. Energy-efficient design incorporates sustainable, eco-friendly building materials and energy-efficient construction techniques. Some of the most popular sustainable features for custom homes also save you money in the long run by reducing energy costs and lasting longer. They include:
Open floor plans continue to be one of the most popular choices for customized living spaces and allow you to create a beautiful area that is both inviting and multi-functional.
Of all the trending custom home design ideas, open layouts or floor plans are very popular for various reasons. They allow for more natural light, making your home feel more extensive and inviting. This feeling is enhanced when you have vaulted ceilings. Open floor plans of luxury custom homes also create a seamless flow between different living areas, which allows for better traffic flow, better space for entertaining, and increased interaction with other family members.
The best part about personalized home design is that you can customize anything, ensuring your "must haves for home" wants list is integrated into your new home's design including your custom floor plan, making it work perfectly for you. Everyone's needs, desires, and hobbies are different, and you can have functional home elements with rooms that suit your needs, whether it is a home office, a cozy library, or an indoor rock climbing wall. With Dennis Miller Homes you are not constrained by pre-made floor plans and cookie-cutter designs, instead, we can create a custom home that is truly unique and made just for you.
Integrating smart devices and automation systems into your home is another popular trend for new home design. Smart home technology can control lighting, security, temperature, entertainment systems, garage doors, and more, all from your phone or designated device, enhancing your home's convenience, comfort, and energy efficiency. Smart devices also allow you to control remotely, so when you are away from home, you can check to ensure you turned off the lights and lowered the temperature on your AC before leaving. Innovative home technology is a customizable feature that makes life easier and more enjoyable.
If your must-have home features an open concept, you do not have to sacrifice storage. Your custom home builder can design closets, cabinets, and shelving to maximize storage space and tailor custom storage solutions to your needs and preferences. Whether it is sports equipment, garage organization, cold storage, or closet space, you can find classy and innovative ways to organize and store your life. Your home builder can help with ideas to incorporate built-in features and organizers throughout your home.
Outdoor living space is a must-have for new custom homes in Southern Utah. It is a fantastic way to increase your living space and enjoy the surrounding views and mild climate. Design functional and inviting outdoor areas that create a place for relaxation, entertainment, and recreation. Unique to custom homes include incorporating features like patios, decks, pools, and landscaping. Your ideas for home building extend to your lot and incorporate outdoor living and landscaping.
One of the most exciting things to consider when building a house of your dreams is customizing your kitchen and bathrooms. You can create an exquisite entertaining and cooking area by selecting high-quality fixtures and appliances and customizing layouts to optimize functionality and style. Bathrooms can have a relaxing spa feel by incorporating modern design trends and materials.
Installing robust security systems and surveillance cameras and implementing smart locks, alarms, and access control is an extension of smart home technology that can make your designed custom home safe and secure. Prioritize safety and peace of mind for your custom home by including advanced security systems in your new house's design.
Most house-building ideas focus on finishes and details because this is the most visual aspect of your home. With quality custom homes, you can customize architectural elements and design features like archways, double doors, stairways, and more. You also have a first-hand say in choosing unique finishes, materials, and colors, incorporating your personal touches to reflect your style and personality.
To make the most when building your dream home, remember to explore and incorporate these eight essential features:
Consider these features during the planning process, and communicate with your builder your priorities and vision for your build. Doing so will produce lasting benefits and the satisfaction of a well-designed and personalized home. Get started planning your custom home in St. George, Ivins, or Hurricane today with Dennis Miller Homes, one of the top home builders in St. George, Utah, and the surrounding areas. Contact Dennis Miller Homes to learn more.
Dennis Miller Homes, the best home builder in St. George, Utah, is teaming up with St. George's most talented interior designers to offer exceptional design services for our clients. Throughout the years, we have remained committed to providing homes that reflect each customer's lifestyle. Whether your goal is to build the ultimate luxury home of your dreams or just a cozy place to call your own, we believe each home should be beautiful, unique, and reflect the homeowner's style. Offering our clients interior design services through our comprehensive homebuilding process is the best way to achieve this goal.
Everyone deserves a home that perfectly fits their lifestyle, which doesn’t end with four walls and a roof. When you build a luxury custom home with us, interior design is included so you can customize the living spaces to be exactly what you want.
Just a few of the benefits of working with Dennis Miller Homes include:
From floorplan down to minor details like hardware, our interior designers can guide you through creating a home designed based on your personality. We take the time to get to know your likes, dislikes, preferences, and more. Has your dream always been to have a beautiful, sunny kitchen with a large island perfect for entertaining? Or perhaps you've always wanted an indoor area that easily transitions to an outdoor living room by the pool. No matter what you want, let the team at Dennis Miller Homes design and build it for you.
Our St. George interior design team takes pride in craftsmanship that goes above and beyond the other guys. We pay attention to details and only hire subcontractors who put quality first. We believe in transparency and integrity through every step of the process, and the result is a house that you'll love to call home for many years. Building a home with quality craftsmanship is the Dennis Miller Homes advantage.
When you create a new home with Dennis Miller Homes, you aren't limited to the products in a builder's showroom. Our customization options are nearly endless, and we go above and beyond to ensure you get just the right finishes you love for your home. If you can dream it, our St. George home designers can make it happen.
We believe that a home doesn't start with a floorplan; it first begins with the people who will live inside. Throughout our interior design process, we take the time to create a space that is the perfect combination of personal needs, proven design principles, and respect for the home’s surrounding Utah environment.
The first step in any Dennis Miller Homes project is a consultation. This is where we get to know you and your vision for the home. We'll take time to get to know you personally, including learning more about your hopes and dreams for the space.
After the consultation, we get to work creating a home design that you'll love. Your project will be planned down to the smallest detail, including new home decorations such as interior and exterior materials and finishes, lighting designs, custom cabinetry plans, mechanical systems, space planning, and more. We'll go over every detail, from flooring installation, wallpaper installation, and even custom furniture. Throughout this stage, you'll have chances to meet with us and review plans several times.
The consultation and design development stages eventually lead to the final project review and execution stage, where you'll see precisely how your home will look. You'll be able to review and approve every detail while making any additional last-minute changes, if necessary. After approval begins the exciting part–building your dream home.
One look through our gallery and you'll see plenty of new home decoration and design ideas created by our talented team. We love this modern, sleek, and minimal kitchen that perfectly overlooks the beauty of St. George's red rocks. The contrasting wood tones and statement lighting in this contemporary kitchen are some of our favorites. This light and airy master bedroom, with oversized windows, is incredibly dreamy. No matter the home you want to build, Dennis Miller Homes are the St. George home builders you can trust to build it right.
When it comes to residential construction projects, there are many different contractors and professionals involved, from architects to engineers to general contractors. However, there is a type of contractor that can simplify the process for you: design-build contractors.
Design build construction, also referred to as design & build, is a different, more streamlined approach to residential construction projects. Design build projects bring the architectural designer and the general contractor together as a team from the start, and they work as a team for the duration of the project's design and construction phases. The design build process creates better communication throughout the project, leading to turnkey project delivery, cost-saving decisions, and faster completion of construction. Design build construction is fast becoming the preferred method for homebuilders in Southern Utah because it allows us to build a robust and communicative relationship with our clients and saves both parties time and money.
When you work with a residential design build firm to build your home, you work with a team of designers, architects, and a general contractor to make your dreams a reality. From the beginning, the designer, architects, and general contractor work together to understand your vision and point out challenges, cost-saving measures, and more feasible alternatives to ensure that your home plans are the best they can be.
The design build process also produces one contract and a single point of responsibility. Homeowners work with one team throughout the design and building process, creating a more collaborative and transparent process that benefits all parties.
In the past, design-bid-build has been the construction delivery standard. In this model, you work with a design team to create plans for a home. After your plans have been designed and completed, you put your project out for a bid and decide on a general contractor to construct them. You hire a contractor based on their proposal. Your contractor was not involved before submitting their bid, and they did not participate in the planning and thus have little say on any changes, even if they would be improvements or save money and time.
Building your dream home can be a stressful experience and can be exacerbated when you need to work with a separate design team and general contractor. Design build construction ensures that you work with one team throughout your entire home-building process, and you don't sacrifice or lose your priorities and needs. You need only be concerned about one contract and a single point of contact throughout your experience - your design build team.
Our residential design build team works together to ensure planning and building meet your goals, whether architecture, energy efficiency, building materials, or home automation. Regardless of your dreams, the design-build delivery method saves money, time, and headache.
Home design build projects establish a total budget based on your initial budget. Setting the budget upfront lets each party know the maximum amount to spend and removes last-minute or added surprises and cost estimating. The initial project may seem more expensive upfront, but there is more flexibility throughout the project for cost-saving methods and decisions. Research shows that design-build projects are better able to stay within budget than the traditional design-bid-build.
Because you eliminate the bidding process and the creation and management of multiple contracts, design build homes are finished faster than their traditional counterparts without sacrificing quality or craftsmanship. Additionally, when the design team and contractor work together, the design and building process is smoother, project scheduling is simplified, and construction can begin sooner.
Design build firms have fantastic client reviews and successful projects because everyone is on the same team working for the same project goal. Design build projects are more conducive to communication, collaboration, and teamwork, which improves the overall project experience and leads to less risk and fewer mistakes. For clients, having a single point of contact for the entire project is helpful and reassuring. It allows clients and contractors to create a relationship of trust and increased accountability.
Finding a design build contractor with an experienced and collaborative team that is organized, prepared, and ready to answer your questions and begin your project is crucial. Successful design build firms are good communicators and listen and clearly explain methods and procedures. When you choose a design-build contractor, make sure there is potential for a strong working relationship.
Take the time to look through the design build company's portfolio, including photos and descriptions. If possible, tour their recent builds or visit their showroom. Take the time to read reviews and feedback from other clients. If they were referred to you by a friend, ask specific questions about their likes and dislikes about their experience, and seek out opinions and recommendations from others you trust.
As you build the home of your dreams, you will want to get quotes from a few different contractors. Each quote should generally break down as follows:
When you compare quotes, make sure that each section includes all costs. Remember that if you compare design-build quotes to design-bid-build quotes, the latter may have many hidden costs and a longer timeline.
Design build homes can help your dreams become a reality. You are not confined to a design-bidding process that may force you to cut elements that are important to you. Instead, your design build team works with you from the outset to incorporate what you want into your dream home.
In this unique, custom build, the homeowners wanted to incorporate a climbing wall in their main living area. This rock wall became a focus for the home's design and blended into other design elements inside and outside. The design build process allowed homeowners to integrate their dreams of a rock wall, swimming pool, and open concept without sacrificing style or functionality.
This custom build focused on the lot's beautiful views and surrounding scenery. The design build process meant that the homeowners worked closely with the designers and contractors to ensure that windows and view lines were not compromised during the design and construction process and a sustainable design was created.
This home design-build project allowed homeowners to request and receive quality interior design and exterior finishes without sacrificing their budget. Superior home design construction is internal and external, and the design build team incorporated stunning landscape design.
For homeowners looking to build a new home, you can save time, money, and hassle when you choose design-build for your next home construction project. Choose a design build company you can trust. For over 35 years, Dennis Miller Homes have placed honesty, communication, and genuine care into their outstanding design-build construction company in Southern Utah. Dennis Miller Homes are one of the best design build companies in Southern Utah. Offering custom home plans and an exceptional home-building experience in St. George, UT, Ivins, UT, and Hurricane, UT. Contact us today to learn more about our design-build services.
Design build contractors offer many benefits for clients looking for a one-stop solution for their construction projects. From streamlined communication to cost savings and improved quality control, design build contractors can simplify the construction process and deliver a high-quality end product.
Has Southern Utah stolen your heart? Or are you a long-time resident looking to build your dream home finally? This part of the state is truly a magical place to call home. That’s why it’s only fitting to have a home that matches the beauty and awe of Southern Utah’s natural surroundings.
At Dennis Miller Homes, we design and build custom homes across Southern Utah and know the towns that make up our corner of the state very well. If you’re still deciding where to build your custom Utah home, we can help! Below, we introduce five of the communities we build in most frequently, to help you decide which may be right for you.
St. George is the county seat of Washington County and the largest city in Southern Utah. At just over 90,000 residents, it’s a city that offers plenty of amenities while maintaining a smaller, local vibe. Close to Zion National Park, several state parks, and just 118 miles northeast of Las Vegas, St. George is a city that offers plenty to do on weekends. Traditionally, many northern Utahns escape to St. George in the winter months, but the city has recently seen rapid growth in the number of full-time residents moving from both in and out of state.
If you’re looking to build a custom home in Southern Utah, it’s hard to beat St. George as the ideal location. With new housing developments popping up in every direction — including St. George golf communities and St. George gated communities — it’s easy to find the type of neighborhood you’re looking for.
Cedar City is just north of St. George on Interstate 15 and is the largest city in Iron County, Utah with just over 28,000 residents. While significantly smaller than St. George, Cedar City still has a lot to offer; it’s home to Southern Utah University and the Utah Shakespeare Festival and is close to state parks, national forests, and the Cedar Breaks National Monument.
Cedar City's small-town size is ideal for those wanting a slower pace of life. Whether you’re looking to retire or work from home, building a custom home in Cedar City can be a great way to put down roots in a community where it’s easier to get to know your neighbors. While Cedar City is relatively small, it hasn’t been immune to Utah’s rapid population growth; Cedar City grew by over 5% since the most recent census, and continues to be a location more Utahns are adding to their list when considering a move to Southern Utah.
18 miles northeast of St. George you’ll find Hurricane, Utah. Moments from multiple golf courses, trailheads, and Sand Hollow State Park — and the closest city on our list to Zion National Park — Hurricane is perfect for active homeowners who want to embrace all the recreation opportunities Southern Utah has to offer. Hurricane is a small town of just 20,000 residents, many of whom are part-time.
For those interested in building a custom home in Hurricane, the sky is the limit. Plenty of new housing developments are underway in this area of Southern Utah, including communities with amenities such as golf access, outdoor pools, walking trails, and more.
Washington is a true suburb community of St. George; it lies just five miles northeast of Interstate 15. Many people searching for new home developments in St. George continue their search in Washington, as the two communities are closely connected. With plenty of shops and restaurants, Washington offers convenient living that makes everyday life easy. Boasting a population of over 31,000 residents, Washington is the second-largest city on our list.
Building a home in Washington, Utah is an excellent investment, as this community continues to grow alongside St. George. With plenty of golf courses and new shopping developments, a custom home in Washington can be close to whatever matters most to you.
20 minutes northwest of St. George lies Ivins, Utah. Home to beautiful resorts, moments from Snow Canyon State Park, and home to the Tuacahan Center for the Arts, Ivins is a town that offers true resort-style living. Ivins is a great place for those interested in outdoor activities and cultural or art events. Ivins is also the city closest to Las Vegas, offering an even faster route for a quick weekend getaway. At 9,500 residents, Ivins is the smallest city on our list, making it easier to find a quiet lot.
Custom homes in Ivins are large, beautiful, and relatively common. If a larger and fully custom home is what you’re hoping for, Ivins can be a great setting for it.
Suppose Southern Utah is where you’d like to put down roots, hopefully, one or more of these locations resonated with you and your lifestyle. If you’re looking for more restaurants, shops, and neighbors, choose bustling St. George. Washington is perfect for you if you’re looking for proximity to St. George but want a bit more space. If quick access to outdoor recreation is your top priority, choose Ivins or Hurricane. And if you’d like to be just a bit further north and away from seasonal visitors, Cedar City could be the best option.
We are more than a construction company; we’re a partner in your home-building journey. Our team is proud to call Southern Utah home and we enjoy helping our clients do the same! Contact us early in your homebuilding journey; we can help you learn more about the housing communities and new housing developments in some of Southern Utah’s most popular cities, connect you with trusted real estate professionals and start designing your home with our in-house architects and designers. Learn more about our unique homebuilding process or connect with our team today.
In this article:
The first decision when selecting a lot is determining which general location you want to live in. There are countless places in Southern Utah where anyone would love living. From Ivins and Santa Clara to Hurricane and Sand Hollow, there is a place for you and your family. So how do you choose? When raising a family, determining which school district you want to live in is an excellent place to start. You also might consider what St. George amenities, such as grocery stores or shopping malls, you’d like closer to home. Where do you work, and how long do you want your commute to be?
Once you figure out the general location you want to build, the next thing to consider is where exactly in the subdivision you want to be. Do you want to build near the subdivision’s access, in a cul-de-sac, or on a corner lot? If getting in and out of a neighborhood quickly is essential, you may consider choosing a lot near the neighborhood’s entrance. The downside is that you will experience more traffic. Do you prefer a more secluded lot? Try and find a lot at the end of a cul-de-sac. Many people like corner lots because they are often larger. However, one thing to remember is that corner lots often require more landscape and maintenance. Decide what aspects you care about, and go from there.
As trivial as it may seem, the orientation of your home makes a big difference. Some people who live in colder climates are adamant about not having a house that faces north. They claim north-facing houses make it more challenging to keep the snow cleared of walkways in the winter. Although we don’t deal with those problems here in Southern Utah, there are still some critical things to consider. For example, are you going to have a pool? Maybe you would prefer a north-facing house so that your pool receives sunlight during the day.
On the other hand, if you want a cool place for your kids to play in the summers, a south-facing house will lend more shade in the backyard. The orientation of your house can also affect its energy efficiency. If you roughly know the layout of your home, you’ll have a better idea of what side of the street you want your lot to be.
St. George offers some of the best views on earth. When choosing a lot, pay attention to the views that you will have when your home is built. Would you like your vistas from the front or back of your house? Also, how will your lot affect your solar exposure? How can you best take advantage of sunrises or sunsets? Considering each of things will help when trying to select a building site.
Here at Dennis Miller Homes, we believe site selection is just as important, if not more important, than the actual building plan. The building site will help us determine where we want to place windows, where we desire certain rooms to be, and how we want to position the home on the lot. So whether you have already found the perfect lot or are just starting the search process, we have the right team of professionals to ensure you capitalize on one of the most critical phases of building a home.
The Creation Process involves brainstorming and dreaming. This process can be done independently or with us as we give input. We’re dreamers at heart, so we love to hear what types of things prospective clients have always yearned for in a home. However, even if a person has been planning the details of their home for years, when they hear the question, “What would you like in your new home?” almost everyone starts to draw blanks.
Because thinking about every aspect of your home can be overwhelming, we broke this process down into three different categories: Lifestyle, Features, and Style. Going about the Creation Process while keeping these components in mind will bring organization and clarity to the endeavor.
Thinking about lifestyle is a perfect starting point. Some people start with features only to realize that they have unnecessary features or forget certain features they need. It is better to start by thinking about your lifestyle and then places the elements in a way that will support that lifestyle. Questions you should ask yourself at this point of the creation process include: Do I need space for entertaining? Do I want the main gathering space for my family to be in a great room near the kitchen or a separate family room? Do I plan to have visitors often who would appreciate their suite? Do I want more space in the house or more space in the yard? Questions like these help you figure out what is important to you. It will ensure that your home is perfectly functional and that you utilize the space you call home.
As you brainstorm about lifestyle, you’ll notice that the next step, focusing on features, will come naturally. If you have decided you need space for entertaining, then more than likely, you are going to want a dining space and a large kitchen island or bar. If you enjoy St. George sunsets, you’ll probably want a covered patio. Is a jacuzzi tub or fireplace in the master suite something you can’t live without? Do you want your kids to enjoy a pool in the backyard? Some people feel that looking at other floor plans helps to get their wheels turning. Don’t worry about missing certain aspects; we will bring features to your attention that you may not have considered.
Once you have thought about your lifestyle and the features you want to include in your home, style is the last thing to go over. How do you want those features to look? This is where your home will start to reflect your personality and creative taste. Do you want your home to look modern? You may like the cozy and inviting feel of french country. Do you want your house to take on the trendy craftsman-style look? Whatever style you choose, we have a team of professionals that are sure to bring all of the components of your home together so that it looks aesthetically flawless.
Remember that the creation process is a time to have fun. Try not to get overwhelmed—Reserve judgments on your dreaming. Let the ideas run free. Many people are surprised by the number of things they can include in their home. As was mentioned above, we love this step in the building process because we get to have fun with our clients. One of the reasons a person chooses to build a home instead of buying a home is because they can experience this creation process. Make sure you enjoy yours.
So what is the source of all of the anxiety?
When individuals build a custom home, they want to ensure the final product is perfect. Who wouldn’t? After all, the family will live there for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, when a customer gets to the design phase, most custom home builders require customers to pay for a set of plans to be drafted. To compound the problem, there are often fees when the builder has to return to the architect with any redrafting or changes. With that industry norm in mind, individuals feel pressured to get the house plan right the first time to avoid fees and unwanted costs.
Hence the anxiety and pressure.
One of the things we pride ourselves on here at Dennis Miller Homes is breaking industry norms. Custom home builders often charge customers to draft floor plans and make changes because they, too are getting charged. It’s not that they’re malicious and are trying to nickel and dime people; it’s simply business.
Lucky for us, we have arguably the best draftsman/architect in the area as part of our team. In addition, because we draft all our plans in-house, we don’t have to worry about being charged when customers need to make changes. Therefore, our customers can make tweaks and adjustments until their house plan is perfect.
Recently, a customer told us they were charged more than $15,000 for drafting house plans! He couldn’t believe we were doing all of it for free before he even signed a contract. He felt so relieved that he could bounce ideas off of us and make adjustments ensuring his floor plan would be just right.
Why is our change in the process such a big deal?
The most significant advantage of this process is the stress-free environment customers have when going through the design phase. They can get their house plan perfect the first go around. They can approach the design phase knowing that whatever they start with can be adjusted.
Now that you understand our process a little better and the pressure of getting the design perfect is gone, what is the best way to approach this step? The first step is to bring all of the ideas from the creation phase to us. Then, when we hear you talk about your dreams and desires, in our minds, we will be piecing together a design and developing a rough sketch.
From there, we recommend looking at other floor plans and seeing different layouts. As we mentioned previously, looking at other floor plans will help get your wheels turning. However, some people need help visualizing how their house will be simply by looking at a floor plan. If you fall into this category, no problem. Come look at some of our previous projects and get real-life visuals. We love when clients walk through the homes we’re working on.
Once we start with a rough sketch, we’ll continue to tweak designs and make needed adjustments. Then, once you’re satisfied, it’s on to the bidding phase! At Dennis Miller Homes, we want to not only give you an outstanding product but we also want you to enjoy the journey. We feel that the flexibility of our design phase will leave you more than satisfied.
When it comes to bidding, we usually take one of two approaches with clients. We either bid out the project with our standard allowances or we go with a customized approach.
The Standard allowance approach is what most home builders will use. It’s the industry standard, and pretty straightforward. That standard allowance process is where a builder will draw up a client’s plan and then based on that plan they will start bidding on the house as if the client were to put the standard components in their home. As the building process occurs, the builder will then send the customer to their preferred vendor, tell them what the bid allowance is, and then have them pick components (such as light fixtures or appliances) that fall within that allowance.
The advantage of the standard process is that it speeds up the bidding phase and gives the client a little more time to decide on paint color, countertops type, floor coloring, etc. However, the main disadvantage to this process comes when a specific product a client wants is outside the allowance budget.
We’ve heard stories of individuals who got a bid from their builder and thought they were getting a steal of a deal. The contractor gave them a price based on the builder’s “standard allowance”, the contract was signed, the customer was excited, and the building commenced. Unfortunately, when it came time for the customer to pick out the features they wanted, they realized that the bid they quoted only allowed for features they did not want. The customer ends up having to file 5 or more change orders, and that killer price they thought they were getting starts to climb rapidly.
Ultimately, the customer is left dissatisfied.
While Dennis Miller Homes will undoubtedly bid on a home using the standard-allowance approach, we typically prefer clients to use a customized system. When we build your home, especially a custom home, we want you to have the features and components you want. Therefore, rather than give you our allowances, we send you to four or five of our leading suppliers and have you choose the features you want in your home first. After you’ve picked out what you would prefer to have in your home, we provide a bid.
The main advantage of obtaining a bid this way is twofold. First, if the bid comes in higher than you like, we can start changing features in your home while keeping the ones you absolutely can not live without. Second, once the bid is finalized, a few change orders will have to be processed, and the price you received at the beginning will be very close to the price you pay. Overall, this creates a better experience for you as the customer and us as the builder.
Remember, building a home should be fun. Most customers are surprised at what features they can afford, so don’t be afraid to splurge a little. If you get a quote using the standard approach, ensure you understand what the standard allowance will get you. If at all possible, try and use the customized approach. It will make your building experience a lot more enjoyable.
However, there are unique opportunities that happen during the construction phase that we want to make you aware of. These opportunities will help you feel like a part of the building experience and ultimately make you love your house even more.
If you have gone through the proper steps in selecting the right home builder, we recommend a laissez-faire approach during construction. The home builder is professional and knows the necessary courses of action to ensure a gorgeous final product.
You should schedule regular walk-throughs of the property where you and your home builder can walk side by side throughout the property. This critical time will allow you to ask questions regarding the progress of your home to the contractor while they are on-site. Also, this time will enable the contractor to ask clarifying questions, ensuring that you are getting the product you want. Making sure these walkthroughs take place will speed up the building process and ensure that you and your professional are communicating.
We prefer our clients to participate in the construction process at Dennis Miller Homes. After all, this is the place you will call home. We want you to feel a connection to your house and start making memories the moment we break ground. A few parts of the building process are monumental, and we want you to participate.
The first step of the building process is breaking ground to pour the foundation. You have seen ceremonies for extensive construction processes where ribbons are cut, and shovels go into the ground. Although your home won’t be a skyscraper in New York, it will be the place that houses your family and memories. Be the one to put the shovel in the ground first and start the building process.
Another monumental step in building a house is putting up the walls. When the framed walls go up, the structure and personality of the home start to take shape. Help our crews lift your first wall and experience something special. One of our previous customers left us a very thoughtful review highlighting how much that moment meant to them.
Paint pulls out the personality of the homeowners. Once the walls are painted, a client will start to see some of their style infused within the home. So have some fun and help us roll on some paint for the wall of your choosing. Every time you walk by that section of your home, you’ll remember that moment with fondness.
Once all parts of the construction phase have finished, and a “CO” has been obtained we will conduct a final walkthrough. During this process, we will walk through and inspect each room.
This is the time for your critical eyes to come out. As this final walkthrough takes place, ensure that the finished product meets expectations and every little detail is how you want it. Feel free to open and close cabinets, and check appliances, light fixtures, etc. This house is yours to move into, so make sure you love it.
Once we have done the final walkthrough and tightened up any loose ends, we will sign the closing documents. Certain title documents will need to be signed and notarized by the right legal professionals, contracts with your builder will be finalized, and the proper exchange of money for services will take place. Just like any legal document, make sure you read what you are signing thoroughly
The only thing left to do is hand you the keys to your home. With a smile, we will thank you for the experiences we’ve shared and the opportunity we had to build your home. We will then present you with our closing packet, which will include the home warranty details, access to some of our preferred vendors in St. George and the surrounding area, and other pertinent documents. The house is now officially your home.
This series has been enjoyable for us to create. It has helped us take a step back and look at the different opportunities to ensure our clients have an incredible experience building a home. Whether you choose Dennis Miller Homes or another contractor to build your home, we hope that the outlined concepts will ease the stressful process often associated with building. Remember, it’s not about creating a final product in a house. Instead, it’s about enjoying an experience as you watch your dreams of having a custom home come to life!
We're a leading Southern Utah custom home builder for a reason; we believe that every client matters. No matter the size of the home or the budget, every client is equally important to us. We believe in constant, clear communication, exceptional building standards, and giving you the most home value for your money. Over the years, we've carried on the old-fashioned business values--integrity, honesty, and expert building. We're proud of our commitment to our values and our exceptional work. For more than 30 years, we've led the way for custom homes, and our goal is to turn your dreams into a reality. To get started building your home with one of the top home builders in St. George, contact Dennis Miller Homes today.
Get to know Dennis Miller Homes in our latest video. Meet the team, see a few of the spaces we’ve built, and get to know what drives our St. George home builders to continue building the best custom homes in Utah.
Your home isn't just a place to retreat to at night; it's an extension of your lifestyle. It's where you live, rest, connect, entertain, and much more. At Dennis Miller Homes, we believe your home should be a reflection of how you live life.
We firmly believe that our job as homebuilders is learning about you. When you choose a builder who cares about you, that’s when you can get something truly special. From large details such as the floorplan to even the smallest details, we spend the time to get to know you so we know how to plan your house.
Here is a little more about our design process and how we help you build the home of your dreams.
As we meet with you during the design phase, we focus on how you will be living in the home. We ask questions about your lifestyle, from your goals to how many children you have. How do you want to use this space, and how would you like the rooms laid out? What interactions will you have in the home? Will it be a vacation home or a primary residence? We ask plenty of questions so we know exactly what you want from your house. Functionality and efficiency are at the forefront of our design process, all while planning for the luxuries and incorporating a stunning design that will set your home apart from the rest.
Once we have finalized the design, we start the building process. As a premier home builder in St. George, Utah, we set only the highest expectations for ourselves. Someone is at the job site each day, checking on every detail and ensuring that the process meets our standards. We are fully involved in the building process from beginning to end, ensuring we get it right.
When you build with Dennis Miller Homes, your imagination is the limit. Taking our client’s dreams and turning them into a reality is our passion. We believe that incorporating a client’s lifestyle into their living space is one of the greatest things about building custom homes. We are the custom home builder in Southern Utah that truly aims to make each house an extension of a client’s lifestyle.
While there are plenty of St. George home builders, Dennis Miller Homes gives you the customization that you need. We’ve recently had the privilege of creating some amazing custom features. Take a look at five of our favorite features in our latest custom home builds.
This incredible two-story climbing wall is high on our favorites list. Centrally located in the house, this wall is a focal point as well as an active zone. It’s the perfect addition for a rock climbing addict or even someone who wants to add a little fun to their living area. Homeowners and guests alike can scale the wall onto the second story into the game room with a kitchenette. With features like this in a house, you’re sure to always be entertained.
Installing a pivot door brings instant luxury and elegance to the exterior of a home. This pivot door installed by Dennis Miller Homes not only looks amazing but is easy to use. Because it sits on a vertical access, this large door effortlessly rotates, creating a stylish entryway. Pivot doors are perfect for large entryways, and when you’d like a seamless transition between inside and outside. One of the benefits of being a custom home builder in Southern Utah is being able to take a unique element like this from design to completion.
Heating up on a cool day doesn’t need to be boring. Take a look at this beautiful rock fireplace. Together with the client, we designed this sleek, central open fireplace in one of our latest modern builds. It’s a focal point between the kitchen and living room area. This showstopper and would look great in any custom home.
Let’s face it; this is one of the most epic additions to any house. Our client wanted the possibility of jumping off the second story into the pool below, and we made it happen. This pool area is complete with a huge barbeque station and service bar. Everyone in the neighborhood is going to want to come over for these pool parties.
Behind this gorgeous cabinet door is a hidden pantry. This is one of our favorite features in classic, custom kitchens. Hidden pantry doors turn what would be a regular pantry door into a beautiful, seamless part of the kitchen. It makes the kitchen look bigger while becoming a focal point of the room. Plus, there’s always the mystery of what’s behind the hidden door.
Whatever custom features you’d like to include in your house, choose Dennis Miller Homes to help you build the home of your dreams. We take full reigns of the building process so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy creating your dream space. Our team enjoys getting to know the personality and lifestyle of each client. Then, we work on building a home that is an extension of their lifestyle.
For over 35 years, we have been a custom home builder in Southern Utah. We’ve built for hundreds of clients in our community and we’d love to get started on yours. No matter what your needs are, Dennis Miller Homes stays committed to you through the entire process. If you are interested in new construction homes in St. George, Utah, contact us today. We would love to schedule a free custom home consultation to get the ball rolling.
Are you in the market to buy a new home? One of the first decisions you will face is whether to build a custom home or buy an existing one. It can seem impossible to find your 'dream home' when looking for a house, especially if you have a specific location and budget.
Consider various factors before deciding whether building a home is better than buying one. From price differences to customization, the advantages and disadvantages of building versus buying can help you determine which is right for you.
If you are on the fence, continue reading to simplify the home-buying decision.
Building a custom home makes you a member of the design and construction team. You will work with your custom home builder to make your home exactly how you want it to be. Because you're constructing the home from the ground up, you decide everything from the floor plan and features to flooring and colors.
On the other hand, the advantages of buying an existing home include:
Along with these benefits, let's discuss other factors that could affect your final decision.
According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average cost of a 2,600 sq. ft. custom home in 2019 was $485,128, while the median cost of an existing home was $309,800.
At first glance, it is easy to see the significant differences between each. However, building a custom home provides more price flexibility than most buyers realize. While the final cost per square foot depends on various factors like location, size, and custom features, you will have control to choose where you want to spend or save. Dennis Miller Homes, a custom home builder in St. George, Utah, provides you with a long-hand bid so you make design choices that fit your budget.
Another factor that will impact your budget is maintenance. Choosing to build a home is the best option for homeowners uninterested in DIY projects, hiring a contractor, or making frequent repairs. If you buy an existing home, try to factor in additional costs you will need to make after purchasing the home. Some of these might include installing a driveway, new roof or garage, landscaping, new appliances, and connecting utilities such as water or power.
There could also be hidden repair costs that you didn't catch before signing your contract. One way to avoid massive maintenance bills is to build a new home that uses the latest construction standards. Your Southern Utah custom home builder could also offer quality warranties to ensure your house has everything you need to feel 'at home.'
Buyers who purchase an existing home already have landscaping when they move in. If you don't have a specific look in mind, pre-existing landscaping is a bonus. However, new home buyers who prefer modern landscapes will need to do a lot of work to ensure their landscape is updated.
Buyers interested in building new homes in St. George, Utah, rely on Dennis Miller Homes. Our team will commit to capturing your vision and perfecting the homebuilding process along the way. We believe in honesty, communication, and caring about your experience. Having maintained the integrity of a family name for more than 35 years, we take the stress and frustration out of building custom homes. As the leading St. George custom home builder, Dennis Miller Homes is dedicated to you and your home every step of the way!